Damian Drum MLC Member of the Victorian Legislative Council Incumbent Assumed office
30 November 2002
Personal details Born 28 July 1960
Political party National Party of Australia Damian Drum Personal information Birth 28 July 1960 Shepparton, Victoria, Recruited from Congupna Playing career¹ Team(s)
63 games, 34 goals
Coaching career¹ Team(s)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fremantle Football Club coach
Current Members of the Victorian Legislative Council Liberal (18) Labor (16) National (3) Greens (3) Coaches of the Fremantle Football ClubItalics denotes caretaker coach
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