Joe Hockey

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The Honourable
Joe Hockey
Joe hockey.PNG
Treasurer of Australia
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Preceded by Chris Bowen
Shadow Treasurer of Australia
In office
16 February 2009 – 18 September 2013
Leader Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott
Preceded by Julie Bishop
Succeeded by Chris Bowen
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
In office
30 January 2007 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Kevin Andrews
Succeeded by Julia Gillard
Minister for Human Services
In office
26 October 2004 – 30 January 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Jocelyn Newman (Social Security)
Succeeded by Ian Campbell
Member of the Australian Parliament for North Sydney
Assumed office
2 March 1996
Preceded by Ted Mack
Personal details
Born Joseph Benedict Hockey
(1965-08-02) 2 August 1965 (age 48)
North Sydney, Australia
Political party Liberal Party
Other political
Spouse(s) Melissa Babbage (1994–present)
Children 1 daughter
2 sons
Alma mater University of Sydney (BA, LLB)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholicism

Joseph Benedict "Joe" Hockey (born 2 August 1965) is an Australian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for North Sydney since 1996. He has been the Treasurer of Australia in the Abbott Government since 18 September 2013[1] and previously served as the Minister for Human Services and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in the Howard Government. Following the 2013 election, Hockey was named Treasurer of Australia.

Early life and career[edit]

Hockey was born in North Sydney to a Bethlehem-born Armenian-Palestinian father, Richard, and a native born Australian mother, Beverley. He has three elder siblings. His father's original surname, Hokeidonian, was anglicized in 1948, after arriving in Australia, to "Hockey".[2][3]

Hockey attended St Aloysius' College, Milson's Point and the University of Sydney, residing at St John's College, graduating with a dual baccalaureate degree: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. While at university he was President of the University of Sydney Students' Representative Council, and was instrumental[clarification needed] in inviting Pope John Paul II to visit the University of Sydney during the 1986 Australian papal visit.[4] He was a banking and finance lawyer, and Director of Policy to the Premier of New South Wales, before entering politics.

Political career[edit]

Hockey earlier in his political career
Joe Hockey in a press conference on the ground at Telstra Dome, Melbourne.

Hockey was Minister for Financial Services and Regulation 1998–2001 and Minister for Small Business and Tourism 2001–04. With the return of the Howard Government in 2004, Hockey was appointed Minister for Human Services and was elevated to the Cabinet in January 2007, when appointed Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

Hockey regularly appeared on the Seven Network's morning program Sunrise in the 'Big Guns of Politics' section debating Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd until the arrangement was mutually terminated on 16 April 2007, following controversy over plans to stage a pre-dawn Anzac Day service in Vietnam.[5][6]

In December 2007, Hockey was made Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, and Manager of Opposition Business in the House. In September 2008 he became Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation. Hockey became Shadow Treasurer in February 2009 when Julie Bishop stepped down from the portfolio.[7]

Prior to his appointment as Shadow Treasurer there had been a move to get Hockey to transfer to New South Wales State politics in order to replace Barry O'Farrell as State Liberal leader and lead the New South Wales Coalition to victory at the 2011 State election which would make Hockey Premier of New South Wales. Hockey however denied any interest to move into New South Wales State politics.[8]

The push to get Hockey into New South Wales State politics came to an end when Hockey was promoted to Shadow Treasurer as that place him within striking distance of becoming Federal leader.

Hockey's popularity among voters grew under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, and in October 2009 polls showed him as the preferred Liberal leader. However, Hockey announced that he had no intention to challenge for the leadership.[9]

On 9 November 2009, Hockey gave a speech, In Defence of God, at the Sydney Institute. "Australia has embraced religious diversity. It must always remain so, and as a Member of Parliament I am a custodian of that principle of tolerance. That is why it is disturbing to hear people rail against Muslims and Jews, or Pentecostals and Catholics. Australia must continue, without fear, to embrace diversity of faith provided that those gods are loving, compassionate and just."[10][11]

On 1 December 2009, Hockey chose to include his candidacy in a party room ballot to determine the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia. The ballot was between Hockey, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. Hockey was eliminated in the first round of the ballot, with the eventual winner being Tony Abbott. Following the change of leadership, Hockey remained Shadow Treasurer. Hockey told ABC TV's Q&A audience on 7 March 2011 that corporate Australia had fallen behind in female boardroom representation, and if companies failed to meet a reasonable target within a period of time, then "more punitive measures" needed to be taken by parliament.[12] He later said that, "quotas must be a last resort".[13]

On 26 April 2012, Hockey gave a speech, "The Future of Australian Diversity", at the Islamic Council of Victoria. "To judge Islam based on the actions of extremists and terrorists would be no different than judging Christianity on the actions of those who have over the centuries committed atrocities in the name of Christianity."[14]

Hockey is an Australian republican.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 1994, Hockey married Melissa Babbage, an investment banker, later head of foreign exchange and global finance at Deutsche Bank; the couple has three children.[16] He has walked the Kokoda Track[17] and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for medical equipment.[18] Joe and Melissa Hockey own a 200-hectare cattle farm in Malanda, near Cairns, Queensland.

In February 2010, Hockey appeared on the television program Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, where he was involved in a segment that required him to hold up a tutu and wave a magic wand,[19] which attracted criticism from Treasurer Wayne Swan.[20] He was the first Australian politician to accept an invitation to appear on the program.[21]


  1. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "No ordinary bloke: Joe Hockey", Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 2009; accessed 18 November 2013.
  3. ^ Past campaigns give heart to Hockey, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 June 2007
  4. ^ Fontaine, Angus (1 April 2009). "No ordinary bloke: Joe Hockey". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rudd, Hockey quit Sunrise spot". 16 April 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Lateline – 16/04/2007: Rudd, Hockey quit Sunrise gig". 16 April 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Christian Kerr; Dennis Shanahan (16 February 2009). "Joe Hockey steps up to take on Wayne Swan". The Australian. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull | Liberal Party and leadership battle | Poll of voting intentions". 12 October 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hockey speech 'not linked to leadership'" News Limited, 10 November 2009
  11. ^ "God is good, but just be sure not to take Him too literally", Fairfax Digital, 10 November 2009
  12. ^ "Joe Hockey's call for female boardroom quotas is opposed by peak shareholders' body". The Australian. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "The Gender Divide". 7 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  14. ^ Hockey, Joe (26 April 2012) ADDRESS TO THE ISLAMIC COUNCIL OF VICTORIA, Islamic Council of Victoria,,
  15. ^ "Abbott 'won't set back republican cause'",, 26 August 2013.
  16. ^ Eriksson, Boel. "A baby boy for Joe Hockey". Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  17. ^ Kokoda deaths: Trekkers warned of 'punitive' conditions Fairfax Digital, 24 April 2009
  18. ^ The Ultimate Burn – Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Humpty Dumpty Foundation
  19. ^ "Joe Hockey lets it all hang out", News Limited, 23 January 2010
  20. ^ "Swan mocks Hockey as 'giant Tinkerbell'", Fairfax Digital, 8 February 2010
  21. ^ "ABC Message Board". Retrieved 26 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ted Mack
Member of Parliament
for North Sydney

Political offices
Preceded by
Jocelyn Newman
as Minister for Social Security
Minister for Human Services
Succeeded by
Ian Campbell
Preceded by
Kevin Andrews
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Succeeded by
Julia Gillard
Preceded by
Nicola Roxon
Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing
Succeeded by
Peter Dutton
Preceded by
Peter Dutton
Shadow Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Succeeded by
Helen Coonan
Preceded by
Julie Bishop
Shadow Treasurer of Australia
Succeeded by
Chris Bowen
Preceded by
Chris Bowen
Treasurer of Australia