Our History

Sir Robert Gordon Menzies 1894 - 1978
What we must look for, and it is a matter of desperate importance to our society, is a true revival of liberal thought which will work for social justice and security, for national power and national progress, and for the full development of the individual citizen, though not through the dull and deadening process of socialism.
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies

 

Following the historic Canberra conference in October 1944, a second meeting was held in Albury in December 1944 to discuss advancing the cause, with the Party’s organisational and constitutional framework settled upon at the gathering.

Meanwhile, word was spreading about the Liberal Party throughout NSW.

In January 1945 a provisional State Executive was established, with William Spooner elected as Chairman.

The following month, the Party contested its first by-election for the seat of Ryde. Despite a number of challenges, including limited finances, the Party was successful, giving the modern Liberal Party its first electoral victory in the country.

Following its election success, momentum continued to build with the first branch, Mosman, established on 12 February 1945, at a meeting attended by Robert Menzies.

By the end of March 1945, NSW had 70 branches, with the number growing to 200 in just a few weeks.

The first State Council was held in Sydney on 28 June 1945 with more than 200 delegates from 331 branches attending.

At the meeting, delegates voted on the makeup of a State Executive.

The new State Executive met on 12 July 1945 and appointed Brigadier Frances Robert Burton as the first General Secretary, a position now known as State Director, with the Party’s constitution - formally establishing the NSW Division - adopted at the third meeting of State Council on 30 August 1945. 

Over the next 75 years the Liberal Party’s membership has continued to grow, with the Division going on to produce four Prime Ministers of Australia and eight Premiers of NSW.