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Alan Tudge

Alan Tudge 2018 (cropped).jpg
Tudge in 2018
Minister for Education and Youth
Assumed office
22 December 2020
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byDan Tehan
(as Minister for Education)
Richard Colbeck
(as Minister for Youth and Sport)
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure
In office
28 August 2018 – 22 December 2020
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byPaul Fletcher
Succeeded byPaul Fletcher
(as Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts)
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
In office
20 December 2017 – 28 August 2018
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Scott Morrison
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byDavid Coleman
Minister for Human Services
In office
18 February 2016 – 20 December 2017
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byStuart Robert
Succeeded byMichael Keenan
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Aston
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded byChris Pearce
Personal details
Born (1971-02-24) 24 February 1971 (age 50)
Pakenham, Victoria, Australia
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Teri Etchells (separated 2017)
Alma mater
ProfessionManagement consultant

Alan Tudge (born 24 February 1971) is an Australian politician who has been Minister for Education and Youth in the Morrison Government since 2020. He is a member of the Liberal Party and has been a member of the House of Representatives since the 2010 federal election.

Tudge grew up in Pakenham, Victoria. Prior to entering politics he was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and deputy director of the Cape York Institute (2006–2009). He was elected to federal parliament in 2010, representing the Victorian seat of Aston. Tudge became a parliamentary secretary after the 2013 election. He has been a government minister in the Turnbull and Morrison Governments since 2016 and was elevated to cabinet in 2019. Prior to his appointment as education minister he served as Minister for Human Services (2016–2017), Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs (2017–2018), and Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population (2018–2020).

Early life

Tudge was born on 24 February 1971 in Pakenham, Victoria.[1] His parents were veterinarians who met at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and arrived in Australia as Ten Pound Poms.[2] He was born a British citizen by descent, but renounced his dual citizenship before standing for parliament in 2010. His mother was born in Scotland and his father in England, while his maternal grandfather was born in Canada.[3]

Tudge's parents separated when he was around six years old,[4] after which he was raised by his mother on a small farm near Pakenham. He attended a local primary school,[2] then completed his secondary education at Haileybury, Melbourne, graduating in 1988.[5] Tudge attended the University of Melbourne, completing the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons.).[1] He served as president of the Melbourne University Student Union, replacing future left-wing activist Andrew Landeryou, in what he described as "the first time a non-Left president had won for many, many years".[2]


Tudge worked as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) from 1996 to 2001.[1] He was initially based in Melbourne and later in New York, and during this time completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard University.[2] He was also seconded to indigenous leader Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute through Jawun, as the organisation's first corporate secondee.[6]

In 2002, Tudge became a senior adviser to federal education minister Brendan Nelson. He later worked for foreign minister Alexander Downer.[1][2] Tudge later rejoined the Cape York Institute as deputy director from 2006 to 2009.[1] He was a founding board member of Teach For Australia, established in 2009 by his former BCG colleague Melodie Potts Rosevear.[7][8] He subsequently ran his own policy advisory firm from 2009 until his election to parliament.[9]

Political career

Tudged joined the Liberal Party in 2002 and was the convenor of its Education Policy Forum.[1] In September 2009, he won preselection for the Division of Aston as one of 11 candidates, defeating Neil Angus on the final ballot.[10] He retained Aston for the Liberals at the 2010 federal election, succeeding the retiring MP Chris Pearce.[11]

Following the 2013 federal election and the formation of the Abbott Ministry, Tudge was appointed as parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. On the day of the 2015 leadership spill which saw Abbott replaced by Malcolm Turnbull, he publicly described himself as "a very strong supporter of the prime minister".[12] He was nonetheless retained as assistant minister to Turnbull and also made an assistant minister to social services minister Christian Porter.[1]

In February 2016 Tudge was appointed Minister for Human Services in the Turnbull Government.[13] He oversaw the implementation of the Cashless Welfare Card, a scheme by which 80% of welfare payments are placed on a debit card.[14][15] Following a cabinet reshuffle, Tudge was appointed Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs in December 2017.[1] During the 2018 Liberal leadership spills, he was one of a number of ministers to tender their resignation to Turnbull, however his was not immediately accepted.[16] He reportedly voted for Peter Dutton against Scott Morrison in the second vote.[17]

Tudge was retained in the First Morrison Ministry as Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population.[1] He stated his support for a "Bigger Australia".[18] After the 2019 election he was elevated to cabinet.[1] In December 2019 he was additionally appointed as the acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, due to David Coleman taking indefinite leave.[19] Tudge was appointed Minister for Education and Youth in December 2020, replacing Dan Tehan as part of a cabinet reshuffle caused by the retirement of Mathias Cormann.[1]


In June 2017 Tudge, and Liberal Party colleagues Greg Hunt and Michael Sukkar, faced the possibility of being prosecuted for contempt of court after they made public statements criticising the sentencing decisions of two senior judges while the government was awaiting their ruling on a related appeal.[20][21] They avoided prosecution by, eventually, making an unconditional apology to the Victorian Court of Appeal.[22][23][24] Conviction could have resulted in their expulsion from the parliament under Constitution s 44(ii) and, as a result, the government losing its one-seat majority in the House of Representatives.

In March 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ordered that an Afghan asylum seeker who had previously been a part of the Afghan National Army be granted a temporary protection visa. Tudge, who was Acting Immigration Minister at the time,[19] instantly appealed the judgement of the AAT to federal court, which failed. However during the 6-day appeal process, the asylum seeker had been kept in the detention centre. Six months later, the Federal Court found that Tudge "engaged in conduct which can only be described as criminal," and that Tudge had deprived the asylum seeker of his liberty, which has prompted calls for his resignation.[25][26][27]

Election results

Election results – Alan Tudge
Election Share of first-preference vote Share of two-party-preferred vote Notes
2010 federal election 46% 51% [28]
2013 federal election 51% 58% [28]
2016 federal election 50% 58% [28]
2019 federal election 55% 60%

Personal life

Tudge fathered three children with his ex-wife Teri Etchells. Their 20-year relationship ended in 2017, a year after the birth of their third child,[2] as a result of Tudge's extramarital affair.[29]

Affair and bullying allegations

In November 2020, Tudge's former press secretary Rachelle Miller revealed on a broadcast of Four Corners that they had engaged in an affair.[30] Tudge subsequently released a statement on Facebook confirming the affair and that it led to the end of his marriage.[29] In the same broadcast, Miller described Tudge's opposition to same-sex marriage, based on his support for "traditional" marriage, as hypocritical.[30] She later also accused him of bullying and intimidation,[31] saying in a complaint "He would often ask me to go to dinner or drinks at the end of a long day on the road. I often felt like I didn’t have much choice or couldn’t say no because he was my boss".[32]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Hon Alan Tudge MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Whinnett, Ellen (26 March 2016). "Baby, what a day". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  3. ^ Citizenship Register – 45th Parliament
  4. ^ "Maiden speech". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Alan Tudge ('88)". Old Haileyburyians Association. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Push To End Passive Indigenous Welfare Delivers Results". Jawun. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  7. ^ Hastie, David (26 January 2021). "Alan Tudge: potentially a very different type of education minister". Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  8. ^ Hare, Julie (16 April 2021). "Alan Tudge's 10-year plan to get schools back to basics". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  9. ^ Green, Antony (2010). "Aston". 2010 Federal Election. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  10. ^ Murphy, Katharine (21 September 2009). "Former Liberals staffer preselected for Aston". The Age. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Aston". Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  12. ^ Uhlmann, Chris; Henderson, Anna (14 September 2015). "Prime Minister Tony Abbott dismisses leadership speculation as 'Canberra gossip', insider games". Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Ministerial Swearing-in Ceremony". Events. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 18 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  14. ^ Laschon, Eliza (1 September 2018). "Goldfields to get cashless welfare card after report finds drinking, drug use down". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  15. ^ Remeikis, Amy (1 September 2017). "Government claims cashless welfare card a success, names WA Goldfields as third trial site". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  16. ^ Madden, James (22 August 2018). "Leadership crisis: How each Liberal MP voted in spill". The Australian. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  17. ^ "How the party members voted in the Liberal leadership contest". The Age. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b "Our Ministers". Department of Home Affairs. 10 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge, Michael Sukkar face contempt charge". Financial Review. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  21. ^ Hutchens, Gareth (14 June 2017). "Greg Hunt declines to say if he'll be in court for hearing over potential contempt charges". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  22. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (23 June 2017). "Coalition ministers will not face contempt charges after court accepts apology". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  23. ^ Bucci, Nino; Massola, James (23 June 2017). "Ministers escape contempt charges after 'unconditional apology' to Supreme Court". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  24. ^ "An Executive and Judicial tussle: Is this healthy for our democracy?". Constitution Education Fund Australia. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  25. ^ Doran, Matthew (23 September 2020). "Judge accuses Immigration Minister Alan Tudge of criminal conduct in immigration case". ABC News. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  26. ^ Stayner, Tom (23 September 2020). "Judge says Alan Tudge engaged in 'criminal' conduct while preventing aslyum seeker's release". SBS News. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  27. ^ Maiden, Samantha (23 September 2020). "Scott Morrison faces pressure to sack Alan Tudge after scathing Federal Court decision". Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  28. ^ a b c "2010 Official Election Results". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  29. ^ a b Remeikis, Amy (16 November 2020). "Fears Rachelle Miller may lose new job after speaking out over affair with Alan Tudge on Four Corners". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  30. ^ a b Inside the Canberra bubble, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 5 November 2020, retrieved 9 November 2020
  31. ^ 'Very humiliating': Alan Tudge's staffer says he was a bully who left her in tears, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 2020, retrieved 25 April 2021
  32. ^ LNP accused of 'fake redundancy' to get rid of press secretary after affair,, 12 November 2020, retrieved 25 April 2021

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Chris Pearce
Member for Aston
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Tehan
as Minister for Education
Minister for Education and Youth
Preceded by
Richard Colbeck
as Minister for Youth and Sport
Preceded by
Paul Fletcher
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure
Succeeded by
Paul Fletcher
as Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts
New ministerial post Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Succeeded by
David Coleman
as Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs
Preceded by
Stuart Robert
Minister for Human Services
Succeeded by
Michael Keenan
This page was last edited on 13 June 2021, at 03:09
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