Our recent five-part opus on the history of Australia’s political dynasties got us thinking: what about the the next generation? Are there any budding pollies out there looking to turn their parents’ legacy into a proper dynasty? And are there any kids of existing dynasties willing to carry the torch? Here are some likely candidates.
Jessica Rudd is the daughter of Labor’s one man Trimurti, Kevin, who was, you may remember, prime minister twice over the course of a fairly eventful six years between 2007 and 2013. Rudd the younger has been a high profile figure for some time — first as a lawyer, then novelist (2010’s Campaign Ruby details romance and mishaps occurring when a fictional prime minister is overthrown by his female treasurer — all purely coincidental, we are assured) and, most recently, a successful entrepreneur. Her business, an online store called Jessica’s Suitcase, which sells “everything from tea to sine, honey, baby food, skincare and makeup”, just sold a 45% stake to a Chinese eCommerce enabler. While business savvy lawyers with inbuilt brand recognition are something the major parties generally go for, Rudd may look at what politics did to the old man, and be content to remain a different kind of “influencer”.
This one’s a lock, as Beazley has already been preselected to run for the marginal Western Australian seat of Swan (currently held by Liberal Steve Irons by 3.59%). A former policy adviser for WA premier Mark McGowan, if Beazely is successful in the next election, she’ll take up residence in the seat held by her father, Kim Beazley Jr, between 1980 and 1996 (at which point he moved south to Brand). During his long political career, Kim Jnr was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, Keating’s deputy PM, and of course, he served two troubled stints as opposition leader during Labor’s wilderness years between 1996 and 2007. After parliament, he spent six years as Australia’s ambassador to the United States, and finally, was appointed governor of WA.
Hannah’s grandfather was Kim Snr, who represented the seat of Fremantle for 32 years — he took over from wartime prime minister John Curtin upon Curtin’s death in 1945. He spent three years as education minister in the Whitlam government before the dismissal. He stayed in parliament until 1977, when he resigned over revelations that senior Labor figures (including Whitlam) had sought $500,000 to help fund Labor’s 1975 election campaign from Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Ba’ath Party.
Spurning the chance to be the singer-songwriter his name demands, Costello co-founded YGAP a decade ago, campaigning and fundraising organisation that looks for innovative ways of ameliorating global poverty, standing down in May of this year — he’s made no indication of any political moves in his future, but his social conscience and polished oratory skills make him a possible candidate for office. Elliott is the son of Tim Costello, the former World Vision CEO known “that leftist cleric” during his stint as St Kilda mayor, according to Crikey‘s oldest and dearest ally Jeff Kennett. Speaking of our old friends, Elliot is the nephew of former treasurer and Crikey‘s own “Dollar Sweetie” Peter Costello. If you go back far enough, he’s descended from Patrick Costello, who spent two months in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, before being thrown out for electoral fraud in 1861.
Keep your eyes peeled for more in our series of burgeoning political dynasties.
Who have we missed? Have any high-profile political kids caught your eye? Let us know.