Farewell to a great Australian anti nuclear Senator

Noel Wauchope 25 June 2013 Jean Isobelle Melzer died on June 18, 2013.  An  Australian Senator, Jean Melzer  represented  the Australian Labor Party and the state of Victoria. She was elected at the 1974 election, becoming the first woman Labor senator from Victoria . In 1978 she was the first woman elected as the Secretary of the Labor Caucus. She served two terms.   In 1980, despite Melzer’s great popularity in the labor party and electorate, the ALP executive moved her to an unwinnable 3rd ticket position, replacing pro uranium Robert Ray at the top ticket. This ensured Melzer’s defeat at the 1980 election.


In 1984, Jean Melzer as Convener of the Movement Against Uranium Mining led the campaign opposing Labor’s move to a pro uranium mining policy.

She also stood unsuccessfully as the lead Victorian senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party in the 1984 election.

Jean Melzer was also a great campaigner for Aborigines, migrants, pensioners, and for anti discrimination in all areas. She stood up for the rights of the disadvantaged.

Pushed out of her Senate position by the pro nuclear ALP, Jean Melzer continued working in the community and in environmental protection.

In 2004 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Jean Melzer will be remembered for her many contributions to Australia, and for her warning:

Don’t let Australia become the quarry and waste dump of the world”


3 Responses to “Farewell to a great Australian anti nuclear Senator”

  1. arclight2011part2 Says:

    lord! i saw your name next to anti nuclear and thought… the unthinkable!
    now i have calmed down..
    did you meet her?
    great post (but move your name away from the title a bit more! 😦 )
    much love

  2. arclight2011part2 Says:

    God rest her dear soul..

  3. Christina MacPherson Says:

    Rumours of Noel Wauchope’s passing have been greatly exaggerated!

    I did not know Senator Melzer, but I was present at the Town Hall Labor Party Conference in 1980. In the packed full Town Hall, one of the Labor executive put up the proposal to have Jean Melzer moved from her No.1 position as Senate candidate for the coming election.
    There was a show of hands for Jean Melzer – it was a sea of hands, encompassing the whole room. Then a show of hands for Robert Ray – a very few (pro nuclear) hands went up.

    Nevertheless, the ALP big boys prevailed. Senator Melzer was effectively booted out.
    And I left the Labor party.

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