Peter Baume

Peter Erne Baume, AC (born 30 January 1935) is a retired Australian doctor and politician. He was a Senator for New South Wales from 1974 to 1991, representing the Liberal Party. He served as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (1980–1982) and Minister for Education (1982–1983) in the Fraser Government.

Peter Baume

Minister for Education
In office
7 May 1982  11 March 1983
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byWal Fife
Succeeded bySusan Ryan
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
In office
3 November 1980  7 May 1982
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byFred Chaney
Succeeded byIan Wilson
Senator for New South Wales
In office
18 May 1974  28 January 1991
Succeeded byJohn Tierney
Personal details
Born (1935-01-30) 30 January 1935
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Alma materUniversity of Sydney

Early life and education

Baume was born in Sydney, New South Wales and educated at North Sydney Boys High School and Sydney Grammar School.

Baume graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney and then studied gastroenterology in the United Kingdom and the United States.[1]

He received an MD at the University of Sydney in 1969. He was in private practice as a gastroentologist and physician at Royal North Shore Hospital before entering the Parliament of Australia. He was also a clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney.[2][3]

Political career

Baume was elected to the Senate for New South Wales, representing the Liberal Party at the 1974 election. As a backbencher he chaired the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, which produced two reports: "Drug problems in Australia—an intoxicated society?" (1977) and "Through a glass darkly: evaluation in Australian health and welfare services" (1979).[4] He was the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs from November 1980 to May 1982 and Minister for Health from 20 April 1982 to 7 May 1982 following Michael MacKellar's resignation as minister. He was then Minister for Education until the Fraser government's defeat in the March 1983 election. He was the parliamentary representative on the Council of the Australian National University from February 1986 until his resignation from parliament.[2]

In 1987 when Baume was Shadow Minister for the Status of Women he contravened Liberal Party policy by voting for a bill giving equal employment opportunity in some government-owned bodies. He considered he was "... finished in the Liberal Party. It is true that one is allowed to cross the floor in the Liberal Party of Australia, but my philosophical liberal principles sat poorly with the increasingly dominant radical conservatism of others. It was time again for a change of career."[4] He resigned from parliament in January 1991.[2]

Baume is a cousin of former Liberal Senator Michael Baume.

After politics

Baume was Professor of Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) from 1991 to 2000 and studied euthanasia, drug policy and evaluation. Since 2000, he has been an honorary research associate with the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW. He currently works as the facilitator of biweekly scenario groups for the first and second year of the university's medical program.[5] He was Chancellor of the Australian National University from 1994 to 2006.[6] He has also been Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Deputy Chair of the Australian National Council on AIDS and Foundation Chair of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority from 1991 to 1998.[3] He was appointed a director of Sydney Water in 1998 following the discovery of cryptosporidium in Sydney's water supply.[4]

Baume was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 1992 in recognition of service to the Australian Parliament. In June 2008 Baume was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.[7] He received an honorary doctorate from the Australian National University in December 2004.[3]

Personal life

Baume married Jennifer Tuson in 1958 and they have one son Ian and one daughter Sarah. Sarah has three children Rachel, Annabelle, Rosie.[8]


  1. "Baume, Peter Erne - Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive". University of Sydney Medicine.
  2. "Biography for Baume, the Hon. Peter Erne, AO". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  3. "Peter Erne Baume, citation for an honorary degree" (PDF). Australian National University. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  4. Baume, Peter (2000). "Service in three careers" (173). Medical Journal of Australia. Retrieved 17 December 2007. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. "Emeritus Professor Peter Baume". Our people. UNSW Australia.
  6. "Prof Peter Baume receives AC". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  7. "Baume, Peter Erne". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  8. Group editor: Suzannah Pearce ; editor – biographical publishing: Leanne Sullivan ; editor: Daniel Vuillermin. (2008). Who's Who in Australia. North Melbourne: Crown Content. p. 2303. ISBN 1-74095-160-3.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
Political offices
Preceded by
Fred Chaney
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Succeeded by
Ian Wilson
Preceded by
Michael MacKellar
Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Jim Carlton
Preceded by
Wal Fife
Minister for Education
Succeeded by
Susan Ryan
Academic offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Yeend
Chancellor of the Australian National University
1994  2006
Succeeded by
Allan Hawke
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