Robert Tickner

Robert Edward Tickner AO (born 24 December 1951) is a former Australian Labor Party cabinet minister. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Red Cross from February 2005 to July 2015.

Robert Tickner

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
In office
4 April 1990  11 March 1996
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Paul Keating
Preceded byGerry Hand
Succeeded byJohn Herron
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hughes
In office
18 February 1984  2 March 1996
Preceded byLes Johnson
Succeeded byDanna Vale
Personal details
Born (1951-12-24) 24 December 1951
Sydney, New South Wales
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
OccupationLecturer, solicitor

Born in Sydney, Tickner was educated at the University of Sydney. Prior to entering parliament, he worked as a university lecturer at the NSW Institute of Technology from 1974 to 1979, then as principal solicitor for the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service from 1979 to 1984.[1]

Tickner was one of the early and influential members of Friends of the Earth Australia in Sydney in 1975, being the lease owner of a three-storey terrace on Crown St, Surry Hills which became the FoE Sydney bookshop and office. He was convenor of the FoE urban campaign which opposed the Sydney City Council's inappropriate high rise development.[2]

From 1977 to 1984 he was elected as a Labor Councillor on the Sydney City Council,[3] He also served as Deputy Mayor and a brief time as Acting Lord Mayor (in 1983).[4][5]

After failing to gain victory as ALP candidate for the 1981 Wentworth by-election (which was won by the Liberals' candidate Peter Coleman, former Leader of the NSW Opposition), Tickner was successful in entering the federal parliament at the 1984 Hughes by-election. Bob Hawke appointed Tickner, in 1990, the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs; and he retained this post throughout Paul Keating's government.

Tickner's tenure in office was marred by the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy. Partly due to this affair, and partly due to the increasing unpopularity of the Keating administration as a whole, Tickner was resoundingly defeated in the 1996 election by Liberal challenger Danna Vale, suffering an 11-point swing against him. He was one of eight ministers in the Keating government to lose their seats.[3]

He is the former chief executive of the Australian Red Cross, having served in that role from 2005 to 2015.[6][7]

He has been married and divorced twice. His first wife Christine later married his friend Tom Uren.


  • Tickner, Robert E. Taking a stand : land rights to reconciliation (2001) Allen & Unwin, N.S.W. ISBN 1865080519 [8]


  1. Linked In Public Profile, Robert Tickner, Retrieved 6 April 2015
  2. Cam Walker (ed) 2004, pp 17 Thirty Years of Creative Resistance. Retrieved 6 April 2015
  3. "Biography for Tickner, the Hon. Robert Edward". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  4. Cam Walker (ed) 2004, pp 20 Thirty Years of Creative Resistance. Retrieved 6 April 2015
  5. City of Sydney, Robert Tickner, Sydney Aldermen website, Retrieved 6 April 2015
  6. Red Cross. Retrieved 9 September 2016
  7. Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Sean (20 February 2009). "Red Cross abandons annual appeal". ABC Online. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  8. "Taking a stand : land rights to reconciliation / Robert Tickner". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Les Johnson
Member for Hughes
1984 1996
Succeeded by
Danna Vale
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