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Autobiography in Australian Parliamentary First Speeches

From: Biography
Volume 33, Number 1, Winter 2010
pp. 68-83 | 10.1353/bio.0.0159



This article analyzes the autobiographical content in the First Speeches of three Australian parliaments (1950, 1976, and 1996). It argues that such autobiographical disclosure has significant political functions—in particular, representing credentials, and representing social and political affiliations. The essay argues that these functions highlight, and finesse, the paradoxical condition that parliamentarians find themselves in, of having to simultaneously represent themselves and their constituencies.