Damian Drum

Damian Drum MLC
Member of the Victorian Legislative Council
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 November 2002
Personal details
Born 28 July 1960 (1960-07-28) (age 51)
Shepparton, Victoria
Political party National Party of Australia
Damian Drum
Damian Drum.JPG
Personal information
Birth 28 July 1960 (1960-07-28) (age 51), Shepparton, Victoria
Recruited from Congupna
Playing career¹
Team(s)

Geelong (1982–1989)

63 games, 34 goals

Coaching career¹
Team(s)

Fremantle (1999–2001)

53 games – 13 wins, 40 losses

¹ Statistics to end of 2005 season

Damian Kevin Drum (born 28 July 1960) is the Nationals member for Northern Victoria Region in the Victorian parliament, Australia. He is also a former Australian rules footballer and coach, most notably as senior coach of the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League from 1999 to 2001. He turned to a political career after being sacked during the 2001 season. Drum was first elected to parliament in 2002, and is currently Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional & Rural Development.

Contents

Early life

Drum was born in Shepparton. After graduating from high school, he became a carpenter and joiner, running his own shed construction business for several years. At the same time, he embarked on a football career, and was drafted to the then-VFL's Geelong Football Club in 1981. Over the next nine years, he played 63 games for Geelong. While playing football, he also operated his own business selling sheds and garages. After his retirement from football in 1990, he quit his business and took up a coaching position with Port Melbourne Boroughs in the Victorian Football League.

Football career

In 1994, Drum moved to Sydney, taking up a position as the assistant coach of the Sydney Swans Australian Football League club, under coach and former player Ron Barassi. After five years in this role, Drum was approached by Fremantle, who had not renewed the contract of their first coach, Gerard Neesham. Drum had been one of the most highly anticipated coaching recruits of the season, and some were surprised that he signed with the struggling Dockers. He had been expected to sign with the Collingwood Football Club the previous year, but the deal had fallen through.

Drum coached Fremantle for three seasons, in which the side suffered a marked lack of success. In his first season, the club finished 15th (second-last). Though there was some slight improvement in his second season, in which Fremantle won several high-profile games, the club nevertheless struggled, and finished twelfth. However, it was the 2001 season, in which Fremantle lost the first 9 games under Drum that sealed Drum's fate. He was dismissed after Round 9, and replaced by former Fremantle player and inaugural club captain Ben Allan, who didn't fare much better, with the Dockers still winless after Round 17 in a 22-round season.

After losing the Fremantle job, Drum moved back to Victoria, and took up a position as coach of the Bendigo Diggers team in the Victorian Football League. The situation was similar to Fremantle – the Diggers, a relatively new club, lost the first eleven games of the season. At the end of the season, Drum decided to retire from football and move into politics, successfully seeking National pre-selection for the Victorian Legislative Council seat of North Western Province at the 2002 state election.

Political life

Damian Drum and Peter Ryan outside Parliament House

Drum first ran for office amidst the Labor Party landslide, in which many seats across the state fell to the minority government, and numerous shadow ministers lost their seats. Drum was elected despite the losses sustained by the conservative parties, with the Liberal Party losing a net total of 26 seats whilst the Nationals suffered a net loss of only one seat. The conservatives had ended their coalition in 2000 and campaigned separately.

The demise of the conservative coalition meant that the Nationals had numerous portfolios to fill in order to replace all those that had been occupied by the larger Liberal Party. Despite being a newly elected member with no previous political experience, Drum found himself Deputy Leader of the National Party in the Legislative Council, party Whip, and Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, Education Services, Sport, Recreation, Racing, Consumer Affairs and the Commonwealth Games. Drum has also been a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee since 2003.

In 2003, in a conscience vote (a rare event in Australian politics), Drum voted against the passage of a bill legalising stem-cell research on excess IVF embryos.

For the 2006 election the Upper House of the Victorian parliament underwent major structural changes. Drum's previous seat of North-West Region was replaced by the much larger Northern Victoria Region and proportional rather than preferential voting. Drum was easily elected with a quota in his own right but is the only National Party member for the region.

Drum is currently the deputy leader of The Nationals in the Legislative Council.

External links

Preceded by
Gerard Neesham
Fremantle Football Club coach
1999–2001
Succeeded by
Ben Allan



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