11.   Frank Wilson (1859-1918), Premier of Western Australia 


Frank Wilson was born in England, and migrated to Queensland in the 1880s. In 1891 he travelled across to Western Australia to take up the appointment as managing director of the Canning Jarrah Timber Company. He was a successful businessman, at various times connected with the Fremantle Gas and Coke Company, Eureka Milling Company, Perth Brick Company and Collie Coalfields Pty Ltd. 

Wilson served as a Perth City Councillor from 1896-1899 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1897. He campaigned against Sir John Forrest on issues such as the proposed Coolgardie water scheme and Federation. 

Frank Wilson was voted in and out of Parliament over the next few years and finally served as a minister in the Liberal government of Newton Moore from 1905-1910. Wilson was responsible for legislation that introduced income and land taxation, and for the establishment of Perth Modern School. 

Wilson was a Liberal Premier 1910-1911 and 1916-17, when the formulation of the new Country Party presented problems to the conservative side of politics. Two achievements as Premier stand out as his most significant contributions to the State: the legislation that led to preferential voting; and the establishment of the University of Western Australia.