The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Leader of the Opposition
‘Reaching for Higher Ground’
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
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.

Bill Shorten is the Federal Member for Maribyrnong and the Leader of the Federal Labor Party.

Bill joined the Labor party at 17 and has devoted his entire adult life to serving the labour movement and its ideals.

Bill’s love for the Labor party, and his belief in equity, opportunity and social justice stem from his family story.

His parents, Ann and William worked hard to give Bill and his twin brother Robert the best possible start in life. Bill attended Xavier College before going on to do a double degree in Arts/Law at Monash University. He also completed an MBA at the Melbourne Business School.

Bill was first elected as the Member for Maribyrnong in 2007 and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Children’s Services and Bushfire Reconstruction.

He joined the Ministry in 2010 and the Cabinet in 2011.

As a senior member of the Rudd and Gillard Governments, Bill played a key role in securing a number of historic Labor reforms.

Bill had championed the idea of a National Disability Insurance Scheme since his time as a Parliamentary Secretary and its launch in 2013 will soon guarantee that Australians with a disability get the support they need as well as proving them with new opportunities in education and employment.

During his time as Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill continued the Labor Government’s ongoing commitment to a fair and productive workplace relations system.

After what he had seen as Parliamentary Secretary for Bushfire reconstruction, Bill used his position as Minister for Financial Services to ensure that Queenslanders devastated by the floods of 2011 received fair treatment from their insurance companies.

As Minister for Superannuation, he delivered an increase in universal superannuation to 12 per cent, ensuring that Australians don’t work hard their whole lives only to retire poor.

After Labor lost office in 2013, Bill contested the leadership and became the first leader of the Labor Party to be elected by both Caucus and rank-and-file members.

Before entering Parliament, Bill already had extensive experience representing the rights of working Australians.

As State Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union from 1998 to 2006 and National Secretary from 2001 to 2007, Bill has a fundamental belief in workers’ rights, equal opportunity and workplace safety and his respect for industry bargaining and advocacy.

During his time as National Secretary of the AWU, Bill gained national attention after dramatic Beaconsfield mine collapse in Tasmania in 2006. During those remarkable days, Bill led negotiations between the miners and management and also played a key role in the media, keeping millions of Australians informed.

As a former director of both AustralianSuper and the Victorian Funds Management Corporation, Bill believes strongly in the importance of national retirement savings and giving Australians comfort and dignity in their old age.

Bill is the loving husband of Chloe, proud dad and stepdad of three children and the patient owner of Theo the bulldog (named after US President Theodore Roosevelt).

Chloe, a former resources industry manager, shares many of Bill’s policy passions and has worked with him to support disability reform, science and medical research and maternal and child health organisations.

Bill, Chloe, the children and Theo live in the electorate of Maribyrnong – the home of the Cox Plate, Dame Edna Everage and some of Melbourne’s best food and coffee.