Australia’s Missing Prime Minister

Rumors and conspiracy theories surround the disappearance of Harold Holt

Sandi Parsons
4 min readJun 30, 2021

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Crashing waves
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

AA political achiever, Harold Holt, entered politics in 1935. During his career, Holt dipped his hand into many political arenas, including:

  • The child endowment scheme;
  • Changing the White Australia Policy, including abolishing the education test designed to eliminate immigrants from a non-European background;
  • Introduction of decimal currency;
  • Conscription and the Vietnam War;
  • Changing the constitution to include Indigenous Australians.

Holt’s policies and achievements helped shape Australia into the nation it is today. But despite this legacy, Holt is best known as the Prime Minister who disappeared.

17 December 1967

A ladies' man who traveled without bodyguards (Australia’s answer to JFK), Holt drove to Cheviot Beach. Marjorie Gillespie and her daughter, Vyner, traveled with Holt. Gillespie was both a neighbor and a “close” friend whose presence excluded the Prime Minister’s bodyguards. Other friends in their party traveled by convoy in the car behind.

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Sandi Parsons

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.