Paul Keating

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Paul John Keating (born 18 January 1944) was the 24th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1991 to 1996. Keating was elected as the federal Labor member for Blaxland in 1969 and came to prominence as the reformist treasurer of the Hawke Labor government, which came to power at the 1983 election. After becoming prime minister in 1991, he led Labor to its fifth consecutive victory at the 1993 election against the Liberal/National coalition led by John Hewson. Many had considered this election unwinnable for Labor, mainly due to the effects that the early 1990s recession had on Australia, as well as the longevity of Labor as the federal government. However, the Labor government was decisively defeated at the 1996 election by the Liberal/National coalition led by John Howard.

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Early life

Keating grew up in Bankstown, a working-class suburb of Sydney. He was one of four children of Matthew Keating, a boilermaker and trade-union representative of Irish-Catholic descent, and his wife, Minnie. Keating was educated at Catholic schools; he was the first practising Catholic Labor prime minister since James Scullin left office in 1932. Leaving De La Salle College Bankstown (now LaSalle Catholic College) at 15, Keating decided not to pursue higher education, and worked as a clerk at the Electricity Commission of New South Wales and then as a trade union research assistant. He joined the Labor Party as soon as he was eligible. In 1966, he became president of the ALP’s Youth Council.[2] In the 1960s Keating managed ‘The Ramrods’ rock band.[3]

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