Jillian Skinner

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The Honourable
Jillian Skinner
Julian Skinner at the Mosman International Women's Day Breakfast.jpg
Minister for Health
Assumed office
3 April 2011
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Mike Baird
Preceded by Carmel Tebbutt
Minister for Medical Research
Assumed office
3 April 2011
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Mike Baird
Preceded by Jodi McKay
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for North Shore
Assumed office
5 February 1994
Preceded by Phillip Smiles
Majority 30.3% (2011)
Personal details
Born Jillian Gell Coutts
(1944-08-05) 5 August 1944 (age 70)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Chris Skinner
Children 3 (Amy, Simon, Robbie)
Website Jillian Skinner website

Jillian Gell Skinner MP (born 5 August 1944 in Melbourne), an Australian politician, is the New South Wales Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research in the New South Wales government.

Skinner is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing North Shore for the Liberal Party since 1994 and was the Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2007 to 2014.

Early life and career[edit]

Skinner was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne.[1] She began as a journalist working for the Melbourne Herald and later continued her career in Hong Kong, working for Radio Hong Kong and The Associated Press, Hong Kong from 1962 to 1973.

Upon returning to Australia, Skinner continued working as a journalist in Melbourne, including a period on the Parliamentary Press Gallery during the Premiership of Sir Henry Bolte, Sydney and Adelaide. She has lived in Sydney since 1979. From 1984 to 1988 she was involved in editorial writing, research, policy development and strategic planning. From 1988 to 1994 she was Director of the New South Wales Office of Youth Affairs. She is married with three children.[2]

Political career[edit]

Skinner joined the Liberal Party and became Vice-President of the Cremorne Branch and gained preselection for the seat of North Shore at the 1988 election and the 1984 election. However, she was defeated by the sitting independent member, Ted Mack.[3]

When Mack resigned, Skinner again contested North Shore at the ensuing by-election but lost to Robyn Read, an independent candidate; Skinner gained 35 per cent of the primary vote.[4]

At the 1991 state election Skinner did not contest for the seat of North Shore. Instead, sitting Liberal MP Phillip Smiles ran for the seat, after his own seat of Mosman was abolished in a redistribution. Smiles was the first Liberal MP – and non-Independent – to win North Shore; up until that time it had been won only by independent candidates. However by late December 1993, Smiles was forced to resign from Parliament and Skinner subsequently gained Liberal Party preselection for the ensuing by-election.

Skinner with Barry O'Farrell celebrates the 2008 Ryde By-election win, 18 October 2008.

On 5 February 1994, Skinner was elected as Member for North Shore with 54 percent of the vote and was duly sworn in as a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly.[5][6] Skinner has held the safe Liberal seat comfortably, securing a swing of 13.9 per cent at the 2011 state election and won 80.3 per cent of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.[7]

After the Labor party won the 1995 election, Skinner was appointed to the Opposition frontbench and has held various shadow portfolios since. Under Opposition Leaders Peter Collins, John Brogden and Peter Debnam, Skinner was Shadow Minister for Health (1995–2003), Youth Affairs (1995–1999, 2002–2003), Arts (2003–2008), Education and Training (2003–2005), School Education (2005), Cancer and Medical Research (2006–2007) and Science and Medical Research (2007–2008).[6]

Following the 2007 election and the resignation of Peter Debnam as leader, on 4 April 2007, Skinner was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition alongside Leader Barry O'Farrell. She retained the position of Shadow Minister for Health, which she has held from 7 September 2005 until the 2011 state election when the Coalition gained government.[6]

On 3 April 2011, Premier O'Farrell announced that Skinner would be appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research.[6]

When O'Farrell resigned as Premier in April 2014, Skinner resigned as Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Jillian". Jillian Skinner. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  2. ^ "Skinner, Jillian Gell (1944 – )". Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 24 February 2007. 
  3. ^ "NSW elections – 1988 results". NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "NSW elections – 1988 by-election results". NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "NSW elections – 1994 by-election results". NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Mrs Jillian Gell Skinner, MP". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Green, Antony (5 April 2011). "North Shore". NSW Votes 2011. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Mike Baird named new NSW Premier after Barry O'Farrell resignation". ABC News (Australia). 18 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Phillip Smiles
Member for North Shore
Political offices
Preceded by
Carmel Tebbutt
Minister for Health
Preceded by
Jodi McKay
as Minister for Science and Medical Research
Minister for Medical Research
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Gladys Berejiklian