Commissioner Murray is a Rhodes Scholar and former businessman who was a Senator for Western Australian from 1996 to 2008. His Senate career focused on a variety of finance, economics and business issues; on accountability, governance and electoral reform; and on institutionalised children. His earlier business background includes roles as an executive and director in public and private corporations as well as owning and managing his own businesses.

Commissioner Murray has also chaired and been a member of a variety of community, business and political boards, committees and associations. He was also Chair of the Western Australian Regional Development Trust.


Commissioner Murray was born in England in 1947. He was placed in a children’s home at the age of two, and at the age of four was sent to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), as a child migrant to Fairbridge.

Raised and schooled in Rhodesia, he went to university in South Africa and England. He migrated to Australia in 1989 with his family. They were accepted as Australian citizens in 1994.

Commissioner Murray was elected as Senator for Western Australia for the Australian Democrats and retired from the Senate in 2008. His business career included being an executive and director in public and private corporations in manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing and service industries; as well as owning and managing his own businesses.

He has also been in the armed forces, a consultant, occasional media writer and is a published author.

Boards and committees

Commissioner Murray has served on a number of committees and boards during his career.

  • Chair, Western Australian Regional Development Trust, which is a statutory authority
  • Member, Commonwealth Northern Australia Expert Advisory Panel
  • Member, Western Australian Transport Policy Advisory Group
  • Member, Western Australian Ministerial Roundtable on Affordable Housing

At present he is a member of the Commonwealth Northern Australia Expert Advisory Panel.


Commissioner Murray holds degrees in English and History from Rhodes University, South Africa; as well as degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, England.

Action taken since appointment

As a result of his appointment as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission, Commissioner Murray has resigned from the following roles:

  • Patron, Care Leavers Association (CLAN)
  • Patron, Alliance of Forgotten Australians
  • Member, Australian Democrats political party
  • Member, Advisory Panel to the Australian Press Council