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Sir Graham Berry
1822-1904
Speaker: 1894-1897
Legislative Assembly: 1861-1865, 1869-1886, 1892-1897

Berry was Speaker between 1894 and 1897, at the end of a long and tempestuous political career and at a time when his powers were failing. He had been born near London and emigrated to Victoria with his wife in 1852. Initially he established himself as a storekeeper and wine and spirits merchant in South Yarra, but soon became a prominent radical speaker arguing for the reform of the distribution of wealth and power in society. His parliamentary career began in 1861 when he won the Legislative Assembly seat of East Melbourne, which he retained until 1865. During this period he was a prominent radical and protectionist.

After his defeat Berry moved to Geelong where he continued to be politically active, and bought the Geelong Register. In 1869 he re-entered the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Geelong West and was briefly Treasurer in the McCulloch and Duffy Ministries, where he was able to put some of his protectionist principles into operation. When the Duffy ministry fell in 1872 Berry returned to opposition until 1875 when he formed his own Ministry committed to land reform. This Ministry survived for less than two months due to its small base of support, but over the next two years Berry consolidated the radical and protectionist movement and his own leadership of them and won overwhelmingly at the 1877 elections. This time Berry's Ministry survived until 1880, despite battles with the Legislative Council. His defeat at the general elections in February 1880 was short-lived, and in August he was back with a more moderate cabinet. Once again, however, he was defeated, and remained out of the Ministry until 1883 when he became part of a moderate coalition which ruled until 1890.

Berry himself left the parliament and the Ministry in 1886, when he became Agent-General in London and was knighted. He retained the position until 1892, when he returned to Melbourne, was elected to the Legislative Assembly for East Bourke Boroughs and became Treasurer in the short-lived Shiels ministry which fell in 1893.

In 1894 he became Speaker, and retained the position until 1897 when he lost his seat and became dependent on a 500 annuity voted him by parliament.

In 1897 he was elected to the Federal Convention, having been an enthusiastic federationist since the 1880s, but was unable to take much part in its deliberations. At his death he was survived by his second wife, formerly Rebekah Evans, whom he had married in 1869, their seven children, and eight of the eleven children of his first wife, Harriet Blencowe, who had died in 1868.