41 Facts About Andrew Wilkie


Andrew Damien Wilkie was born on 8 November 1961 and is an Australian politician and independent federal member for Clark.


Andrew Wilkie served with the Australian Army from 1980 to 2004.


An officer with the Royal Australian Infantry Corps who had earlier commanded a company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, at the time of his entry to public life Andrew Wilkie was posted to Australia's Office of National Assessments as an intelligence analyst.


Andrew Wilkie later argued the Iraq War was based on a "lie".


Andrew Wilkie was a Greens candidate for the federal Division of Bennelong in the 2004 federal election and for the Senate in Tasmania at the 2007 federal election.


Andrew Wilkie finished first on the primary vote at both the 2013 federal election and 2016 federal election, increasing his margin each time.


Andrew Wilkie attended St Gregory's College, Campbelltown and later trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and graduated in 1984.


Andrew Wilkie studied at the University of New South Wales, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Graduate Diploma of Management, and a Graduate Diploma of Defence Studies.


Andrew Wilkie was seconded to the ONA, an Australian intelligence agency, from 1999 until late 2000.


Andrew Wilkie joined the Army in 1980, and was first stationed in Brisbane, Queensland.


Andrew Wilkie served in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.


Andrew Wilkie subsequently gave evidence to official British and Australian inquiries into the government's case for involvement in the Iraq war.


In 2004, Andrew Wilkie published Axis of Deceit, an account of the reasons for his decision and its results.


Andrew Wilkie describes his views on the nature of intelligence agencies and the analyst's work, the history of the Iraq war, the untruths of politicians and the attempts to suppress the truth.


On 11 March 2003, Andrew Wilkie resigned from the ONA, stating that while it was likely that Iraq did possess weapons of mass destruction, its program in this area was contained, that international sanctions were having an effect, and therefore an invasion was premature and reckless in potentially provoking Saddam Hussein to use those weapons and possibly even begin supporting terrorism.


Andrew Wilkie linked the 2005 Bali bombings and the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege to Australia's participation in the invasion of Iraq.


Andrew Wilkie became a member of the Australian Greens by 2004, and stood as their candidate for the seat of Bennelong in that year's federal election, running against sitting Prime Minister John Howard.


Andrew Wilkie did not run again for Bennelong in the 2007 federal election, instead running as the Greens' second Tasmanian candidate for the Australian Senate, behind the party's federal leader, Bob Brown.


Andrew Wilkie resigned from the party in 2008, criticising it for a lack of professionalism.


Andrew Wilkie stood as an independent candidate in the state Division of Denison, based around central Hobart, in the 2010 Tasmanian state election.


Andrew Wilkie won 8.44 per cent of first preference votes, and was beaten by 315 votes by Liberal candidate Elise Archer after distribution of preferences.


Andrew Wilkie stood as an independent for the federal Division of Denison, which has the same boundaries as the state division, in the 2010 federal election and won more than 20 per cent of the primary vote.


Reportedly, Andrew Wilkie benefited from what was perceived to have been a lacklustre campaign by Labor's candidate, Jonathan Jackson, the son of former longtime state Labor minister Judy Jackson; Labor lost almost a quarter of its primary vote from 2007, and Labor theoretically tallied a two-party vote of more than 65 percent.


In contrast the Coalition offered A$1 billion in funding for the same hospital in their offer to Andrew Wilkie, which was perceived by Andrew Wilkie as "almost reckless".


Andrew Wilkie described this as being part of the evidence that Labor would better be able to offer a more stable, competent and ethical government than the Coalition.


Andrew Wilkie was unexpectedly admitted to hospital on 12 November 2010 to have his gall bladder removed.


On 21 January 2012, Andrew Wilkie announced that he was withdrawing his support for the Labor government after it broke the agreement he had signed with Julia Gillard to implement mandatory pre-commitment for all poker machines by 2014.


Andrew Wilkie stated that he would support the government's alternative plan to trial pre-commitment in the ACT and require that pre-commitment technology be installed in all poker machines built from 2013, but that this fell short of what he had been promised in return for supporting the government.


Gillard and Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin argued that there was not enough support in the House of Representatives for Andrew Wilkie's preferred option for it to be passed, and that they had been advised it was technically infeasible to implement mandatory commitment within the time frame he had specified.


In making his announcement, Andrew Wilkie stated that he would only support motions of no confidence against the government "in the event of serious misconduct" and would "consider budget measures on their merits".


Andrew Wilkie was re-elected in the 2013 federal election, gaining a swing of 15 points to increase his majority to 65 percent.


In October 2014, Andrew Wilkie wrote to the International Criminal Court, seeking to prosecute Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the 19 members of his cabinet for crimes against humanity, with particular concerns relating to the treatment of asylum seekers.


Andrew Wilkie is a supporter of voluntary euthanasia, provided that there are safeguards in place.


Andrew Wilkie is in favour of same-sex marriage and access to abortion.


Andrew Wilkie supported a National Broadband Network, and opposed the Howard government's WorkChoices industrial relations reforms.


Andrew Wilkie's comments came amid opposition calls for more support for Australia's troops in Afghanistan.


Andrew Wilkie campaigned heavily against poker machines at the 2010 federal election, and immediately began forging ties with independent anti-pokies Senator Nick Xenophon.


Andrew Wilkie claimed that problem gamblers in Australia lose $5 billion each year on pokies.


Andrew Wilkie was married to a fellow army officer Simone Andrew Wilkie from 1991 to 2003.


Andrew Wilkie married Charlie Burton in 2004, with whom he has two daughters.


Andrew Wilkie became engaged to Dr Clare Ballingall in late 2018, and the pair married in June 2020.