Uniting Church Archives - Synod of Victoria, Malvern East
Full-face, looking into the camera 1984 - part of an advertisement for Wesley Church's 126th anniversary 9/9/1984.
Brian Leslie Howe, AO (born 23 January 1936), is an Australian former politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in the Labor government under prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating from 1991 to 1995.
Howe was born in Melbourne. He spent his early childhood in the suburb of Malvern and was educated at Melbourne High School and the University of Melbourne. He later studied theology in Chicago (1967–69) and then returned to Australia. He served as a minister with the Methodist Church and the Uniting Church in various parts of Victoria – Morwell, Eltham and Fitzroy.
Howe was elected to the House of Representatives in 1977 representing the northern Melbourne metropolitan electoral Division of Batman. He defeated the incumbent Horrie Garrick for Labor preselection in a hard-fought contest. A member of the Socialist Left faction of the Labor Party, he was Minister for Defence Support in the government of Bob Hawke from 1983. In 1984 he became Minister for Social Security and carried out various radical reforms to Australia's welfare system.
Howe appeared to face significant opposition within his electorate in 1988, when up to 60 members of the Greek Westgarth branch of the ALP defected to join the Australian Democrats. One of the defectors, tram-conductor George Gogas, contested Batman as a Democrat candidate in 1990, but polled only 12.9 per cent of the vote.
After the 1990 election Howe was appointed to the post of Minister for Community Services and Health. When Paul Keating resigned from Cabinet in 1991, Howe succeeded him as Deputy Prime Minister. He became Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services in the Keating government in December 1991, dropping the health part of the portfolio in 1993. In June 1995 he resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and was succeeded by Kim Beazley. He did not stand for re-election at the 1996 election.
Following his parliamentary career, Howe has been appointed as an Associate Professor for Melbourne University and continues to work with social policy and related fields. He is a member of the Church of All Nations in Carlton, and active in the Uniting Church.
A full biography in his own words can be found in the Proceedings of the Uniting Church Historical Society, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Vol. 21, No. 1 for June 2014.
Inscriptions & Markings
Identification of Howe