Richard Di Natale

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Dr Richard Di Natale

Richard Di Natale infobox Crop.png
Leader of the Australian Greens
Assumed office
6 May 2015
DeputyLarissa Waters & Adam Bandt
Preceded byChristine Milne
Senator for Victoria
Assumed office
1 July 2011
Personal details
Richard Luigi Di Natale[1]

(1970-06-06) 6 June 1970 (age 49)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Political partyGreens
Lucy Quarterman (m. 2007)
ResidenceOtway Ranges, Victoria, Australia
EducationParade College
Alma materMonash University
La Trobe University
ProfessionPolitician, Public Health Physician

Richard Luigi Di Natale (born 6 June 1970) is an Australian politician who serves as a senator for Victoria and leads the Australian Greens. Di Natale was elected to the Australian Senate in the 2010 federal election.[2] A former general practitioner, Di Natale became federal parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens on 6 May 2015 following the resignation of Christine Milne[3] and led the Greens at the 2 July 2016 federal election.

Di Natale with Senator Bob Brown in Melbourne during the 2010 federal election campaign.

Early life[edit]

Di Natale was born in Melbourne, Victoria, to Italian Catholic immigrant parents.[4] His mother was born in San Marco in Lamis, Apulia, while his father was born in Syracuse, Sicily.[5] Di Natale attended Parade College, graduating in 1987, and Monash University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree in 1993.[6] He later obtained Master of Public Health and Master of Health Science degrees from La Trobe University.[6]

Prior to entering parliament, Di Natale was a general practitioner and public health specialist. He worked in Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory, on HIV prevention in India and in the drug and alcohol sector.[7]

Political career[edit]

Di Natale has been a Greens' Senate candidate since 2004.[8][9]

Di Natale also ran for the position of Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 2004, coming second to the elected John So.[10]

In both 2002 and 2006, Di Natale was narrowly defeated in the seat of Melbourne in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, almost unseating ALP health minister Bronwyn Pike. Richard received 48% of the two-party preferred vote in both elections, missing out on a win.[11][12] Di Natale has acted as health spokesperson for the Greens in Victoria and in 2002 spoke about the Greens' support for harm reduction policies to manage illicit drug use.[13]

In April 2007, Di Natale spoke out about the health implications of climate change,[14] and later that year voiced concerns about terror laws in relation to the then suspect Dr. Mohamed Haneef.[15][16]

Di Natale was nominated as the Australian Greens' lead senate candidate for Victoria for the 2010 federal election. Greens leader Senator Bob Brown described Di Natale as the Greens' "next strongest hope" at this election.[17]

At the 2010 election, Di Natale won a Senate seat representing Victoria. His term began on 1 July 2011. Upon taking up his seat in the Senate, Di Natale became the Greens' federal spokesperson for health. Di Natale's other portfolios include sport and multiculturalism.

Di Natale was elected unopposed as parliamentary leader of the Greens party room on 6 May 2015 following the resignation of Christine Milne from the position.[3]

The Greens achieved mixed results at the 2016 Federal Election. The Party targeted several House of Representatives seats, but did not win any additional seats despite achieving large swings. The party also lost a senator. Di Natale argued that the Greens' election strategy had been successful, with voters now seeing them as a major party.[18][19]

Parliamentary career[edit]

At the 2010 federal election, the Australian Greens achieved a shared balance of power in the House of Representatives and the sole balance of power in the Senate. In the Senate, they have been in a shared balance of power position in the outcomes of the 2007 federal election and the 2013 federal election.

Di Natale secured almost $5 billion towards Medicare-funded dentistry, which he described as "laying the foundations for Denticare" – the Greens' policy of universally available Medicare-funded dentistry.

Di Natale campaigned against the Future Fund's holdings in tobacco funds, a campaign that was ultimately successful with the Fund divesting the entirety of its tobacco holdings (approximately AUD $250 million) in 2012.[20]

Di Natale has also helped establish Senate inquiries into a number of issues of public significance including budget cuts, medicinal cannabis, the emergence of "superbugs",[21] hospital funding,[22] air pollution,[23] pharmaceutical transparency,[24] sports science[25] and gambling reform.[26] Di Natale conducts ongoing campaigns for improved human rights in West Papua,[27] timely access to cost-effective drugs through Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,[28] and science-based public health policies in areas such as wind farms[29] and vaccination policy.[30]

Di Natale was the Chair of the Senate Select Committee into the Abbott Government 2014 federal budget budget cuts and Deputy Chair of the Senate Select Committee into health. He is the co-convener of the Parliamentary Friends for Drug Policy and Law Reform, the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua and the Parliamentary Friends of Medicine.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Di Natale, his wife and two young sons live on a working farm in the foothills of Victoria's Otway Ranges.

Growing up in Melbourne, Di Natale played Australian rules football for the Coburg and Oakleigh Football Clubs in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).[7] and is a long time Richmond Tigers fan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Di Natale quashes citizenship doubts with help from Italian consulate". SBS News. 22 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Melissa (22 August 2010). "First Green Vic Senator, Fielding out". ninemsn. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b Norman, Jane (6 May 2015). "Australian Greens: Richard Di Natale elected new leader after Christine Milne resignation". ABC News. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  4. ^ Ireland, Judith (14 January 2014). "Time to scrap Lord's Prayer in Parliament: Greens". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ "Citizenship Register". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Senator Richard Di Natale". Parliament of Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b Di Natale, Richard (18 March 2015). "About Richard Di Natale". The Australian Greens party. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  8. ^ "2004 Election Results" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2007.
  9. ^ Doherty, Ben (22 November 2007). "A natural Labor man – but he's not". The Age. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Melbourne Result 2004". Victorian Electoral Commission. 2004. Archived from the original on 6 September 2006.
  11. ^ "State Results". Victorian Electoral Commission. 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2007.
  12. ^ "Seat of many faces, many landmarks". The Age. Faifax. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  13. ^ "Greens offer heroin in rehab plan". The Age. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  14. ^ Nader, Carol (28 April 2007). "Health costs of global warming". The Age. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  15. ^ "Rally calls for terror laws to be repealed". Age. 4 August 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  16. ^ "Rallies call for terror law overhaul". Sunday Times. Perth. 4 August 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  17. ^ Nader, Carol (19 July 2010). "A challenging relationship for the Greens, whoever wins". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  18. ^ Middleton, Karen (16 July 2016). "The parties' spin on the 2016 election result". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  19. ^ Murphy, Katharine (2 August 2016). "Richard Di Natale tells Greens not to air their election result grievances". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Future Fund drops tobacco investment". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 1999 Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  22. ^ "Senate Committees – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  23. ^ "Impacts on health of air quality in Australia – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Pharmaceutical Transparency) Bill 2013 – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Practice of sports science in Australia – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  26. ^ "Senate Committees – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  27. ^ "West Papua | Richard Di Natale". Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Search | Richard Di Natale". Retrieved 9 February 2014.[dead link]
  29. ^ "YouTube – Richard Di Natale – Wind farms, health and science". YouTube. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  30. ^ "YouTube – Senator Richard Di Natale – The Australian Vaccination Network". YouTube. Retrieved 9 February 2014.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Christine Milne
Federal Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens