Arthur Sinodinos

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Senator The Honourable
Arthur Sinodinos
Arthur Sinodinos.jpg
Cabinet Secretary
In office
21 September 2015 – 24 January 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Alan Griffin
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Assumed office
24 January 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Greg Hunt
Acting Minister for Health and Aged Care
In office
9 January 2017 – 24 January 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Sussan Ley
Succeeded by Greg Hunt (Health)
Ken Wyatt (Aged Care)
Acting Minister for Sport (Australia)
In office
9 January 2017 – 24 January 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Sussan Ley
Succeeded by Greg Hunt
Assistant Treasurer
In office
18 September 2013 – 19 December 2014
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Preceded by David Bradbury
Succeeded by Josh Frydenberg
Senator for New South Wales
Assumed office
2 November 2011
Preceded by Helen Coonan
Personal details
Born Arthur Sinodinos
(1957-02-25) 25 February 1957 (age 60)
Newcastle, New South Wales
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Tserdanis
Children 3
Residence Rose Bay
Alma mater University of Newcastle
Profession Economist;
Investment banker;

Arthur Sinodinos AO[2] (born 25 February 1957 in Newcastle, New South Wales[3]) is an Australian politician, the Liberal member of the Senate representing New South Wales since 2011, and the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science in the Turnbull Government since January 2017.[4] Sinodinos has previously served as the Cabinet Secretary between September 2015 and January 2017, briefly as the acting Minister for Health and Aged Care and Acting Minister for Sport during January 2017; and was the Assistant Treasurer in the Abbott Ministry during 2013 and 2014.[5] He stepped aside from his ministerial duties during an investigation by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), although he still formally held the position until he officially resigned on 19 December 2014.[6][7] Prior to his appointment to the Senate, he was a senior public servant and investment banker. He re-entered Cabinet as Cabinet Secretary on 21 September 2015 when he was appointed by Malcolm Turnbull.

Background and early career[edit]

Born in Australia to Greek immigrants, Sinodinos was raised in Newcastle. His father was a member of the left-aligned Seaman's Union that, during Sinodinos' early years, was campaigning against the United States intervention in Vietnam. His mother recalled stories of the Greek Civil War of the 1940s where Communist insurgents would knock on the door of their family home at night. Sinodinos claims that this helped him form his early political views.[1]

Sinodinos graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1979 with a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours. He then entered the Australian Public Service as a graduate recruit, working within the Department of Finance, before working in the Department of the Treasury between 1980 and 1987 and again between 1989 and 1995.[3]

He was the Chief of Staff to the then Prime Minister of Australia John Howard from 1997 to 2006, after serving with him previously from 1987 to 1989 when he was Opposition Leader and rejoining him in 1995.[8] As a close confidant of the Prime Minister, he was regarded as one of the most powerful people in the country.[9]

Corporate career[edit]

He left to become a director with the investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere,[10] and became the Regional general manager, Business and Private Bank at National Australia Bank; reportedly declining an offer to become Australian Ambassador to the United States.[7] In 2008, he was part of a panel that mediated public input into the Defence White Paper.[11] In March 2009, he was appointed managing director for Government, Education and Carbon Solutions, Institutional Banking, Business Banking Australia at the National Australia Bank.[12]

Sinodinos became a director of Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd (AWH) in 2008 and chairman in 2010. He resigned from these positions on becoming a senator.[13][14]

Political career[edit]

Sinodinos served as honorary Finance Director (2009 to 2011) and President (2011-2012) for the NSW branch of the Liberal Party. Initially touted as a candidate for the lower house seat of Bradfield,[15] on 2 November 2011 Sinodinos was appointed to the Australian Senate representing New South Wales, replacing the resigned Liberal Senator Helen Coonan for the remainder of her term, which was due to expire on 30 June 2014.[3][16] At the 2013 election he was elected to a further six-year term from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2020. Howard was present in Parliament when Sinodinos delivered his maiden speech.[17]

Senator Sinodinos is a member of the board of Global Panel Australasia, a non-governmental organisation.[18]

During 2012 Sinodinos was a regular columnist, writing in The Australian.[19]

On 19 March 2014, Sinodinos stood aside from his role as Assistant Treasurer prior to giving evidence as a witness before ICAC. During the enquiry Sinodinos advised he was unaware of a $74,000 donation made to the Liberal Party by Australian Water Holdings, despite being Deputy Chairman on a $200,000 salary. At the time of the payment Sinodinos was also Treasurer of the Liberal Party.[20] He formally resigned on 19 December 2014 as Assistant Treasurer and was succeeded as Assistant Treasurer by Josh Frydenberg.[21][22] Sussan Ley temporarily stood aside as the Minister for Health and Aged Care and Minister for Sport and then subsequently resigned from the ministry in January 2017. Sinodinos briefly acted in her portfolios until a subsequent rearrangement of the Turnbull ministry where Sinodinos was appointed as the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.[4] The portfolio of Cabinet Secretary was abolished.[citation needed]


Sinodinos was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008 for service to politics through the executive function of government, to the development of economic policy and reform, and to the Greek community.[2][23]


Sinodinos lives in New South Wales with his wife, whom he met at a Greek Orthodox Church, and their children.[1] He has been a director of the Mary MacKillop Foundation.[24]


  1. ^ a b c Sinodinos, Arthur (28 November 2011). "Senator Arthur Sinodinos interview". Sunday Profile (transcript and streaming audio). Interview with Julia Baird. Australia: ABC Local Radio. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Search Australian Honours: SINODINOS, Arthur". It's an honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Biography for SINODINOS, Arthur". Parliament of Australia. 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "New federal ministers officially sworn in". Sky News. Australia. AAP. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Arthur Sinodinos quits frontbench, but ICAC scrutiny set to continue". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Wright, Tony (19 December 2014). "Arthur Sinodinos resigns as Assistant Treasurer: tragedy wrapped in mystery". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "PM'S chief of staff resigns". 8 December 2006. 
  9. ^ Kirk, Alexandra (2 October 2003). "Backroom politics with the PM's Chief of Staff". PM (ABC Radio). Australia. 
  10. ^ Meterell, Mark (8 December 2006). "PM's top gun quits for bank". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  11. ^ "Top Howard aide signs with Labor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 March 2008. 
  12. ^ "Profile of Arthur Sinodinos". Celebrity Speakers. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Australian Water Holdings: what you need to know". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  14. ^ McClymont, Kate; Swan, Jonathan; Whitbourn, Michaela (22 March 2014). "Arthur Sinodinos: The man least likely". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Priestley, Andrew (16 June 2009). "Bradfield-ing the question: will Arthur Sinodinos be the next MP for Bradfield?". North Shore times. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Howard adviser to claim Coonan's seat in Senate". The Age. Australia. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Howard flinches during Sinodinos maiden speech". ABC News. Australia. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Board of Directors—Global Panel". Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Opinion: Arthur Sinodinos". The Australian. 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Jabour, Bridie. "Arthur Sinodinos denies knowledge of $74,000 AWH donation to NSW Libs". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  21. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Coch, Lukas (23 December 2014). "Sussan Ley sworn in". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Coorey, Phillip (10 June 2008). "High honours for Howard and his right-hand man". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  24. ^ "Board of Directors: Arthur Sinodinos AO". Mary MacKillop Foundation. 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Helen Coonan
Senator for New South Wales
Political offices
Preceded by
Greg Hunt
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Preceded by
Alan Griffin
Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
David Bradbury
Assistant Treasurer
Succeeded by
Josh Frydenberg