Alan Eggleston sought election to the Senate to give people in the North West of Western Australia a voice in Federal Parliament. He was elected for his first six-year term in 1996 and re-elected in the 2001 and 2007 elections. His current term expires on June 30, 2014.
Alan’s policy interests are related to his background experience in the medical profession and his time spent in the North West region, including:
- Regional HealthServices
- Northern regional development and related issues including mining, tourism, transport, communications, indigenous matters, coastal surveillance and infrastructure development. Alan has attended several Northern Australia Development Conferences over the last 20 years.
- Foreign Affairs and Trade particularly with North East and South East Asian countries, especially Indonesia.
- Small business – Alan is a strong supporter of small and medium business interests, belonging to several chambers of commerce both in the North West and metropolitan areas.
- Health policy in general and rural health issues in particular.
- Ethnic affairs and migration.
Alan has been involved with the Liberal Party since his student days at the University of Western Australia (UWA), where he was president of the UWA Liberal Club. He has been a member of the Liberal Party State Council since 1976, serving long terms in the State Executive and State Joint Policy Committee. He was State vice president from 1980 to 1985 and president of the Kalgoorlie North (Pilbara/Kimberley) division for seven years.
Alan was born in Busselton and educated at Busselton Primary School and Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont, Western Australia. He studied medicine at UWA and after four years working in the UK hospital system and 18 months as a GP in Perth, he followed a long held wish to spend some time in the north of WA.
He joined the North West Medical Service of the WA Health Department and was based at the Port Hedland Regional Hospital for 18 months. This work involved flying clinics with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the inland Pilbara mining towns and escorting patients to metropolitan hospitals as well as working in the Port Hedland Regional Hospital.
On arriving in the North West in 1974, Alan intended only a short stay but like so many others, the lure of the north was such that he remained for more than two decades before entering the Senate. From 1975 to 1998 he operated a private medical practice as a GP/obstetrician in the South Hedland Health Centre and was active in regional affairs. From 1993 to 1996 he was mayor of Port Hedland, chairman of the Pilbara Ward of the Country Shire Councils Association and a board member of the Pilbara Development Commission.
Alan undertook a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies as an external student at Murdoch University to broaden his knowledge of Australian and Asian politics.
Alan strongly believes that Australia must engage more closely with our Asian neighbours and has visited Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea and China. He considers fostering Australia’s relationship with our closest neighbour, Indonesia, to be particularly important.
In 2010 Alan was attached to the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York for the three months of the General Assembly.
The Senate acts as a house of review in the Australian Parliament. This function is carried out through its eight standing committees. Alan is currently Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee and a Member of the Senate Economics Committee.
Post the Senate
Alan is keeping busy post the Senate as a member of the Board of the Pilbara Development Commission and is on the committee of the Australia Indonesia Business Council .
In addition Alan has appointment with four Perth Universities:
- Murdoch University where he is a Fellow at the Asia Research Centre
- Notre Dame University where he is involved with the Medical School
- UWA on the management committee of the Busselton Survey
- Curtin University Alan is on the advisory Board for the new Medical School