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  • Brian Andrew Greig OAM, Australian politician, was an Australian Democrats member of the Australian Senate from 1999 to 2005, representing the state of Western Australia. Greig was born in Fremantle, but his family moved to the small village of Lancelin at the age of four. He went to primary school there, but received his secondary education as a boarder at Hale School, Perth. He studied arts at Murdoch University, where he became involved in student politics. While in university, Greig campaigned on the issue of student fees and, in 1986, he helped re-establish the National Union of Students. He began to get involved in gay rights activism during the 1990s, and helped establish an Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which is now defunct. During the 1990s, Greig worked for several Australian Labor Party politicians, including Senator Peter Cook, but became disillusioned with Labor and joined the Democrats. Between 1995 and 1999, he was an elected local-government councillor in the West Australian town of Vincent. At the October 1998 federal election, Greig was elected to the Senate. He declared his homosexuality in his maiden parliamentary speech, being the first Federal parliamentarian to do so. Though he campaigned strongly on issues of social justice, he remained little known until 2002. Former leader Meg Lees had been attempting to oust her successor and, with the assistance of three other senators—deputy leader Aden Ridgeway, Andrew Murray and John Cherry —forced the resignation of leader Natasha Stott Despoja. As Deputy, Ridgeway was expected to fill the vacancy and had majority Party Room support but Greig made a late challenge and the Democrats governing National Executive appointed him instead. He led the party for six weeks until he was beaten in the resulting leadership election by Andrew Bartlett in October, 2002. Wikipedia

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