Phil Cleary grew up in Coburg in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, where he studied politics and sociology at La Trobe University. He is a former teacher and Independent member of the federal parliament – winning Bob Hawke’s seat of Wills in 1992/93 – and has had a long association with football as a premiership player and dual premiership coach with the Coburg Football Club.
Between 1987 and 2014 he provided special commentary on the ABC’s telecast of VFA/VFL football. Phil is the author of three books and numerous opinion pieces in the national media over the past 30 years.
Since the murder of his 25-year-old sister, Vicki, in 1987 he has been at the forefront of the campaign to stop violence against women. He is currently working on a wartime POW documentary, The Brunswick Boys, as part of series of historical documentaries. Phil announced his plan to run as Lord Mayor for Melbourne City Council in September 2016.