Australia, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs



The Honourable Jenny Macklin MP is the Australian Government Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, a position she has held since the election of the Labor Government in November 2007. She was reappointed to the portfolio following the 2010 election.


As a Minister she has had responsibility for a range of important national social reforms, including:

  • Overseeing the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous people;
  • The introduction of Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme;
  • Pension reforms, including a record increase to the basic pension and raising the age pension age;
  • Direct cash stimulus payments to households, and record investment in new social housing, in response to the global financial crisis; and
  • The national commitment to closing the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians.


Elected to Federal Parliament in 1996, she served as an Opposition Shadow Minister until the 2007 election, with responsibility for a range of social policy portfolios including aged care, social security, health, education and training.  She served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2001 – 2006, and was the first woman to hold a leadership position in a major Australian political party.


She has an honours degree in commerce from the University of Melbourne and prior to entering Federal Parliament worked in research roles with the Australian National University, the Legislative Research Service and the Labor Research Centre. She was also Director of two major policy inquiries – the National Health Strategy and the Australian Urban Regional Development Review.


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