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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/38013
- Tom Hollway: the bohemian
- Costar, Brian
- Thomas Tuke (Tom) Hollway was the most controversial Victorian premier of the 20th century. Intelligent, well-educated, liberal, handsome, erratic, principled, hypochondriacal, opportunistic, sociable, secretive, charismatic, turbulent, dipsomaniacal, driven, witty and dashing, were some of the adjectives used to describe his complex personality. He was a person about whom it was impossible to be neutral---he inspired hatred and adulation in equal proportions. One of his Ballarat constituents told a reporter in 1952 that 'if he was walking down the street in a red shirt and carrying a sickle he'd still get [my vote].' Even the straitlaced Frank McManus described him as someone who 'loved life and society, was a friendly soul and a good mixer in any company, and had bohemian tastes'. He graduated LLB from the University of Melbourne in 1929, but had combined his professional qualification with an Arts degree (1927) majoring in English and French literature. While practising law in Ballarat he maintained his literary interests and in 1931, the year before he entered Parliament, co-authored pseudonymously a study of contemporary poetry entitled 'The Moderns'---an unusual action for a budding politician of the time, most of whom were more interested in stockyards or stock markets. Had Hollway lived in Sydney in the 1950s he might have been a prominent member of 'The Push', though he would not have embraced its licentiousness. His mercurial political style and deep hatred of the Country Party eventually proved too much for the conservative power brokers of the Liberal Party who expelled him in 1952, but not before he had played a defining role in one of the most periods in Victorian public affairs.
- Publication type
- Book chapter
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences. Institute for Social Research
- The Victorian premiers: 1856-2006 / Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (eds.), Chapter 18, pp. 227-241
- Publication year
- Australia; Australian politics; Biography; Government; History; Hollway, Thomas Tuke 'Tom' (1906-1971); Premiers; Victoria
- The Federation Press
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2006 The Federation Press and contributors.
- Peer reviewed