In Australia, the current member of the House of Representatives with the longest period of continuous service, whether a Minister or not, is known as "Father of the House". Similarly, the current member of the Senate with the longest period of continuous service is known as "Father of the Senate". The longer serving of the two Fathers is called "Father of the Parliament".
As in Britain, these terms have no official status. However, unlike Britain:
- the term Father of the House/Senate applies where there is one member whose continuous service is unequivocally longer than any other, as determined by the date of election (House) or the date of the start of the term (Senate). Where two or more members have equal length of continuous service, more than any other members, they are considered joint Fathers of the House/Senate. Some state parliaments, however, follow the British convention.
- the Father of the House and the Father of the Senate in Australia have no parliamentary role at all. The election of the presiding officers is conducted by the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate respectively.
Since 1 July 2008, Senator Ron Boswell, who was first elected in 1983, has been the Father of the Senate.
Since 1 September 1998, Philip Ruddock, who was first elected in 1973, has been the Father of the House of Representatives and Father of the Parliament.
Read more about this topic: Father Of The House
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—D.H. (David Herbert)
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