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Members’ biographical register

Hon Thomas (Tom) Richard Helm

Principal Honours
Date: 5 April 1941
Place: Bootle, near Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
To Australia 1980
Son of Thomas Helm, painter and decorator, and Lillian Coverdale, cleaner
Marriage and Family
Married (1) 6 October 1967, Parish Church (Church of England), Bootle to Edna Muriel Prescott, accounts clerk, daughter of William and Lillian Prescott
Children: one son
Married (2) 1995, Perth to Debbie Clode, daughter of Bill Hoskins
Cause of Death:
Not stated
Educated Balliol Road School and Bootle Technical College 1955–1957
Attended Merchant Navy training school at Sharpness near Glamorgan
Employment History
Served on coal burning cattle boat, Queen Mary, tankers and bulk carriers and various cargo ships for 10 years from 1957
Rigger in UK for 10 years, shore rigger on Liverpool docks
Rigger in Pilbara with Pilbara Industries, Hamersley Iron Co at Paraburdoo and Dampier
Diesel fitter 1977–1980: building industry plant and equipment
Local Government Service
Roebourne Shire Council 1985–March 1986
President Karratha branch and Pilbara Electorate Council of the Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Delegate to State Executive from 1985
Resigned from the ALP 27 June 2000 and sat as an Independent
Date Elected
22 May 1986
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Tom Helm
Valedictory Speech
Helm, Thomas Richard, Valedictory Speech.pdf
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC North Province 22 May 1986–21 May 1989. Elected to the Thirty-second Parliament for North Province from 22 May 1986 in succession to Hon Peter M’Callum Dowding (resigned - successfully contested Maylands).
  • MLC Mining and Pastoral Region 22 May 1989–21 May 2001. Elected to the Thirty-third Parliament for Mining and Pastoral Region from 22 May 1989. Re-elected 1993, 1996 (for term commencing 22 May 1997). Resigned from Australian Labor Party on 27 July 2000 to become an Independent. Defeated 10 February 2001 (term concluded on 21 May 2001).

  • Shadow Minister for Works and Services 15 January 1997–27 July 2000
  • Opposition Whip February 1993–15 January 1997

  • Member Library Committee 1986–16 December 1992
  • Member Legislation Committee 13 December 1994–27 June 1995
  • Member Standing Committee on Government Agencies 13 May–14 November 1996
  • Member Constitutional Affairs and Statutes Revision Committee 26 June 1997–10 November 1999
  • Member Joint House Committee 16 September 1997–10 June 1998
  • Member Parliamentary Services Committee 11 June 1998–10 January 2001
  • Member Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation from 1987 (reappointed 3 August 1993), Chairman 1989–January 1993
  • Additional member Estimates and Financial Operations Committee to consider the Estimates for 1990–91 (from October 1990) and for 1991–1992
  • Member Select Committee on State Funding of Aboriginal Programs 14 June–15 December 1988
  • Member Select Committee on Achievements of Indigenous Peoples of Australia 11 June 1991–4 June 1992
  • Member Select Committee on a matter of Privilege relating to Soccer Federation of WA, Newsletter Attack on Hon Samuel Piantadosi 16 October 1991–14 November 1991
  • Member Select Committee of Privilege on Report No. 24 of the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee 21 October 1998–8 December 1998
  • Member Select Committee of Privilege on Failing to Produce a Document under Summons 16 December 1998–25 May 1999
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented WA branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the 20th Australasian and Pacific Regional Conference, Kiribati, 1989
Private Member's Bills
Vice-president Amalgamated Metal Workers Union Karratha branch
Justice of the Peace 1985
President Parents and Citizens Association, Karratha Primary School; Nickol Bay Community Arts Board and Community Welfare Committee
Karratha College councillor
Cossack Restoration Society
After leaving Parliament active in assisting Meals of Wheels, South Perth Senior Citizens and South Perth Library
Member Executive Como Bowling Club
Member and later Finance Officer Clubs WA (peak body for Sport and Recreational Clubs in WA)
President Maylands Sports Recreation Club
Rostered Justice of the Peace at Perth Police station
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. 117.
Parliament of Western Australia, Former/Current? Members, Parliament of Western Australia website, accessed 15 May 2014. http://intranet/parliament/Memblist.nsf/WAllMembersFlat/Helm,+Thomas+(Tom)+Richard?opendocument
Further Information