Employment Debate

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and the Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Employment and Shadow Minister
Friday, 17 June 2016
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

Registrations for this event are now closed. Please contact reception for further details.

Michaelia Cash

Senator Cash is Minister for Employment, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.

Senator Cash previously held the roles of Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

Senator Cash is a Liberal Senator for Western Australia. She commenced her term as a Senator on 1 July 2008.

Prior to entering Parliament, Minister Cash was a senior lawyer with the national law firm Freehills (Herbert Smith Freehills).

Michaelia holds a Bachelor of Arts (with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism) from Curtin University, an Honours Degree in Law from the University of London and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Western Australia.

Michaelia is married to Richard Price, a barrister.  She is the daughter of former Minister in the Western Australian Government and former President of the Legislative Council, the Hon George Cash AM.

Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O’Connor is the Federal Member for Gorton and the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2001 as the Member for Burke.

At the 2004 federal election, Brendan was elected to the newly created electoral division of Gorton. He was re-elected at the 2007, 2010 and 2013 elections.

Brendan has served as Deputy Chair of the Public Works Committee and the Employment and Workplace Participation Committee. From January 2006 he chaired Labor’s Industrial Relations Taskforce enquiring into the Howard Government’s controversial Work Choices legislation.

Brendan served as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial Relations from December 2006 until the election of the Rudd Government, when he was appointed as Minister for Employment Participation. In a June 2009 reshuffle, Brendan became Minister for Home Affairs.

Following the 2010 federal election, Julia Gillard added the further responsibilities of Privacy and Freedom of Information to his portfolio. In December 2011, Brendan was appointed as the Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting for School Education – a position he held for just over two months before a further reshuffle in early March 2012 saw Brendan enter Cabinet as Minister for Small Business and Minister for Housing and Homelessness.

In February 2013, Brendan was appointed the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and in June 2013 was appointed the Minister for Employment, Skills and Training.

After the 2013 Federal Election, Brendan was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

Prior to entering Parliament, Brendan was a Union official from 1986 to 2001, most recently Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union from 1993 to 2001.

Brendan holds a BA and a LLB from Monash University, and a Diploma, Harvard Trade Union Program, Harvard University.