Simon Birmingham

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Senator The Honourable
Simon Birmingham
Simon Birmingham.jpg
Minister for Education and Training
Assumed office
21 September 2015
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Christopher Pyne
Assistant Minister for Education and Training
In office
23 December 2014 – 21 September 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Sussan Ley
Succeeded by Office Abolished
Senator for South Australia
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded by Jeannie Ferris
Personal details
Born (1974-06-14) 14 June 1974 (age 42)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Courtney Morcombe
Children 2
Alma mater University of Adelaide
Website senatorbirmingham.com.au

Simon John Birmingham (born 14 June 1974), an Australian politician, is a member of the Australian Senate representing South Australia as a member of the Liberal Party since 2007. Birmingham served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment from 18 September 2013 then Assistant Minister for Education and Training in the Abbott Ministry from December 2014, before being promoted to Minister for Education and Training in the Turnbull Government from September 2015.

Early life and career[edit]

Birmingham was named South Australia's Lions Club Youth of the Year in 1992[1] and awarded the Town of Gawler's Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award in 1993. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Adelaide Graduate School of Business, University of Adelaide.[2]

He began his career working as an electorate officer for Senator Robert Hill. In 1997 Birmingham moved from federal to state politics, working as a ministerial advisor to Joan Hall.

Early in 2000 Birmingham moved to Canberra to become the national manager of public affairs for the Australian Hotels Association.[3] In late 2001, Birmingham was appointed chief of staff to the South Australian state minister for tourism and innovation, Martin Hamilton-Smith. Following a change of government in 2002, Birmingham began work with the Winemakers' Federation of Australia where he remained until his appointment to the Senate in 2007.[4]

Political career[edit]

At the age of 29, Birmingham won Liberal Party preselection for the marginal seat of Hindmarsh at the 2004 federal election following the retirement of sitting member Christine Gallus. The seat was narrowly won by Labor's Steve Georganas.[5]

After an unsuccessful attempt to fill the vacancy created by Robert Hill's retirement from the Senate in 2006, Birmingham won Liberal Party preselection as a Senate candidate in 2007 federal election and was elected for a six-year term. However, he entered the Senate earlier, being appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Jeannie Ferris.[2] At the time of his appointment on 3 May 2007, Birmingham was the youngest member of the Australian Senate. He is identified with the moderate wing of the Liberal Party.[6]

Birmingham served on Senate Environment, Communications, and Arts Committees from May 2007 to February 2010, the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network as well as the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties from 2007 to September 2012. He was also the Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee (from September 2012), the Deputy Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (from September 2012), a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (from February 2008) and a member of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network (from March 2011).[7] He is also deputy chair of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF. Birmingham has a keen interest in water issues including the health and future of the Murray Darling Basin,[8][9][10] and in December 2008 introduced a Private Member’s Bill, The Water Amendment (Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers) Bill 2008. In December 2009 Birmingham was appointed to the Coalition frontbench as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action.[11] After the 2010 election he was re-appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin and appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. He also represented the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Hon Malcolm Turnbull, in the Senate.[12]

Following the 2013 federal election, Birmingham served in the Abbott Ministry as a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and from September 2013 until December 2014;[13] when he was appointed as the Assistant Minister for Education and Training.[14][15] He became the Minister for Education and Training in the First Turnbull Ministry following the Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill, September 2015.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South Australia: Lions Club Youth of the Year". Lions Clubs of Australia. 
  2. ^ a b "Senator Simon John Birmingham". Members and Senators. Parliament of Australia. 
  3. ^ "Building industry tips job losses". The Age. 4 January 2001. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Simon BirninghamP profile". Q&A (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 
  5. ^ Australian Electoral Commission, S.A Division—Hindmarsh, 2004 election tally
  6. ^ "Loss for Hill's faction in Senate". The Australian. 11 April 2006. 
  7. ^ "Biography for BIRMINGHAM, the Hon. Simon John". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. 
  8. ^ "Victoria Slurps Murray as SA Dams". The Independent Weekly. 18 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "Opinion: Government giving up on our Lower Lakes" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). The Advertiser. 14 August 2008. 
  10. ^ "Lack of action is leaving us high and dry" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). The Advertiser. 25 January 2008. 
  11. ^ "A Reshaped Coalition Team for Australia's Future". Liberal Party of Australia. 8 December 2009. 
  12. ^ http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/parl/43/Shadow/index.htm
  13. ^ "Abbott Ministry" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". news.com.au (News Corp Australia). 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jeannie Ferris
Senator for South Australia
2007–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Sussan Ley
as Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Education and Training
2014–2015
Ministry abolished
Preceded by
Christopher Pyne
Minister for Education and Training
2015–present
Incumbent