Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Neal Blewett (1933 – ) Australian Politician

b. 24 October 1933

Australian politician, was an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Bonython, South Australia from 1977 to 1994.

Under Bob Hawke's governernment, he served as Minister for Health, and later as Minister for Trade and Overseas Development. When Paul Keating became Prime Minister, he became Minister for Social Security until he retired from politics in 1994. In 1994, Neal Blewett was appointed Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, as which he served until 1998. At the same time, he was on the Executive Council of the World Health Organization.

Although married, Blewett was definitely gay. He was married for 26 years to Jill Blewett, a renowned Australian playwright, with whom he had two children. Jill died when she was accidentally electrocuted in their home in October 1988. The following year, he moved in with his long-term partner Robert Brain, whom he had met as a university student 50 years previously. When a radio station claimed that he was gay, he successfully sued for defamation. But in 2000, he revealed he was homosexual in a May 2000 issue of The Age's Good Weekend magazine, which profiled his relationship Brain.
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