Roger Cook (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roger Cook
3 Feb 15 FREO FSH gnangarra-123.jpg
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
23 January 2012
Leader Mark McGowan
Member of Parliament
for Kwinana
Assumed office
6 September 2008
Personal details
Born Roger Hugh Cook
(1965-08-20) 20 August 1965 (age 50)
Cottesloe, Western Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater Murdoch University (BA)

Roger Hugh Cook (born 20 August 1965) is an Australian politician current serving as the Labor Party member for the seat of Kwinana in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, as well as Deputy Leader of the Opposition to Eric Ripper and Mark McGowan. From Perth, Western Australia, Cook was educated at Murdoch University, where he was heavily involved in student organisations and served as the first president of the National Union of Students. He subsequently became involved in indigenous land rights, serving as director of a number of native title bodies. Cook was elected to parliament at the 2008 state election, defeating independent candidate Carol Adams to become the first member for the newly created electoral district of Kwinana. He was elected deputy leader of the Labor Party shortly after the election, and maintained the role when Eric Ripper was replaced as leader in early 2012. Cook is also the current Shadow Minister for Health, having previously also held the shadow portfolios of Mental Health and Indigenous Affairs.


Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia,[1] Cook attended Murdoch University, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration, as well as later completing a Master of Business Administration degree and a graduate business diploma (specialising in public relations) at Curtin University.[2] Whilst at Murdoch, Cook became involved in student politics, serving as a student representative on the university's senate. He was also involved in the establishment of the National Union of Students in mid-1986, becoming its first national president as a representative of the National Organisation of Labor Students.[3] After graduating, Cook went on to work in the offices of a number of Labor Party MPs, including Stephen Smith, Jim McGinty, and Chris Evans.[1]

He has been involved in indigenous land rights issues including time as the CEO of the West Australian Native Title Working Group, as Executive Director of the Native Title Representative Body for the resource rich Pilbara region (Yamatji Marlpa Barna Baba Maaja Aboriginal Corporation) and as Director of government and corporate relations at the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. Cook served as national president of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation until the election was called. Cook is also a former state party secretary and until the election was state manager of public relations firm CPR which is closely associated with the Labor Party.[4]

At the 2008 state election, Cook won the seat of Kwinana in a tightly fought contest, winning by 300 votes from independent candidate Carol Adams, the mayor of the Town of Kwinana at the time.[4] Adams had unsuccessfully attempted to gain Labor pre-selection, and later accused Alan Carpenter of "parachuting" Cook into the seat.[5] On 16 September 2008, Cook was elected to the position of deputy leader of the Labor Party under Eric Ripper.[6] He is a member of the Labor Left faction, backed by what was then the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU; now United Voice).[5] After Ripper was replaced by Mark McGowan as Leader of the Opposition in January 2012, Cook maintained his position as deputy leader, but was stripped of the Mental Health and Indigenous Affairs portfolios following a shadow cabinet reshuffle.[7]


Cook has held the following shadow portfolios since his election in 2008:[2]

  • 26 September 2008 – 27 January 2012: Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Shadow Minister for Health; Shadow Minister for Mental Health; Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs
  • 27 January 2012 – 9 April 2013: Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Shadow Minister for Health
  • 9 April 2013 onwards: Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Shadow Minister for Health; Shadow Minister for Science


  1. ^ a b About Roger – Roger Cook official website. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Mr Roger Hugh Cook MLA BA, GradDipBus (PR), MBA – Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ Senate minutes 22 June 1987 – Murdoch University. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Murray, Paul (11 September 2008). "Labor’s plight a child of several dead-beat dads". Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  5. ^ a b van Schoubroeck, Lesley (2010). The Lure of Politics: Geoff Gallop's Government, 2001–2006. Crawley, Western Australia: UWA Publishing. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-74258-069-2. 
  6. ^ "Ripper elected WA Labor Leader". ABC News. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  7. ^ Trenwith, Courtney (23 January 2012). "McGowan officially elected Labor leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
Western Australian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Kwinana