About

Party People

Federal President, Richard Alston

Richard Alston

The Hon. Richard Alston was elected as the Liberal Party’s 17th Federal President at the Federal Council meeting in Melbourne in June 2014.

Richard has had a long and distinguished career in law, politics and diplomacy. His first career was as a barrister, practising in common, commercial and administrative law. From 1979-1982 he was the State President of the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party.

Richard went on to represent Victoria as a Liberal Senator from 1986 to 2004. In Opposition, he was responsible for a range of shadow portfolios including Communications, Arts, Social Security, Childcare, Superannuation and Retirement Incomes.

Richard was elected Deputy Liberal Senate Leader in 1993 and, following the election of the Howard Government, he was appointed as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts in 1996. He served in both positions until 2003.

Following his notable political career, Richard spent three years as the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

He is an adjunct professor of IT at Bond University in Queensland and currently sits on a number of corporate boards.

Richard is married to Megs and they have two adult children.

Past Federal Presidents

  • Alan Stockdale
    2008 - 2014

  • Chris McDiven
    2005 - 2008

  • Shane Stone
    1999 - 2005

  • Tony Staley
    1993 - 1999

  • Ashley Goldsworthy
    1990 - 1993

  • John Elliott
    1987 - 1990

  • John Valder
    1985 - 1987

  • Dr A.J. Forbes
    1982 - 1985

  • John Atwill
    1975 - 1982

  • Robert Southey
    1970 - 1975

  • J. E. Pagan
    1965 - 1970

  • Phillip McBride
    1960 - 1965

  • Lyle Moore
    1956 - 1960

  • W. H. Anderson
    1951 - 1956

  • Richard Casey
    1947 - 1950

  • Malcolm Ritchie
    1945-47, 1950-51

Honorary Federal Treasurer, Philip Higginson

Honorary Federal Treasurer Philip Higginson

Philip Higginson has been Honorary Federal Treasurer of the Liberal Party since February 2011.

Philip Higginson is the managing director of ProNed Australia P/L, a company specialising in non-executive director search and board governance advice. Philip has served in this role since 1999.

An experienced company director, Philip has served as Chairman of Employment National Limited for a number of years including during its orderly sale process, and as chairman of TransGrid for over 12 years.

Philip has an extensive background in community service. He served with the Salvation Army for 15 years, including on the Sydney Advisory Board and two terms as Chairman of the Sydney Red Shield Appeal.

Other business and community activities have included a lengthy period as Chairman of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, a director of the Home Purchase Assistance Authority, a member of the board of Focus Publishing Pty Ltd, a Vice-President of the NSW Chamber of Manufacturers, a director of the Employers Federation Limited, a Vice-President of the Conservatorium of Music Foundation, Federal President of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Australia Day Council.

Past Party Treasurers

  • Michael Yabsley

    Michael Yabsley
    2008 - 2011

  • Mark Bethwaite

    Mark Bethwaite
    2006 - 2008

  • John Calvert-Jones
    2003 - 2006

  • Malcolm Turnbull
    2002 - 2003

  • Ronald Walker
    1989 - 2002

  • David Clarke
    1987 - 1989

  • John Elliot
    1985 - 1987

  • Sir Robert
    Crichton-Brown

    1974 - 1985

  • Sir Charles McGrath
    1968 - 1974

Sir William Anderson 1962 - 1968
S. F. Utz 1956 - 1962
B. F. Dargan 1949 - 1956 (pictures unavailable)

Federal Director, Brian Loughnane

  • Brian Loughnane

Click here to read Brian Loughnane's key speeches.

Brian Loughnane has been Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia since February 2003. He was born in Geelong, Victoria and grew up and was educated in Colac. He graduated with an Honours degree in Political Science from La Trobe University in 1981.

From 1982-92 Brian worked in industrial relations with Shell. He was responsible for industrial relations at the Geelong Refinery during the introduction of enterprise bargaining in the late 1980s.

He has been actively involved at all levels of the Liberal Party for over thirty years. Following the election of the Kennett Government in 1992, Brian became Senior Adviser to Hon. Vin Heffernan, Minister for Small Business and Youth Affairs. In late 1994 he became Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, Alexander Downer, and was Chief of Staff to Hon. John Howard until May 1995. During 1995 and 1996, Brian was a senior executive with the Gas and Fuel Corporation.

In May 1996 Brian was appointed Chief of Staff to Hon. John Moore, and served with Mr Moore in both Industry and Defence portfolios. Brian was State Director of the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party from October 2000 to February 2003. In this role he was Campaign Director for the Aston federal by-election in July 2001 and the 2002 Victorian State Election.

Brian was the Coalition's National Campaign Director for the 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 Federal elections.

Brian has been a member of the Liberal Party for over 30 years and is a former President of the Viewbank Branch. He has served locally on many State and Federal Campaign Committees and in numerous other Party positions.

Brian is married to Peta Credlin and his interests include films, horse racing, bush walking and American politics.

Past Party Directors

  • Lynton Crosby
    1997 - 2002

  • Andrew Robb
    1990 - 1997

  • Tony Eggleton
    1975 - 1990

  • Dr Timothy Pascoe
    1974 - 1975

  • Bede Hartcher
    1969 - 1974

  • Robert Willoughby
    1951 - 1969

  • Donald Cleland
    1945 - 1951