Kelly O'Dwyer

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Kelly O'Dwyer
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer
Assumed office
21 December 2014
Preceded by Steven Ciobo
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Higgins
Assumed office
5 December 2009
Preceded by Peter Costello
Personal details
Born (1977-03-31) 31 March 1977 (age 38)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Jon Mant
Residence South Yarra, Victoria
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Profession Lawyer

Kelly Megan O'Dwyer (born 31 March 1977) is an Australian politician, and member for the Division of Higgins in the Australian House of Representatives. On 5 December 2009, at the 2009 Higgins by-election, O'Dwyer was elected to succeed former Treasurer Peter Costello.[1] She served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, since December 2014.[2][3]

Early career[edit]

O'Dwyer was educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College and the University of Melbourne, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.[4] After working as a solicitor for Freehills in Melbourne,[4] O'Dwyer spent four years as an advisor to Peter Costello, then the member for the federal division of Higgins and the Federal Treasurer, later becoming an executive at the National Australia Bank.[5]

Member for Higgins[edit]

Costello decided in 2009 not to seek another term of office at the next federal election.[6] On 17 September 2009, O'Dwyer was pre-selected to stand as the Liberal Party candidate for Higgins at the next election.[7] Peter Costello then announced his resignation from Parliament in October 2009.[8] He stated that he chose to retire ahead of the next federal election as a contribution to renewal of the Liberal Party and that O'Dwyer would contribute to this process.[9] A by-election was held on 5 December 2009. O'Dwyer was considered a "shoo-in",[10] especially since the Labor Party did not contest the seat.

Sexism claims[edit]

In winning preselection, O'Dwyer became the first woman to win Liberal Party preselection for a safe seat in metropolitan Melbourne.[11] During the preselection process federal Liberal politicians Sophie Mirabella, Fran Bailey and Helen Coonan claimed that there had been a sexist campaign against O'Dwyer's candidacy, with some preselectors being told that a "leadership seat" such as Higgins was unsuited to a woman and that being elected to a federal seat might endanger her marriage.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Jon Mant and has two sisters and a brother.[14][15]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". (News Corp Australia). 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Lawyers Weekly (2009). Former Freehills lawyer wins pre-selection.
  5. ^ Grattan, Michelle (4 July 2009). "Costello to endorse Liberal activist as Higgins candidate". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Peter Costello's retirement draws praise". AAP. 15 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Harvey, Michael (17 September 2009). "Kelly O'Dwyer secures preselection for Peter Costello's seat of Higgins". Herald Sun. 
  8. ^ "Malcolm in the muddle". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Emma (7 October 2009). "Costello quits politics". ABC News. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Anarchy set for Costello's old seat". AAP. 12 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Costello staffer wins Higgins preselection". AAP. 17 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Schubert, Misha (15 September 2009). "Sexism claims in race for Costello's seat". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  13. ^ Schubert, Misha (16 September 2009). "Ex-Liberal minister joins sexism outcry". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  14. ^ Fyfe, Melissa (6 December 2009). "O'Dwyer straight out of Liberal central casting". The Age (Melbourne). 
  15. ^ "About Kelly". Kelly O'Dwyer MP. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins