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Members’ biographical register

Charles Walter Michael Court

Principal Honours
Knight of the Order of Australia (AK) 1982
Knight Commander of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1978
Knight Bachelor (Kt B) 1972. For distinguished services to government and national development
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE (Military Division) 1946
Awarded Centenary of Federation Medal 2003
Date: 29 September 1911
Place: Crawley, Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
Left for Western Australia when three months old
Son of Walter James, plumber, and Rose Rebecca Rice
Marriage and Family
Married (1) 3 June 1936, St Albans Church, Highgate Hill, Perth to Rita Maud Steffanoni (born 15 June 1911), daughter of Lewis Reading and Ethel May Jones
Children: five sons, including
Richard Fairfax Court, premier (1993-2001) and ambassador to Japan
Widowed 18 Ọctober 1992
Married (2) 22 June 1997, St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Serpentine to Judith Mildred Butt OAM, daughter of Charles and Cindy Butt
Date: 22 December 2007
Place: Cottesloe, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, WA
Cause of Death:
Church of England
Educated Leederville, Rosalie Primary School
Perth Boys’ School until 15 years old
Part-time study for accountancy at Perth Technical College
By correspondence as articled clerk
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (FCA) (life member 1982)

Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries (FICS)
Fellow of the Australian Society of Accountants (FASA) (life member 1979)
University of Western Australia Hon LLD Doctor of Laws 1969
Hon D Tech Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT later Curtin University of Technology) 1982
Employment History
Sold newspapers as a boy
Articled clerk 1927–1932
Began practice as chartered accountant in Perth 1933
Foundation partner in Hendry, Rae and Court from 1938
Enlisted army 1940, Australian Imperial Force 18 December 1942, rose from Private to officer rank, Lieutenant 15 January 1942, temporary Captain 9 June 1943, temporary Major 3 August 1943, temporary Lieutenant-Colonel 1944
Substantive Captain 6 September 1943, Major 18 April 1944, Lieutenant-Colonel 27 September 1945
Served with the 1st Armoured Division, NT Force, HQ 2 Australian Corps Bougainville and HQ 3 Australian Division for which Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General

Discharged 3 January 1946
Resumed partnership with Hendry Rae and Court until 1970
Local Government Service
LCL then Liberal
Joined Liberal Party 1946, held several branch positions, life member Western Australia Branch 1988
Date Elected
14 February 1953
Inaugural Speech
Court, Charles Walter Michael, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Charles Court
Valedictory Speech
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Nedlands 14 February 1953–31 January 1982 (resigned)

  • Premier, Treasurer, Minister Coordinating Economic and Regional Development, and for Federal Affairs (18 June 1975–22 December 1975) 8 April 1974–25 January 1982
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition 1 March 1957–2 April 1959
  • Minister for Industrial Development, Railways (until 16 February 1967), Transport (16 March–17 August 1965) and North–West 2 April 1959–3 March 1971
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition 3 March 1971–5 June 1972
  • Leader of the Opposition 5 June 1972–8 April 1974

  • Member Select Committee on the private bills for the Perpetual Executors, Trustees and Agency Co and the Western Australia Trustee, Executor and Agency Co 1955

Royal Commissions
  • Member Honorary Royal Commission on Restrictive Trade Practices and Legislation 1956–1957
Private Member's Bills
Church of England but formerly Salvation Army and Methodist
State Registrar, Institute of Chartered Accountants (Western Australia Branch) 1946–1952, State Council 1952–1955
Australian Chartered Accountant of the Year 1983
Honorary life fellow Australian Institute of Export 1982 (won Manufacturers Export Council Award 1969)
National President Order of Australian Association 1986–1989
Honorary fellow Australian Marketing Institute
Honorary fellow Institute of Production Engineers Kirby Awarded 1971 and Industrial Design Council of Australian Awarded 1978

Member Perth Chamber of Chamber, Senator International Jaycees 1971
Chairman Advisory Committees under Western Australia Prices Control Act 1948–1952
Active in Returned Services League (life member 1981)
Member Musicians’ Union from 1920s and life member from 1953
President Western Australia Band Australian Association 1954–1959
Junior, Amateur and Open Champion Cornet Player 1928 and Champion of Champions all brass instruments 1930 at Tanunda, South Australia Active as trumpet and cornet player in orchestras and bands until 1952 and conductor of bands including Return Services League of Australia (RSL) Memorial Band until 1952 after which acted as guest conductor to many bands
Honorary Colonel Western Australia University Regiment 1969–1974, of Special Air Services (SAS) Regiment 1976–1980

Freeman of City of Nedlands (1982) and of Shire of Derby (1983)
Member Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow)
Lions (World President’s Medal)
Commercial Travellers Association
Honorary life member Calabrese Association of Western Australia
Father-in-law of Margaret Court, former Wimbledon lady singles tennis champion
Hon LL D, Hon D Tech
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 51-52.
Second Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 23rd May 1972, No. 45679 (Australian), p. 6287.
Further Information
Nation Review, 7–13 Ọctober 1972.
Reid and Oliver.
Transcript of an interview with Sir Charles Court
Court, Charles Walter Michael, Oral History.pdfCourt, Charles Walter Michael, Oral History.pdf
West Australian, 16 February 1953.
Who's Who in Australia, (1983)