Peter Garrett

by Maille Halloran


The résumé of notable Australian Peter Garrett is extensive. The Midnight Oil front man is a rock icon and former Federal politician. Garrett also happens to be a lawyer.

Garrett studied arts at the Australian National University (ANU) and later law at the University of New South Wales. Despite a strong passion for politics and social justice, Garrett realised that a career in the law was not suited to him.

Garrett joined Midnight Oil and the band used their music and performances to publicise issues they felt passionate about: the environment, indigenous land rights, homelessness and nuclear disarmament to name a few.

Garrett began a move into the political arena, co-founding and running as a candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1984. His next move was to lead the Australian Conservation Foundation for over a decade in two separate stints as president.

Garrett’s move to the Labor party was met with criticism by many of his former ‘radical’ allies. Garrett, however, defended his commitment to more conservative policies by claiming he saw more benefit in working within the system than agitating from the outside.

Garrett retired from parliament in 2013 after the dramatic events of the second Labor leadership spill.