- Category : 1966-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
Australian openly-gay senator, appointed interim leader of the Australian Democrats (Australia's third political party) in 2002. The son of working parents, he moved with his family to Lancelin, a small fishing village two hours north of Perth, when he was four. His dad began a 30-year career as a professional crayfisher. At 13, Brian went to boarding school in Perth for five years, before going on to Murdoch University to study teaching. Captivated by student politics, Brian became embroiled in student protests against campus amalgamations and up-front fees. During summer breaks, Brian worked as a deckhand on his dad’s boat, and campaigned against the mining of local sand dunes.
In 1986 Brian made his first trip to Canberra to help establish the National Union of Students. In 1988 he was elected to the Student Guild, and served as the editor of the campus newspaper. He graduated in 1988 with an Arts degree: English Major.
Brian's activism continued through the 1990's, as he became a prominent and high profile spokesperson for WA's gay and lesbian community. He has campaigned strongly for gay law reform, and helped establish the Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Between 1993-95, he was a national spokesperson for this federal body. It was in this capacity that he met Senator Sid Spindler, which was to prove a catalyst that caused Brian to join the Democrats.
With a diverse background, Brian has managed an art gallery, and served as an electorate officer and researcher to nine members of parliament, including three Labor Opposition Leaders, as well as Federal Ministers and Senators. After becoming greatly disillusioned with the ALP, Brian joined the Democrats and has since done relief work for Helen Hodgson MLC and Senator Murray. In 1998, Brian received the Democrats Chris Carter Award.
In 1995, Brian was elected as a Councilor to the multi-cultural Town of Vincent. He retired from this role in May 1999 after four years, having served on the Town's Heritage, Arts and Aboriginal Advisory Committees. As a Councilor, Brian has helped shape this new municipality into a green, socially responsible and progressive Council.
Brian and his partner Keith live in Perth.