Appointment of the Clerk of the House of Representatives

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP, has announced the appointment of Mr David Elder as Clerk of the House of Representatives, effective 1 January 2014, following the retirement of Mr Bernard Wright.

As the principal advisor in relation to the proceedings of the parliament and CEO of the Department of House of Representatives, the Clerk of the House is crucial in maintaining Australia’s parliamentary democracy. Mr Elder was appointed to the position in accordance with the selection process required under Parliamentary Service Act 1999. The Act requires that a person cannot be appointed as Clerk unless the Speaker “is satisfied that the person has extensive knowledge of, and experience in, relevant Parliamentary law, procedure and practice,” and consults with members before making the appointment.

Mr Elder began working for the Department of House of Representatives in 1981, and has extensive experience in parliamentary committees, including the House Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration which, in the early 1990s conducted a major inquiry into the Australian banking industry. Mr Elder has been the Deputy Clerk of the House since 2010, and secretary of the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests since 2000. Mr Elder has a Master of Arts degree and an Executive Master of Public Administration degree.

Mr Bernard Wright has worked for the House of Representatives for more than 40 years, and has been Clerk of the House since December 2009. "I would like to publically thank Mr Wright for his enormous contribution to our Parliament, his dedication and the knowledge he has freely given myself and others. I wish Bernard an enjoyable, well-deserved retirement." 

"I extend a warm welcome to Mr Elder and congratulate him on his new position."

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