Kate Ellis

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The Honourable
Kate Ellis
Kate Ellis.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Adelaide
Assumed office
9 October 2004
Preceded by Trish Worth
Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Peter Garrett
Succeeded by Sussan Ley
In office
3 December 2007 – 28 June 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Position Recreated
Succeeded by Peter Garrett
Minister for Employment Participation
In office
14 December 2011 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Mark Arbib
Succeeded by Luke Hartsuyker
Minister for the Status of Women
In office
15 September 2010 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Tanya Plibersek
Succeeded by Julie Collins
Minister for Sport
In office
3 December 2007 – 24 June 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by George Brandis
Succeeded by Mark Arbib
Personal details
Born (1977-09-22) 22 September 1977 (age 39)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) David Penberthy
Website kateellis.com.au

Katherine Margaret "Kate" Ellis (born 22 September 1977) is an Australian politician, representing the Division of Adelaide in the Australian House of Representatives for the Australian Labor Party since 2004. She served in multiple portfolios in the outer ministry of the 2007–13 federal Labor government and has been in shadow cabinet since. In March 2017 Ellis announced that she would step down from shadow cabinet as of the next reshuffle and leave parliament at the next federal election.[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Ellis was born in Melbourne and grew up in rural South Australia in the Murray River town of Mannum where her mother worked as a teacher at the local primary school. Ellis moved to Adelaide for her secondary education, attending Daws Road High School. She enrolled but left without completing a Bachelor of International Studies at Flinders University.[3] While enrolled at Flinders she was General Secretary of the Students Association and an editor of Empire Times. A member of the Australian Labor Party, she worked as a research officer for state and federal parliamentarians. Ellis is linked with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). She was a ministerial adviser to South Australian state minister Rory McEwen and then for the former Deputy Premier of South Australia, Kevin Foley.[4][5][6][7]

Political career[edit]

Ellis was elected to the House of Representatives for the Division of Adelaide, South Australia at the 2004 federal election, defeating Liberal Party incumbent Trish Worth on a 2 percent two-party swing to a margin of 1.3 points, increasing to 8.5 points in 2007. The margin was reduced to 7.7 points in 2010 and to 4.0 percent in 2013.

After the 2007 election Ellis became Minister for Youth and Minister for Sport. This made her the youngest person ever to become an Australian government minister, a record until then held by former Prime Minister Paul Keating.[8] In 2009 Ellis took on the portfolio of Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth. After the 2010 election, Ellis became the Minister for Employment Participation and Early Childhood and Childcare and the Minister for the Status of Women.[9] For a few months prior to the 2013 Labor government defeat, Ellis was the Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth. Ellis was then elevated to shadow cabinet with the portfolios of Education and Early Childhood.[4]

In 2012 Ellis voted in support of a same-sex marriage bill.[10] She supported the Safe School Coalition Australia program in 2016.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Ellis is married to News Limited journalist David Penberthy, a former editor of Sydney's Daily Telegraph and current editor of Adelaide's Sunday Mail.[12] Ellis gave birth to her first child, a boy, in April 2015.[13] Ellis supports the Adelaide Football Club and was named as a club ambassador in 2009.[14][15] In 2011, she joined tennis star Lleyton Hewitt as the club's number-one ticket holder, becoming the first woman so honoured.[16] She is also a Club Ambassador for the SANFL team the Glenelg Tigers.[17]

Ellis's public image has been the subject of media attention since her entry into public life. In October 2008, she was voted Parliament's "sexiest" MP in a poll of federal MPs conducted by The Courier-Mail newspaper.[18] In April 2010, she modelled a Karen Millen dress and Gucci high-heels for Grazia magazine.[19] She agreed to do the shoot to raise awareness of poor body image and in order to encourage fashion magazines to promote healthy attitudes toward weight and eating.[20]

On 9 March 2017 Ellis announced that she would step down from shadow cabinet as of the next reshuffle and leave parliament at the next federal election in order to spend more time with her young family.[1][2] A week later it was announced that she was in the early stages of her second pregnancy.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kate Ellis, Labor frontbencher, to quit politics at next federal election". ABC News. Australia. 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Current Shadow Ministry List: APH.gov.au
  3. ^ "Panelist: Kate Ellis". ABC. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Kate Ellis: APH
  5. ^ Kate Ellis: ALP
  6. ^ Kate Ellis: Hawker Britton
  7. ^ Why is the union that represents supermarket workers stopping gay marriage?: SMH 2 May 2015
  8. ^ Nicholson, Brendan (30 November 2007). "Rudd and the Sisters Ministry". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  9. ^ "The Gillard ministry". Melbourne: The Age. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Lower House votes down same-sex marriage bill". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  11. ^ "Kate Ellis: We need to send LGBTI students a message of unwavering support". Daily Life. Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  12. ^ "Federal Childcare Minister Kate Ellis and News Limited editor David Penberthy engaged to marry". Adelaide Now. 12 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Adelaide MP Kate Ellis and Advertiser columnist David Penberthy welcome baby boy". The Advertiser. 10 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "2009 Season Guide out now". Adelaide Football Club. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "About Kate". Kate Ellis. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Kate Ellis joins Crows". Adelaide Football Club (Press release). 28 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Club Ambassadors". Glenelg Football Club. n.d. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Steve (31 October 2008). "Kate Ellis voted Australia's sexiest politician". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  19. ^ "Kate Ellis: 'I'm horrified by how we see ourselves'". Grazia (85) (Australian ed.). 19 April 2010. pp. 20–21. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  20. ^ Harvey, Claire (4 April 2010). "Ellis digs her high heels in". The Sunday Telegraph. p. 28. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  21. ^ Kate Ellis pregnant with her second child: SMH 15 March 2017

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Trish Worth
Member for Adelaide
Political offices
Preceded by
George Brandis (sport)
Minister for Youth and Sport
Succeeded by
Kate Ellis
Preceded by
Kate Ellis
Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth
Succeeded by
Peter Garrett
Preceded by
Kate Ellis
Minister for Sport
Succeeded by
Mark Arbib
Preceded by
Tanya Plibersek
Minister for the Status of Women
Succeeded by
Julie Collins
Preceded by
Mark Arbib
Minister for Employment Participation and Childcare
Succeeded by
Eric Abetz