Thérèse Rein

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Thérèse Rein
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
In role
27 June 2013 – 18 September 2013
Preceded by Tim Mathieson
Succeeded by Margie Abbott
In role
3 December 2007 – 24 June 2010
Preceded by Janette Howard
Succeeded by Tim Mathieson
Personal details
Born (1958-07-17) 17 July 1958 (age 59)
Adelaide, South Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Kevin Rudd (m. 1981–present)
Children Jessica, Nicholas and Marcus Rudd
Alma mater Australian National University
Occupation Social entrepreneur, Rehabilitation counsellor

Thérèse Rein /təˈrz ˈrn/[1] (born 17 July 1958) is an Australian entrepreneur and founder of Ingeus, an international employment and business psychology services company.

Rein is the wife of Kevin Rudd, who was the Prime Minister of Australia, holding the office from 2007 to 2010 and then again in 2013. She was the first Australian Prime Minister's wife to remain in the paid workforce while her husband was in office.[2] She was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission in December 2010 for her long-term dedication to human rights, especially the rights of people with disability. In December 2012 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of the University degree by Griffith University for her services to business, and the award of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Western Sydney in April 2014, in recognition of her service to the Australian community, commitment to human rights, engaging constructively with human rights mechanisms, eliminating poverty and injustice, and the illumination of disadvantage.[3]

Early life[edit]

Rein was born on 17 July 1958 in Adelaide, South Australia. Her father, John Rein, was a Royal Australian Air Force navigator who had suffered severe spinal cord damage during a plane crash. He later became an aeronautical engineer and represented Australia as a paralympian, his achievements playing a pivotal role in inspiring his daughter.[4] He met his future wife Elizabeth at a rehabilitation hospital in Sydney where she was working as the head of physiotherapy.

Rein attended St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School in Adelaide and Firbank Grammar School in Melbourne. She studied psychology, linguistics and English at the Australian National University in Canberra and received a Bachelor of Arts with honours in psychology in 1980, and a Master of Psychology (Qualifying) degree in 1981. There she met Kevin Rudd, as both of them lived at Burgmann College during their first year of university and were members of the Student Christian Movement.[5] The pair married in 1981 soon after graduation, before moving offshore for envoy-in-training Rudd to study diplomacy in Sweden and China. In 1986, they returned to Australia, where Rein set up the company Work Directions, now named Ingeus, to help people injured at work find employment. They have three children: Jessica (born 1983), Nicholas (born 1986) and Marcus (born 1993).[6][7][8][9][10]

Business career[edit]

In 1986 she worked part-time as a rehabilitation counsellor, primarily helping people get back into the workforce.[11] In 1988 she founded Thérèse Rein and Associates, later Ingeus. This international employment services agency assists jobseekers, in particular long-term unemployed people, enter the workforce.[12][13][14][15][16]

The Chairman of Ingeus is David Gonski AC, a prominent business leader based in Sydney. Other directors include Rein, Garry Hounsell, and Greg Ashmead.[17]

The sale of the Australian arm of Ingeus took place in May 2007 to ensure there was no perceived conflict of interest as her husband, Kevin Rudd was the Leader of the Opposition (and later the Prime Minister of Australia).[18] The Australian businesses sold in October and December 2007.

Ingeus re-entered the Australian market with the acquisition of Assure Programs in October 2011.[19]

UK government contract[edit]

In 2011 Ingeus UK was awarded 23 percent of the Work Programme contract by the UK Government. Some speculation has ensued regarding funds purported to have been given in support to the Employment Minister Chris Grayling[20]

The DWP responded in a statement said that Grayling was not personally involved in the decision to award the Work Programme contract to Ingeus UK:

All commercial decisions were made through a clear governance process and the evaluation was conducted in accordance with our disclosed process. Our processes our in accordance with best practice across public sector procurement ......The procurement was undertaken by qualified (CIPS) and experienced procurement professionals. There was extensive internal and external assurance exercises undertaken throughout the procurement process.


Rein has a strong involvement in charity work and is patron of The Australian Common Ground Alliance; UNICEF Maternal and Infant Health Campaign;[21] the Indigenous Literacy Foundation; OzHarvest Food rescue; Ability First Australia;[22] Arts Project Australia; The Bella Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; ACT Junior Talent Squad for Athletes with a Disability; Shakespeare on Oxford Festival at Bulimba, Brisbane. She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[23]


  1. ^ Toohey, Paul (13 February 2007). "Meet Mrs Rudd". The Bulletin. Retrieved 25 October 2007. She's long insisted on spelling her name Thérèse... Her Burgmann file shows that someone has hand-penned in the acute (é) and the grave (è) above typed spellings of her name. 
  2. ^ McMahon, Barbara (24 November 2007). "Profile: Kevin Rudd". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Australia Council Annual Report, [1], retrieved 9 Oct 2015
  4. ^ Mann, Simon; Askew, Kate (24 April 2007). "The thing about Therese". The Age. p. 9. Retrieved 27 May 2007. 
  5. ^ Thérèse Rein. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Rudd walks daughter down the aisle". The Age. AAP. 5 May 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  7. ^ Merrit, Chris (30 January 2007). "Ms Rudd follows Ms Howard ... it's the law". The Australian. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  8. ^ Zwartz, Barney (9 December 2006). "ALP's new man puts his faith on display". The Age. Retrieved 9 December 2006. 
  9. ^ Egan, Carmel (3 December 2006). "Kevin Rudd". The Age. Retrieved 26 October 2007. 
  10. ^ Kevin Rudd – Member for Griffith at the Wayback Machine (archived 3 January 2010)
  11. ^ Fraser, Andrew (24 May 2007). "Rise of Rein's company". The Australian. Retrieved 27 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Therese Rein set for $151m payday after selling Ingeus [2], Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 2014, retrieved 9 October 2015
  13. ^ Therese Rein sells Ingeus in deal worth up to $222m [3], Business Review Weekly, 1 April 2014, retrieved 9 October 2015
  14. ^ How Rein built her $254m business and why, this time, she’ll keep it [4], Crikey, 8 July 2013, retrieved 9 October 2015
  15. ^ Women in Focus [5], Commonwealth Bank, Woman in Focus
  16. ^ Homeless Fodder For NGO Money Machine, [6], Sydney Homeless, retrieved 9 October 2015
  17. ^ "Our board". About us. Ingeus. 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  18. ^ Kevin Rudd
  19. ^ Assure Programs announcement Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  20. ^ Wilson, Peter (14 May 2011). "Call for probe into Rein's UK contract wins". The Australian. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  21. ^ Street, Daniel (5 August 2009). "PM's wife a champion of the poor". Nine News. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  22. ^ O'Brien, Kerry (28 October 2009). "Therese Rein – passionate advocate for the disabled" (transcript). The 7.30 Report. Australia: ABCTV. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Honorary Board". IPC. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • Wilmoth, Peter (27 May 2007). "Rein and Shine". Sunday Life Magazine. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Tim Mathieson
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
27 June 2013 – 18 September 2013
Succeeded by
Margie Abbott
Preceded by
Janette Howard
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
3 December 2007 – 24 June 2010
Succeeded by
Tim Mathieson