Legislative Council Oral History Project

Welcome to the NSW Legislative Council’s Oral History Project home page. The Project seeks to record and share aspects of the Council’s history as told by the people who have shaped its evolution as a House of Review.

The Project is being undertaken in stages with the first stage having examined the establishment of the Council's system of standing committees in 1988. Further information about stage can be found below under the heading 'Keeping the Executive Honest: The Modern Legislative Council Committee System'.

Work on Project stages two and three is currently underway with interviews being held to examine the events that led to the reconstitution of the Council as a directly elected body in 1978, as well as the Egan cases that occurred in the late 1990s and which enabled the courts to consider a number of important issues regarding the relationship of the Executive to the Parliament

Links to publications and other materials will be posted to this page as the Project progresses.

Keeping the Executive Honest: The Modern Legislative Council Committee System

Keeping the Executive Honest is the first instalment of the Legislative Council’s Oral History Project. It focuses on the development of committees in the Council. The monograph draws on interviews with five former Members who were integral to the establishment of the committee system: Max Willis, Elisabeth Kirkby, Lloyd Lange, John Hannaford and Ron Dyer.

Click on the former Member’s names above for links to transcripts from their interviews.

Hear these former Members reflect on the history of the Council's modern committee system in this accompanying video: