Jillian Skinner

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Jillian Skinner
Jillian Skinner at the Mosman International Women's Day Breakfast.jpg
Minister for Health
In office
3 April 2011 – 23 January 2017
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Mike Baird
Preceded by Carmel Tebbutt
Succeeded by Brad Hazzard
Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
In office
4 April 2007 – 16 April 2014
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
Succeeded by Gladys Berejiklian
Minister for Medical Research
In office
3 April 2011 – 2 April 2015
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Mike Baird
Preceded by Jodi McKay
Succeeded by Pru Goward
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for North Shore
In office
5 February 1994 – 20 February 2017
Preceded by Phillip Smiles
Succeeded by Felicity Wilson
Personal details
Born Jillian Gell Coutts
(1944-08-05) 5 August 1944 (age 72)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Chris Skinner
Website Jillian Skinner website

Jillian Gell Skinner (born 5 August 1944 in Melbourne), an Australian politician, was the New South Wales Minister for Health in the Baird government. Skinner was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing North Shore for the Liberal Party from 1994 to 2017 and was the Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2007 to 2014. Between 2011 and 2015 Skinner also served as the Minister for Medical Research. On 27 January 2017, Skinner announced her intention to resign from the ministry and from Parliament.

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, of whom at least one was living with her husband in Melbourne in 1987.[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 two-party vote and was duly sworn in as a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly.[5][6]

Skinner defeated former Independent member and Skinner's old rival Robyn Read in a rematch.

Skinner has held the safe Liberal seat comfortably, securing a swing of 13.9 points at the 2011 state election and won 80.3 per cent of the two-party vote.[7]

After the Labor party won the 1995 election, Skinner was appointed to the opposition frontbench and held various shadow portfolios over the next decade. Under opposition leaders Peter Collins, John Brogden and Peter Debnam, Skinner was Shadow Minister for Health (1995–2003), Youth Affairs (1995–99, 2002–03), Arts (2003–08), Education and Training (2003–05), School Education (2005), Cancer and Medical Research (2006–07) and Science and Medical Research (2007–08).[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]

On 27 January 2017, Skinner announced her intention to resign from politics.[9][10][11][12] She formally resigned on 20 February 2017.[6]

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. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "NSW elections – 1988 by-election results". NSW Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "NSW elections – 1994 by-election results". NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "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. 
  9. ^ "NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner retires from politics". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Robertson, James (28 January 2017). "Anthony Roberts, Brad Hazzard take key roles in Gladys Berejiklian reshuffle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Vukovic, Dom; Gerathy, Sarah; McDonald, Philippa (29 January 2017). "NSW Cabinet reshuffle: Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces big changes to front bench". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "NSW reshuffle: Gladys Berejiklian axes Adrian Piccoli and Duncan Gay from cabinet". The Guardian. Australia. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

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