Tim Watts (politician)

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Tim Watts

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gellibrand
Assumed office
7 September 2013
Preceded byNicola Roxon
Personal details
Timothy Graham Watts

(1982-06-08) 8 June 1982 (age 37)
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Spouse(s)Joyce Kwok
Alma materBond University
Monash University
London School of Economics

Timothy Graham Watts (born 8 June 1982) is an Australian politician and an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since September 2013, representing the Division of Gellibrand, Victoria.

Prior to entering parliament, Watts worked as a Telstra executive,[1] a political advisor to John Brumby and Stephen Conroy,[2] and a solicitor at the firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Background and early years[edit]

Watts was born and raised in Toowoomba, where his ancestor, John Watts was a member of the first Parliament of Queensland.


Watts lives in Footscray with his wife and two children.

Since about 2006, Watts has been the author of a blog entitled "Blogging the Bookshelf", in which he discusses the books that he has been reading.[3]


Watts holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from Bond University, a Master of Public Policy and Management from Monash University and a Master of Science in Politics and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Watts was preselected in 2013, following the resignation of Nicola Roxon in the Federal seat of Gellibrand in Melbourne's west. He won the seat with a 16.53% majority at the 2013 Federal election, and was re-elected in 2016.

Since his election he has served as the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Health in the House of Representatives and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Communications and Arts.[4]

Two Futures: Australia at a critical moment[edit]

In 2015, Watts and Labor MP Clare O'Neil, published Two Futures: Australia at a critical moment which purported to address long-term policy challenges facing Australia.[5]

Family violence[edit]

Following the murder of Fiona Warzywoda in the electorate in 2014,[6] Watts campaigned for preventing and removing family violence across Melbourne's West and Australia.[7]

In 2014, Watts launched the bipartisan 'Parliamentarians against Family Violence' with Coalition MP's Andrew Broad and Ken Wyatt.[8] Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty addressed a meeting of the group in 2015, expressing that 'Cross-party commitment is important to the issue of family and domestic violence'.[9]

In response, former Labor Leader, Mark Latham used a column in the Australian Financial Reviewto label Watts as "symptomatic of the decline in Labor's thinking" and argue that "Watts has fallen for the feminist line on domestic violence".[10]

In 2015, Watts and fellow Labor MP Terri Butler introduced a private members bill to criminalise the non-consensual sharing of private sexual material.[11][12]

In an opinion piece published by the Chifley Research Centre, Watts called for action in response to the issue of family violence. He has written on the importance of engaging with the states, territories and relevant stakeholders, as well as the use of effective communication in achieving successful policy outcomes to the issue.[13]

Australian aid[edit]

Watts has been an outspoken advocate of Australian Aid in the Parliament[14] and has travelled to Cambodia[15] and Papua New Guinea[16] to visit Australian funded development programs[17] in those countries.


Watts has been an advocate greater Australian engagement in Asia, speaking frequently about Asian-Australian diaspora communities.[18][19]

Watts has been an Australian delegate to a number of bilateral events such as the Australian Chinese Youth Dialogue,[20] Australian Indian Youth Dialogue[21] and CAUSINDY.[22]

Watts was also a program participant for the Asialink Leaders Course in 2017.[23]

New Australian flag[edit]

Watts has also written on the importance of multiculturalism in modern Australian society, and in doing so has called for a new Australian flag which does not bear the Union Jack.[24] He described the importance of national symbols and the importance in ensuring they are reflective of the 'modern, multicultural, Southeast Asian nation we have become'.[24]


Watts has written on the economic growth of Indonesia in recent years, highlighting that 'there is no other nation in Asia more important to our future than Indonesia'.[25] Subsequently, he has called for an increase to the cap on working holiday visas for Indonesians and argued that it is time Australians consider Indonesia as 'critical' to both the economic prosperity and security of the country.[25]


  1. ^ O'Doherty, Fiona (15 April 2013). "Labor candidate Tim Watts powers ahead". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ Oakes, Dan (15 July 2009). "Telstra hires former Conroy adviser". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ Kelly, Fran (6 January 2016). "Buy, borrow or toss: Labor MP Tim Watts' book recommendations". Radio National Breakfast. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Mr Tim Watts MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Two Futures: Australia at a critical moment". Text Publishing. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  6. ^ Watts, Tim (18 June 2014). "Constituency Statements: Domestic Violence". OpenAustralia.org. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  7. ^ Ireland, Judith (20 October 2014). "Tim Watts on why privileged men need to join the domestic violence fight". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  8. ^ Whinnett, Ellen (20 October 2014). "Parliamentarians Against Family Violence to campaign against abuse". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  9. ^ Grant, Hannah (2 March 2015). "Our Watch Ambassador, Rosie Batty, addresses parliamentarians on family violence". Our Watch. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  10. ^ Keane, Bernard (18 May 2015). "Latham enlists domestic violence for his own culture war". Crikey. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  11. ^ Watts, Tim; Butler, Terri (17 October 2016). "Criminal Code Amendment (Private Sexual Material) Bill 2016". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  12. ^ Donovan, Samantha (26 February 2016). "Revenge porn should be criminalised says Senate committee". PM. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  13. ^ Watts, Tim (21 March 2015). "The Time to Tackle Family Violence is Now". Chifley Research Centre. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  14. ^ Watts, Tim. "Australian Aid". OpenAustralia.org. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  15. ^ Watts, Tim (12 February 2015). "Adjournment: International Development Assistance". OpenAustralia.org. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  16. ^ Save the Children Australia (16 August 2015). "Tim Watts supports Australian Aid". YouTube. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  17. ^ Whinnett, Ellen (14 August 2015). "PNG: Where foreign aid barely scratches the surface". Herald Sun. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  18. ^ Watts, Tim (1 October 2014). "A Community That Works: Multiculturalism in Australian Society". YouTube. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  19. ^ Kainth, Shamsher (16 February 2016). "Tim Watts supports long stay parental visa". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  20. ^ "The ACYD is delighted to announce the delegates for the 2015 Dialogue". Australian Chinese Youth Dialogue. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Federal MP Tim Watts: A strong supporter of the Indian Community". Indus Age. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  22. ^ Watts, Tim (23 September 2016). "Tim Watts MP speaks about CAUSINDY". YouTube. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Biographies of the Asialink Leaders Program participants 2017" (PDF). Asialink. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  24. ^ a b Watts, Tim (10 September 2015). "The Need for a Flag that Represents Australia". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  25. ^ a b Watts, Tim (4 October 2016). "Indonesia, Islam and Hanson". Medium. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Nicola Roxon
Member for Gellibrand