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
Manager of Opposition Business in the House
In office
2 December 2007 – 16 February 2009
Leader Brendan Nelson
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Anthony Albanese
Succeeded by Christopher Pyne
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
Minister for Small Business and Tourism
In office
26 November 2001 – 26 October 2004
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Ian Macfarlane
Succeeded by Fran Bailey
Member of the Australian parliament for North Sydney
Assumed office
2 March 1996
Personal details
Born Joseph Benedict Hockey
(1965-08-02) 2 August 1965 (age 50)
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
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

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

Hockey attended St Aloysius' College, Milson's Point and the University of Sydney, residing at St John's College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. While at university he was President of the University of Sydney Students' Representative Council, and assisted in inviting Pope John Paul II to visit the University of Sydney during the 1986 Australian papal visit.[4] Upon graduating, Hockey worked as a banking and finance lawyer at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and subsequently as the Director of Policy to the Premier of New South Wales, before entering politics.

Political career

Hockey, early 1990s

Joe Hockey was elected to the Australian Parliament in 1996.[5] Hockey was awarded the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation portfolio from 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.[6][7]

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.[8]

Prior to his appointment as Shadow Treasurer there had been a move to get Hockey to transfer to New South Wales State politics 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.[9]

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

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.[10]

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."[11][12]

Joe Hockey in a press conference on the ground at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne.

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.[13] He later said that, "quotas must be a last resort".[14]

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."[15]

Hockey delivered his first budget on 13 May 2014.

Personal life

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 and they live in Hunters Hill, New South Wales.[16][17] He has walked the Kokoda Track[18] and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for medical equipment.[19] Hockey and his wife own a 200 hectare cattle farm in Malanda, near Cairns, Queensland. In 2012 he lost more than 20 kg following gastric sleeve surgery.[20]

In 2014 Hockey launched defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media over an article published in its newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times, titled Treasurer for sale,[21] which he said falsely implied that he accepted bribes paid to influence his decisions and that he corruptly sold privileged access to a select group of Liberal Party donors. A trial was held to determine whether the allegations were defensible in March 2015 in the NSW Supreme Court before Justice Richard White, where Hockey argued that false allegations of the nature contained in the article, and the conduct of Fairfax during the proceedings, evidenced a malicious intent to smear his otherwise good reputation and consequently would justify the award of aggravated damages. Justice White has reserved his decision.


  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. ^ Hockey, Joe. "About Joe Hockey". 
  6. ^ "Rudd, Hockey quit Sunrise spot". 16 April 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "Lateline – 16/04/2007: Rudd, Hockey quit Sunrise gig". 16 April 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Christian Kerr; Dennis Shanahan (16 February 2009). "Joe Hockey steps up to take on Wayne Swan". The Australian. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull | Liberal Party and leadership battle | Poll of voting intentions". 12 October 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Hockey speech 'not linked to leadership'" News Limited, 10 November 2009
  12. ^ "God is good, but just be sure not to take Him too literally", Fairfax Digital, 10 November 2009
  13. ^ "Joe Hockey's call for female boardroom quotas is opposed by peak shareholders' body". The Australian. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Gender Divide". 7 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Hockey, Joe (26 April 2012) ADDRESS TO THE ISLAMIC COUNCIL OF VICTORIA, Islamic Council of Victoria,,
  16. ^ Snow, Deborah; Davies, Anne (24 May 2014). "Meet the real Joe Hockey". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Eriksson, Boel. "A baby boy for Joe Hockey". Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  18. ^ Kokoda deaths: Trekkers warned of 'punitive' conditions Fairfax Digital, 24 April 2009
  19. ^ The Ultimate Burn – Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Humpty Dumpty Foundation
  20. ^ Maiden, Samantha (27 January 2013). "Hockey a stick, not a ball now". Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  21. ^ Trute, Peter (17 March 2015). "'Smeared' Hockey seeks vindication". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 

External links

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