Grant Chapman has brought to successful conclusion a number of projects during a distinguished business and parliamentary career. From age 26, he won the marginal Federal electorate of Kingston in the Australian House of Representatives three times for the Liberal Party, serving as its Member from 1975 to 1983. He held the seat, against the national voting trend, through strong community engagement, prominent local media profile and empathetic constituent casework. Prior to 1975, he was a marketing executive in the oil industry with Shell Co of Australia Limited and from 1983 to 1987, a self-employed management consultant in the fields of marketing, business planning, business migration, executive recruitment and public issues management.
From 1987 he was elected on four successive occasions as a Senator for South Australia in the Australian Senate, before retiring in June 2008.
Throughout his time in Federal Parliament, Grant Chapman was involved in numerous committees. Most notably, during the life of the Howard Government, he chaired the Joint Statutory Parliamentary Committee on Corporations and Financial Services from 1996 to 2007, overseeing A.S.I.C. and working closely with the then Federal Treasurer, Hon. Peter Costello MP in reforming Australia’s corporations law and the regulation of financial services. For the same period, he also chaired the Federal Government Industry, Resources, Small Business and Sport Committee and from 1995 to 1997, two Senate Select Committees on the resources/energy sector. He was recognised as one of the Parliament’s experts on financial and taxation issues, superannuation and business turnaround, together with industry and resources policy. In this context, he had high-level engagement with new technology/start-up companies and the Government’s support for research and development.
In 2001, Grant Chapman was appointed by the United Nations to its “Panel of Eminent Persons to Combat Desertification,” enhancing the outstanding links he has developed with international business and political leaders as the leader of a number of key Australian overseas delegations and as the Australian Government representative on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (world body of parliaments) Council from 2002 to 2005. In 2003, the President of Chile bestowed on him the highest honour awarded foreigners, the Grand Cross, Orden Bernardo O’Higgins, for his contribution to international relations. This international experience has given him strong links with business and political leaders in Chile, Argentina, China, Thailand, Taiwan, USA, UK and the European Community.
A keen sportsman, former SACA Grade cricketer and Amateur League Australian Rules footballer, Grant Chapman was a founder of the Australian Council for Inter-Parliamentary Sport and a participant in international parliamentary cricket, rugby, tennis and golf competitions and has continued as a participant in the Australian Sports Advocacy Group. He continues to undertake key business consulting assignments, principally in marketing, financial services, trade and investment; manage a modest family investment portfolio comprising farming and grazing properties, equities and residential real estate; and serve voluntarily on several not-for profit, charitable boards.
In August 2010, he was elected unopposed as President, Liberal Party of Australia (South Australian Division) and a member of the Liberal Party of Australia Federal Executive and being unopposed for re-election in 2011 and 2012 retired in October 2013, having served the maximum three terms. He continues as Chairman of Future SA, the Liberal Party’s business networking organisation; as a Director of Liberal Club Limited; and as a member of the Party Finance Committee.
He received his primary and secondary education at Prince Alfred College and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Adelaide, where he also undertook post-graduate business management studies and is married to Sally, with two adult children (one married) and one grandchild.