Marlene Kairouz

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Marlene Kairouz
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Kororoit
Assumed office
28 June 2008
Preceded by Andre Haermeyer
Personal details
Born (1975-03-02) 2 March 1975 (age 42)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Education RMIT University
Occupation Histologist

Marlene Kairouz (born 2 March 1975) is an Australian politician. She has been a Labor member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2008, and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation since 2016.

Kairouz was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria. Her parents are Maronite Christians from Lebanon.

Kairouz was educated at St Mary's Primary School in Thornbury from 1980 to 1986 and Santa Maria Girls College, Northcote from 1987 to 1992. She holds a Diploma of Health, Medical Laboratory Science from RMIT and worked as a histologist prior to working at the Australian Workers' Union and becoming active in politics.

Kairouz was first elected to the Legislative Assembly at the 2008 Kororoit by-election, triggered by the resignation of former minister Andre Haermeyer.

Prior to entering state politics she was elected to the City of Darebin in 1998, serving as mayor from 2001 to 2002 and again from 2006 to 2007. Marlene was an official with the Victorian branch of the Shop Assistants' Union from 2004 and was promoted to become an organiser in 2005 before her election to Parliament. Kairouz has been a state and national Australian Labor Party conference delegate, and previously served as the Junior Vice President of the Victorian ALP.

In Parliament, Kairouz voted against the Assisted Reproduction Bill saying "Bringing a child into the world without ever having the opportunity to meet both its parents shows disregard for its wellbeing, its needs and dignity."[citation needed] Kairouz was also active opposing abortion laws in Victoria, proposed a twenty-week limit on abortions, which was rejected.[citation needed]

She was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to local government in 2001.

In June 2016, she was appointed to the Andrews Ministry as Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

On September 13, 2017, she was appointed as the Minister for Local Government.

Racism controversy[edit]

In October 2017 she was embroiled in a controversy regarding her remarks when she advised people not to open their doors to Irish people.[1][2] She issued an apology on Twitter.[3] The incident received widespread media coverage in Australia and Ireland.[4]


  1. ^ "A warning to householders about a pest that thrives as we approach summer; travelling conmen". October 31, 2017. Retrieved Nov 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ Denise Calnan (October 31, 2017). "Australian MP sparks backlash for her 'anti-Irish' comments". Irish Independent. Retrieved Nov 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Australian minister apologises for 'Irish accent' comments". RTE. October 31, 2017. Retrieved Nov 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Australian minister tells homeowners to 'automatically' tell Irish people to get away from their door comments". The October 31, 2017. Retrieved Nov 1, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Andre Haermeyer
Member for Kororoit