Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Some members of the Alumni will recall that each year Professor Geoff Lindell makes a presentation to the department on a matter of legal or constitutional importance.

Prof Lindell had a distinguished career teaching constitutional law, and has been a consultant to the department since his retirement.

This year Prof Lindell’s talk will be given on 10 November at 11.00 am in Committee Room 2R3. The subject is The Inquisitorial Powers of the Commonwealth Parliament and the Status of Parliamentary Resolutions – A Power to Order the “Creation of Documents” by Public Officials and Private Citizens?

Prof Lindell has provided the following synopsis:

The Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament inherited the same legal powers to send for “persons papers and records” which were enjoyed by the British House of Commons in 1901. This talk questions whether those powers include the authority to order public officials and private citizens to “create” documents in the sense of providing information and documents which go beyond their existing state of knowledge and possession. The opportunity is taken to reflect on the efficacy and legal status of the resolutions passed by those Houses – an issue which was raised in one of the most famous cases on parliamentary privilege, namely Stockdale v Hansard (1839).

Any member of the Alumni who would like to attend will be most welcome. Please email Lynnette Eager at if you would like to join us.

Monday, August 29, 2011

ALUMNI Annual General Meeting

The next Alumni Annual General Meeting will be held on 28 September 2011 - 6pm - 8pm.

Alumni members are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Peter Buckley's passing

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Buckley on Monday 30 May 2011.  Peter worked for the Department of the House of Representatives for over 41 years and was known to many of us.

Vale Ian Booth 1947 - 2011

Ian Booth tragically died on Tuesday 19 April 2011, while out running on one of his favourite tracks on Mt Ainslie.  An ambulance came but the team was unable to help.  Ian was just 63.

Ian worked in the Department of the House of Representatives in the 1970s and then moved on to the Parliamentary Library.  His House career was in the Committee Office and many alumni who worked in the office at that time will remember Ian for his fabled smile, laugh and good cheer and his thorough and dedicated contribution to House committees' work.

John Hession remembers Alf Nicholls

Alf Nicholls (1918-2011)

The death occurred recently in Canberra of former Department of the House of Representatives staff member Alf Nicholls.  Alf worked in the Department from November 1970 until he retired in April 1979 and I was fortunate to work with him during my time in the House in the late 1970"s.

Alf was a one time personnel officer and later committee staff member of the House Expenditure Committee.  This was during the time when Vic Garland was committee chairman (later to be a minister in the Fraser government and High Commissioner to the UK).  It was also a time when parliamentary committee staff were located in the old Hotel Canberra, now the Hyatt Hotel.

Alf was a long time resident of Reid and was famous for often walking to work.  He and his wonderful wife Jean were staunch members of the nearby Reid Uniting Church.  Alf was also a very keen gardner (both flowers and vegetables) and an officeholder in the Canberra District Historical Society.

Canberra will be much poorer for his passing.  He was such a kind, caring man, a real gentleman.

PS Alf's brother and Lyn Eveston's father, Bert Nicholls, also died recently.  Many alumni will have fond memories of Bert who was a long time employee of the Department of the Senate.