Tom Kenyon

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Tom Kenyon
Tom Kenyon crop.jpg
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Newland
Assumed office
18 March 2006
Personal details
Born Thomas Richard Kenyon
(1972-02-26) 26 February 1972 (age 45)
Political party Australian Labor Party (SA)

Thomas Richard "Tom" Kenyon (born 26 February 1972) is an Australian politician representing the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Newland for the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party since the 2006 election.

Early life[edit]

Kenyon was raised in Gawler and Adelaide. He is the eldest of five children born to Neville and Elizabeth Kenyon. His siblings are Foof, Jamie, Horse, Pip and Notum. He was educated at Saint Ignatius College, South Australia and studied Asian Studies at Flinders University. He subsequently completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management at the University of South Australia. After working in a number of positions, including as a jackaroo and union organiser, Kenyon was employed as an advisor to Minister for Mineral Resources and Development Paul Holloway, a position which he held until his election to parliament. Kenyon is linked with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).[1]


Kenyon made his first bid for parliament in his early 20s, as the Labor candidate in the safe Liberal state seat of Heysen at the 1997 state election, achieving a 12.3-point two-party swing.

Kenyon was endorsed unopposed as the party's candidate for the electorate of Newland at the 2006 state election, where veteran Liberal MP Dorothy Kotz was retiring. He singled out increasing the use of public transport and addressing youth employment as priorities, and there was some media speculation that his status as a young, relatively conservative father of three would be well-supported in the area of Adelaide known as the "Bible Belt". To this extent, polls as early as 2005 began showing that Kenyon was in with a real chance of winning the seat, although Kotz had previously held the seat by a fair margin. There was ultimately a landslide result across the city on election day, and he achieved a 12.5-point two-party swing to finish with a 56.8 percent two-party vote, polling more than double the required swing needed to take the seat, claiming victory after only 90 minutes of counting.

Kenyon is on the right of the Labor Party, with links to the rightwing Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. He was the only Labor member to state that he would vote against the planned Relationships Bill removing discrimination against gay couples if a conscience vote were granted – although in the end he voted for the revised Domestic Partners Bill in 2006. Kenyon used his maiden South Australian House of Assembly speech to criticise the SA Greens environmental credentials, and stating that he does not believe South Australia should accept nuclear waste from other countries, and that burial of waste materials is a suitable option. His maiden speech was also used to speak out against abortion.

Kenyon was appointed as Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade, Minister for Small Business as well as becoming a Member of Executive Council.

Kenyon suffered a 4.6-point two-party swing to finish with a 52.2 percent two-party vote at the 2010 state election in Newland. At the 2014 state election, Kenyon's seat became Labor's most marginal on a 51.4 percent two-party vote from a 1.2-point swing.

Kenyon quit cabinet following the 2014 election stating he wanted to spend more time with his family.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Kenyon is a devout Catholic.[3]

Kenyon plays rugby and was captain of the winning Australian Parliament XV squad in the 2015 Parliamentary Rugby World Cup in England.


  1. ^ "The rise and fall of Don Farrell". InDaily. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  2. ^ "Tom Kenyon not in new Labor ministry in South Australia". 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Assisted suicide in Australia: On the brink". The Economist. 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Dorothy Kotz
Member for Newland