How to Address Members of Parliament in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide
Effective government relations hinge on building solid, long-term relationships with elected representatives from all political backgrounds. This guide aims to simplify the process by providing a detailed breakdown of how to address Members of Parliament across Australia, from the Prime Minister to state and territory members.
What this guide will cover
- Federal Government: How to address the Prime Minister, Ministers, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Senators, and Members.
- States: Guidelines for addressing state Premiers, Ministers, Speakers, and members of state parliaments.
- Territories: Guidelines for addressing Chief Ministers and members of territory parliaments.
How to address Members of Parliament written and orally
The parliaments of all states except Queensland (QLD) are 'bicameral', meaning they have two chambers:
- The Legislative Council – also known as the 'upper house'
- The Legislative Assembly (NSW, VIC, WA) or House of Assembly (SA, TAS) – also known as the 'lower house'
Queensland, the ACT, and the NT have 'unicameral' parliaments, meaning they have one chamber: the Legislative Assembly.
Use of Correct Post-Nominal
Members of state parliaments use the following post-nominals:
- MLC (Member of the Legislative Council)
- MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly)
- MP (Member of the Legislative Assembly or Member of the House of Assembly).
Rules for Using Correct Post-Nominal:
- Use MLC for members of the Legislative Council of NSW, SA, Tas, Vic, and WA.
- Use MLA for members of the Legislative Assembly of ACT, NT, and WA.
- Use MP for members of the Legislative Assembly of NSW, Qld, and Vic.
- Use MP for members of the House of Assembly of SA and Tas.
- The Hon Nicolas Pierre Goiran, MLC
- Ms Tara Cheyne, MLA
- Mr Danny O'Brien, MP
- Dr Amy MacMahon, MP
If a parliamentarian has other post-nominals, such as civilian and military honours or educational and professional qualifications, write these in the same way the parliamentarian does. If you need clarification, check with the parliamentarian's office.
Formal and Informal Correspondence
For formal emails and letters, open with 'Dear [Title]' and conclude with 'Yours faithfully'. For less formal correspondence, conclude with 'Yours sincerely'.
New South Wales (NSW)
Western Australia (WA)
South Australia (SA)
Office holders in the ACT Legislative Assembly don't use the title 'Honourable'. Ministers in the ACT have more than one portfolio, so address them using the ministerial title appropriate to the topic.
Use 'Honourable' when addressing:
- Chief Minister and Ministers in the NT
- Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the NT
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Northern Territory (NT)
This guide aims to be a comprehensive resource for addressing politicians across Australia. Building relationships is the foundation of all GR efforts. It requires ongoing investment, and it is crucial to maintain high professionalism and respect when engaging with members of parliament.