Portrait of Paul Keating

Paul Keating

Paul Keating was prime minister of Australia from 1991 to 1996.

Keating became prime minister in December 1991 and led the ALP to an historic fifth term of Government in March 1993. As prime minister, he continued his progressive reform program, which included the establishment of a National Training Authority, a national superannuation scheme to redress low national savings and labour market and training reforms which addressed Australia’s long-term unemployment problems.

Other key achievements of the Keating Government included the review of the Sex Discrimination Act, the historic Mabo legislation recognising the land rights of Australia’s Indigenous people and the introduction of legislation ensuring protection of endangered species.

Following the defeat of the ALP in March 1996, Mr Keating resigned from Parliament. He continues to take a close interest in the national issues with which he was associated in public life. Mr Keating has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Laws from both Keio University in Tokyo and the National University of Singapore. 

Paul Keating was born in Sydney on 18 January 1944. He was educated at De La Salle College in Bankstown, where he obtained the Intermediate Certificate in 1958. 

Mr Keating left school at 15, joined the Australian Labor Party at this time and in 1966 became President of the NSW Youth Council, the predecessor to Young Labor.

In 1969, Mr Keating was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Blaxland, centred around the suburb of Bankstown, where he had lived all his life. In 1975, he became the youngest ever federal minister and held the portfolio of Minister for Northern Australia in the Whitlam Cabinet.

Between 1976 and 1983, Mr Keating served in the opposition shadow ministry and was spokesperson for a number of portfolios including agriculture, minerals and energy. During this period Mr Keating was also President of the NSW Branch of the ALP.

When the ALP was returned to Government in March 1983, Mr Keating became treasurer, a position he held until 1991.