Who’s a former musical theater star? Who quit school at the age of 15? Which minister can list ‘firefighter’ on their resume? Here are some quirky facts you may not know about the new Queensland Cabinet.
Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has announced her 14 person ministry following the party’s first Caucus meeting.
The new Cabinet features a record number of eight women and is “an exciting mix of experience and fresh talent”, according to Palaszczuk. The Palaszczuk Cabinet is smaller than the previous Newman ministry, which had 19 members, as well as 12 assistant ministers.
So who the heck are these guys, anyway?
Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Small Business, Minister for Commonwealth Games
Jones grew up in Brisbane and continues to live in Ashgrove with her husband and two children, Thomas and Grace. She attended Kelvin Grove High School where she was quite the musical theater star, playing Oliver in Oliver Twist and Miss Cloudland 1956 in an original score. Jones has a Masters in Environmental Law.
Leader of the House, Assist Minister of State assisting the Premier
Born in the tiny town of Dalby, Queensland, Stirling Hinchliffe has worked in public and private sector jobs and run his own small business. The father of three is a junior coach at Northside Wizards Basketball and was educated at state schools. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland.
Minister for State Development, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
Lynham graduated in Dentistry from the University of Queensland in 1982 and Medicine from the University of Newcastle in 1993, before completing training in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Queensland in 1998. Following a fellowship visit to Switzerland, he gained a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in the general stream.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Training and Skills
D’Ath left school and entered the full-time workforce at the age of 15 where she worked in a variety of clerical and hospitality positions. After realising the value of education, D’Ath returned to study, putting herself through night school as she continued working and began to raise a family. She graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Laws, attained a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from ANU and was admitted as a lawyer in 2006.
Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
Curtis Pitt is the member for Mulgrave, a seat once held by his father for a cumulative 17 years, and served in the previous Bligh government as Deputy Government Whip before taking over as Minister for Disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, as well as becoming the first ever Minister for Mental Health. He was also an Auxiliary Firefighter with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.
Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Service
Cameron Dick worked as Crown Counsel and Acting Attorney-General in Tuvalu as part of an international development volunteer program from 1993 to 1996. After this he was a student at Trinity Hall, studying international law at Cambridge. After the 2009 election, then-premier Anna Bligh asked him to serve as the Attorney-General as well as Minister for Industrial Relations, a rare occurrence for a first-term member of parliament.
Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors, Minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland
O’Rourke was the director of a community-based early learning centre, using her platform to push for reform in the early years’ education and care sector, in particular mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse for childcare workers.
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Fentiman works as an employment lawyer and volunteers for the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre as well as being on the board of Logan Women’s Health. She is also Chairperson of the Centre against Sexual Violence in Logan.
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Minister for Sport and Racing
A former lieutenant colonel in the Australian Army, Byrne served for nearly three decades as a regular infantry officer and Reservist. He has experience and civilian qualifications as a marine coxswain, rural firefighter, and emergency management incident controller. Byrne enjoys exercise, reading, fishing and golf, and supports rugby of both persuasions.
Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Minister for Energy and Water Supply
Bailey is a qualified history and drama teacher and previously was the local councillor for Moorooka Ward where he served as Chair of the Toohey Forest Management Committee, and was responsible for the purchase and preservation of the remaining privately owned part of Toohey Forest.
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
Ipswich born and bred Jo-Ann has held the seat of Bundamba for 15 years, driving the establishment of the Goodna Swimming Pool and the Springfield Police Station and the extension of the Centenary Motorway.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Science and Innovation
Enoch is the first Indigenous Australian woman to be elected to the Queensland Parliament. She is the first member of her family to graduate from university and worked for the Australian Red Cross for seven years in leadership roles at the state and national level, guiding humanitarian policy and programs.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The father of three has a PhD from UQ and runs a local business. He was also a senior adviser to the Queensland Government on economic development and innovation policy. During his downtime he loves to take his kids to Suncorp Stadium to see the Roar and Broncos.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Minister for Trade
Trad is the second daughter of Lebanese immigrants and Lebanese Arabic was her first language. The family returned to Lebanon in 1979 to live in Beirut for one year where she attended the International College. Back in Australia, she attended Lourdes Hill College. She began an arts degree at Griffith University and completed a Master of Public Policy at the University of Sydney. She currently lives in South Brisbane with her husband and two children.
Premier, Minister for the Arts
Palaszczuk was raised in Durack and is the daughter of veteran state Labor MP Henry Palaszczuk. Her mother, Lorelle, came from German settlers, while her father’s family were Polish migrants who came to Australia after World War II. Here are 10 things you don’t know about Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Do you think Palaszczuk’s team can get the job done? Are you happy to see more women in the ministry? Let us know in the comments below!