Simon Birmingham

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The Honourable Senator
Simon Birmingham
Assistant Minister for Education
Assumed office
23 December 2014
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Preceded by Sussan Ley
Senator for South Australia
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded by Jeannie Ferris
Personal details
Born (1974-06-14) 14 June 1974 (age 41)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal
Alma mater University of Adelaide

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 has served in the Abbott Ministry as the Assistant Minister for Education since December 2014.

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.[14][15]


External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jeannie Ferris
Senator for South Australia
2007 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Sussan Ley
Assistant Minister for Education
2014 – present