Lisa Singh

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Senator The Honourable
Lisa Singh
Senator for Tasmania
Assumed office
1 July 2011
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General
Assumed office
18 October 2013
Premier Bill Shorten
Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection
In office
26 November 2008 – 13 April 2010
Premier David Bartlett
Preceded by David Llewellyn
Succeeded by Nick McKim
Minister for Workplace Relations
In office
26 November 2008 – 13 April 2010
Preceded by Allison Ritchie
Succeeded by David O'Byrne
Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly
for Denison
In office
18 March 2006 – 13 April 2010
Personal details
Born Lisa Maria Singh
(1972-02-20) 20 February 1972 (age 42)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Relations Ram Jati Singh (grandfather)
Alma mater University of Tasmania

Lisa Maria Singh (born 20 February 1972) is an Australian politician. She is an Australian Labor Party Senator for Tasmania. From 2006 to 2010, she was a Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, representing the division of Denison.

Singh is Australia's first federal parliamentarian of Indian origin.[1]

Early life[edit]

Singh was born 20 February 1972 in Hobart, Tasmania to a Fijian-Indian father and an English Australian mother.[2] Her father arrived in Australia as an international student in 1963.[3] Singh attended St Mary's College and Elizabeth College before leaving Tasmania to live and work in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Singh returned to Tasmania to study at the University of Tasmania, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours. Singh became a mother to two sons whilst at university.[4]


Following university, Singh worked in public relations and for the Australian Education Union as an industrial organiser. After joining the Australian Labor Party, Singh served on the Tasmanian ALP’s State Administrative Committee, as President of the New Town branch and as a delegate at state and national conferences.

From 1999–2001 Singh was as an adviser to Sue Mackay. Singh then became the Director of the Working Women's Centre in Tasmania where she campaigned for paid parental leave and equal pay. Singh is a member of Emily's List, serving on the National Executive of the organisation in Australia.

Singh became Hobart Citizen of the Year in 2004 for her work in the peace movement surrounding the Iraq war, especially in highlighting the plight of women and children in war.[5]

Singh has also served as the President of the YWCA Tasmania, the President of the United Nations Association Tasmania and as a member of the Tasmania Women's Council. Singh was also Convenor of the Australian Republican Movement from 2004–2007. She subsequently managed the Tasmanian Government arts unit, arts@work, before being pre-selected for the Australian Labor Party.

Election to Tasmanian Parliament[edit]

Singh was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly as one of the five Members of the division of Denison in the March 2006 state election. Singh gave her inaugural speech on 18 March 2006.[6] In August 2007, Singh abstained in a vote on a controversial Bill supporting Gunns' Bell Bay Pulp Mill supported by all fellow Labor MPs, after having failed in an appeal to then-Premier Paul Lennon for a conscience vote on the matter.[7]

Singh became Parliamentary Secretary in early 2008. On 25 November 2008, then-Premier David Bartlett announced that Singh would enter Cabinet as Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection, Minister for Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Premier on Climate Change. She was sworn in at a ceremony at Government House on 26 November 2008.[8] As minister, Singh introduced legislative reforms in workers compensation, corrections and asbestos management.

Singh was defeated at the March 2010 state election. After her defeat, Singh co-founded the Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation, an advocacy group to highlight the dangers of asbestos and support suffers of asbestos-related disease and became its first CEO.

Election to Australian Parliament[edit]

Singh was elected to the Australian Senate in the 2010 federal election, making her the first person of South Asian descent to be elected to the Australian Parliament. She began her term in the Senate on 1 July 2011. On 18 October 2013 she was promoted to the shadow ministry as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General. She serves on a number of Parliamentary committees, including:

  • Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee (Deputy Chair)
  • Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
  • Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
  • Joint Committee on Law Enforcement
  • Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services[9]

Singh convenes the cross-party Parliamentary Group on Asbestos Related Disease (PGARD) and the Parliamentary Friends of UNICEF. Within the Labor Government caucus, Singh has served as Caucus Liaison on the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper and Convenor of Labor Friends of Tourism; and currently serves as Parliamentary co-Convenor of the national policy action caucus, Labor For an Australian Republic (LFAR).


External links[edit]

Tasmanian House of Assembly
Preceded by
David Bartlett
Michael Hodgman
Judy Jackson
Peg Putt
Graeme Sturges
Member for Denison
Served alongside: David Bartlett, Graeme Sturges, Michael Hodgman, Peg Putt
Succeeded by
Cassy O'Connor
David Bartlett
Matthew Groom
Scott Bacon
Elise Archer
Political offices
Preceded by
David Llewellyn
Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection (Tasmania)
Succeeded by
Nick McKim
Preceded by
Allison Ritchie
Minister for Workplace Relations (Tasmania)
Succeeded by
David O'Byrne