Mary Wooldridge

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Mary Wooldridge
Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan
Assumed office
29 November 2014
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Doncaster
In office
25 November 2006 – 29 November 2014
Preceded by Victor Perton
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born (1967-07-29) 29 July 1967 (age 49)
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Children 1

Mary Louise Newling Wooldridge (born 29 July 1967) is an Australian politician. She has been a Liberal Party of Australia member of the Parliament of Victoria since 2006. She was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, representing the seat of Doncaster from 2006 to 2014; her seat was abolished in a redistribution for that year's election, and she was subsequently elected to the Victorian Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan Region in November.

Wooldridge was the state Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Women's Affairs and Minister for Community Services from 2010 to 2014, serving under both Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine. She was elected as leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council in December 2014 and appointed as the Shadow Minister for Health.[1]

Childhood and education[edit]

Wooldridge was born and raised in Melbourne and is the youngest of four children. She graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours in 1989. In 1994 she completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Harvard Business School. She is the sister of Michael Wooldridge, a former federal Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Professional career[edit]

Wooldridge has worked in executive roles with a number of companies including consultants McKinsey & Company in New York and London, Australian Consolidated Press and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited in Sydney.[2]

Between 2001 and 2005 Wooldridge was the chief executive of The Foundation For Young Australians, a not-for-profit charitable trust. In 2002 she was awarded the new Chief executive officer award in Equity Trustees National Nonprofit CEO awards for this role.

Political career[edit]

Mary Wooldridge addressing a protest about logging of Brown Mountain forest.

Wooldridge joined the Liberal Party of Australia in 1987.

From 1999 to 2001 Wooldridge worked as a Senior Adviser to Senator the Hon Nick Minchin. As part of her duties with the Senator, Wooldridge took part in an overseas trip that was the cause of some consternation for the Federal Labor Opposition.(1) (2).

She chaired the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness, which advises the Federal Minister for Family and Community Services on matters relating to homelessness.

In May 2006 she was preselected as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Doncaster to replace retiring member Victor Perton, and was elected to the Parliament of Victoria in November 2006.

The Liberal party was defeated at the election and remained in Opposition. Despite being a new Member, Wooldridge was appointed to five Shadow Ministries. She was Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Drug Abuse, Community Services and Environment and Climate Change.[1] One of the issues which came up in her first term was the lack of rail transport in the City of Manningham. In April 2010, she said the Opposition "strongly supported" the council's plans to extend the number 48 tram to the rapidly developing Doncaster Hill precinct.[3]

When the Coalition won the 2010 state election, Wooldridge was appointed to the Baillieu Ministry as Minister for Mental Health, Women's Affairs and Community Services (her brother Michael, incidentally, had been Federal Health Minister in 1996–2001). When Denis Napthine replaced Baillieu as Premier, Wooldridge also became Minister for Disability Services and Reform, ceding the Women's Affairs portfolio to Heidi Victoria.

In 2013, a redistribution of electoral boundaries saw Wooldridge's seat of Doncaster abolished. She stood for preselection for the seat of Kew, but despite the support of the Premier, lost preselection to Tim Smith.[4] She contested a seat in the Upper House for Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Personal life[edit]

Wooldridge is married to Andrew, a doctor, and they have a son. Wooldridge has been a Director of the Breast Cancer Network Australia, Foundation Boroondara, Trinity College at Melbourne University and the Otis Foundation, a network of rural retreats for women with breast cancer.


  1. ^ Gordon, Josh (4 December 2014). "Matthew Guy elected as leader of the Victorian Liberal party". The Age. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Campaign material distributed to all members of the electorate
  3. ^ Whitelaw, Anna (20 April 2010). "Tram extension could be down the track". Melbourne Weekly Eastern. 6 (15). p. 10. 
  4. ^ Willingham, Richard (2 March 2014). "Wooldridge loses Kew preselection in blow for Premier". The Age. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Victor Perton
Member for Doncaster
Political offices
Preceded by
Maxine Morand
Minister for Women's Affairs
Succeeded by
Heidi Victoria
Preceded by
Lisa Neville
Minister for Community Services
Ministry abolished
Minister for Mental Health
Succeeded by
Martin Foley
Ministry created Minister for Disability Services and Reform