Karen Andrews

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The Honourable
Karen Andrews
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
Assumed office
19 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by New title
Assistant Minister for Science
In office
23 December 2014 – 19 July 2016
Prime Minister
Preceded by New title
Succeeded by Craig Laundy
Member of the Australian Parliament
for McPherson
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded by Margaret May
Personal details
Born Karen Lesley Andrews
(1960-08-23) 23 August 1960 (age 56)
Brisbane, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal National Party of Queensland
Spouse(s) Chris Andrews
Children 3
Alma mater Queensland University of Technology;
Victoria University
Occupation Industrial relations advocate
Profession Mechanical engineer
Website Official website

Karen Lesley Andrews is an Australian politician. Andrews is a member of the House of Representatives for the seat of McPherson in Queensland representing the Liberal National Party since the 2010 federal election. Andrews has served in the Abbott and Turnbull Ministries as the Parliamentary Secretary, later Assistant Minister for Science between December 2014[1][2][3] and July 2016.

Education and early career[edit]

Born in Brisbane and raised in Townsville, Queensland, Andrews graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 1983 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering before going on to work at various power stations in Queensland, and later chemical and petrochemical sites interstate, where she specialised in design and plant maintenance.

After working as an engineer for a number of years, Andrews completed a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations from the Victoria University and began a new career as an industrial relations advocate working in the engineering and construction industries. Her expertise in industrial relations resulted in the Victorian government approaching her to head up the Industrial Relations Branch of the Department of Health and Community Services, where she was responsible for negotiating with public sector employees including nurses, ambulance officers, doctors and community service workers.

In the mid-1990s Andrews and her husband established a private human resources and industrial relations consultancy with a client base throughout Australia and New Zealand. She undertook further studies in alternate dispute resolution gaining a Certificate in Mediation from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia to assist businesses and individuals with disputes through negotiation and mediation.

Political career[edit]

Andrews was elected at the 2010 federal election to represent the southern Gold Coast electorate of McPherson in the Australian House of Representatives and is a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland (a Coalition party). The Federal Electoral Division of McPherson covers an area of approximately 230 square kilometres (89 sq mi) from Coolangatta in the south to Clear Island Waters and Merrimac in the north, and west to Mudgeeraba and Tallebudgera Valley. As part of her parliamentary duties, Andrews is a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee for on Education and Employment and the Joint Standing Committee on Public Works. She co-founded and co-chairs the Parliamentary Friends of Science, which seeks to promote closer engagement between the scientific community and political representatives, and is the vice-chair of Parliamentary Friends of Taiwan.

Community work[edit]

Andrews is a strong supporter of the not-for-profit sector and their contribution to local communities. She is patron of Point Danger Branch of Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Coolangatta Senior Citizen's Centre and the Australian Shuffleboard Association. She is passionate about helping the veteran community which is influenced by the work of her father through his contributions in assisting TPI pensioners.


  1. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". news.com.au. News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Margaret May
Member for McPherson
Political offices
New title Assistant Minister for Science
Succeeded by
Craig Laundy
as Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science