Vickie Chapman bigraphy, stories - Australian politician

Vickie Chapman : biography

21 June 1957 -

Vickie Ann Chapman (born 21 June 1957) is an Australian politician, representing the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Bragg for the Liberal Party since 2002. She was Deputy Leader of the South Australian Opposition from 30 March 2006 until 4 July 2009 and returned to that position on 4 February 2013.

Early life

Chapman was born in Kangaroo Island. One of seven children, Chapman attended Parndana Area School, and later attended Pembroke School in Adelaide following the death of her mother at age 12. She studied a law degree at the University of Adelaide and graduated in 1979 as a barrister.

Chapman's father, Ted, was a Liberal Party of Australia member of the South Australian House of Assembly. A Liberal moderate, Ted was a member of the Steele Hall-led Liberal Movement faction in the 1970s and Agriculture Minister in the David Tonkin government. As a young girl, Chapman assisted her father in Liberal campaigns for office.


At one stage the Liberal Party state president, Chapman attempted to win Liberal preselection for the federal Division of Barker in 1998. Her husband, David, died in 2001 and she moved from Wayville to Tusmore with her two children. She again tried to win preselection, this time in the blue-ribbon seat of Bragg, located in Adelaide's wealthy eastern suburbs. When sitting member Graham Ingerson resigned, Chapman contested pre-selection against Liberal Minister Michael Armitage who was seeking to seat swap. Chapman easily gained preselection and retained Bragg. She was soon touted, both within her party and in the media, as a future Liberal leader. In other quarters, however, Chapman was seen as failing to live up to expectations on the floor of the house.

Following the defeat of the Kerin Liberal government at the 2002 state election, Chapman attained the shadow portfolios of Education and Children's Services. After the Liberals were soundly defeated in the 2006 election, Chapman was elected to the deputy leadership of the party in an unexpected joint ticket with factional rival Iain Evans. Strong backing was received from moderate faction bosses: former Premier Dean Brown and federal Member for Sturt Christopher Pyne.

Leadership aspirations

Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith called a leadership and deputy leadership spill for 4 July 2009. Chapman ran against Hamilton-Smith for the leadership, but received 10 votes, against Hamilton-Smith's 11, with one MP former leader Iain Evans abstaining. Isobel Redmond was elected to the deputy leadership to replace Chapman. Hamilton-Smith called another leadership spill to take place on 8 July 2009, in an attempt to gain a more decisive mandate, but two days prior to the spill, he announced he would not run. Isobel Redmond won the leadership, 13 votes to 9, against Chapman, with Steven Griffiths being elected deputy leader, 8 votes to 6, against Mitch Williams.

Despite having attempted to oust Hamilton-Smith as leader in 2009, Chapman voted for Hamilton-Smith in his successful bid as deputy leader on 31 March 2010 in a party room vote held after the Liberal Party's loss at the recent State election. Chapman voting Hamilton-Smith as deputy was due to the fact that Hamilton-Smith's opponent for the deputy's job was another former leader and Chapman's factional rival Iain Evans.

She was reappointed deputy opposition leader on 4 February 2013.

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Living octopus

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