Adam Paul Bandt (born 11 March 1972) is an Australian politician, former industrial lawyer and former Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens. Bandt was elected to the Division of Melbourne in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Parliament of Australia, at the 2010 federal election. He is the second member of the Australian Greens to be elected to the House of Representatives, after Michael Organ, but the first to be elected at a general election. Bandt had previously contested the seat in 2007 and narrowly lost to Labor's Lindsay Tanner. Bandt retained the seat of Melbourne at the 2013 election.

Early life and educationEdit

Adam Bandt was born in Adelaide, South Australia—a descendant of German immigrants who emigrated to the Hahndorf and Barossa Valley regions in the 1800s. As a child, his family moved to Perth, Western Australia where he attended high school and university, before moving to Melbourne.[1]

At Murdoch University, Bandt was a student activist and member of the Left Alliance. He graduated in 1996 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees, and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Prize for Academic Achievement. While a student, he was quoted as calling the Greens a "bourgeois" party.[2] He was president of the student union and an active campaigner for higher living allowances for students and free education.[3] From 1987 to 1989, he was a member of the Labor Party.[4]

Pre-political careerEdit

Prior to his election to parliament, Bandt lived in Parkville and worked as an industrial, labour relations, and public interest lawyer, and was a partner at law firm Slater and Gordon. He had articles published on links between anti-terror legislation and labour laws[5] and worked on issues facing outworkers in the textiles industry.[6]

In 2008, Bandt completed a PhD in law and politics from Monash University, with his thesis titled "Work to Rule: Rethinking Marx, Pashukanis and Law". In 2012, he described his thesis as looking "at the connection between globalisation and the trend of governments to take away peoples' rights by suspending the rule of law", saying he "reviewed authors who write about the connection between the economy and the law from across the political spectrum", ultimately arguing "that governments increasingly don't accept that people have inalienable rights". Bandt had his thesis suppressed for three years in the hopes of having it published as a book.[7]

Political careerEdit

2007 federal electionEdit

Bandt was preselected to stand as the Greens candidate for the federal Division of Melbourne at the 2007 election against Labor's Lindsay Tanner, the then Shadow Minister for Finance. Bandt finished with 22.8 percent of the primary vote, an increase of 3.8 percent, and 45.3 percent of the two-candidate preferred vote after out-polling the Liberal party's Andrea Del Ciotto after preferences. Nationally he was the most successful candidate from any minor party contesting a House of Representatives seat.[8]

2010 federal election Edit

Following the 2007 federal election Melbourne had become Australia's only Labor/Greens marginal seat.[9] Bandt was preselected as Greens candidate for the second time, running against a new Labor candidate, Cath Bowtell,[10] following the retirement of long-time member Tanner from Federal Parliament. At 8:22 pm[11][12] on election night, 21 August, he declared victory for the Greens.[13][14][15][16] Bandt received a primary vote of 36.2 percent and a two-party-preferred vote of 56 percent against Labor, a swing to him of 13.4 and 10.8 points, respectively.[17] His main policy interests are environmental and human rights issues, having "nominat[ed] pushing for a price on carbon, the abolition of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and changing the law to recognise same-sex marriage as his top priorities in parliament."[18][19][20]

2013 federal election Edit

In 2013 Bandt was re-elected in the seat of Melbourne, despite this time the Liberal Party directing preferences to Labor ahead of The Greens.[21] Bandt retained the seat with a 42.6 percent primary and 55.2 percent two-party-preferred vote.[22]

In 2015, upon the change of Green leadership from Christine Milne to Richard Di Natale, Bandt did not re-contest the deputy leadership saying he had a new baby due in the upcoming weeks. Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were elected unopposed as co-deputies.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Bandt's partner is former Labor staffer Claudia Perkins.[24]


  1. Attard, Monica: Adam Bandt, Greens MP for Melbourne, Sunday Profile (ABC Local Radio), 27 August 2010.
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  11. Channel 9 election coverage, 21 August 2010
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  17. Division of Melbourne, 2010 federal election: AEC
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  20. Adam Bandt Moves Motion On Same-Sex Marriage: SMH 15 November 2010
  21. Milman, Oliver: "Adam Bandt wins re-election in Melbourne for Greens" in The Guardian, 7 September 2013
  22. Australian Electoral Commission: Virtual Tally Room, retrieved 12 October 2013
  23. Christine Milne resigns as Greens leader: 7 May 2015
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External linksEdit