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Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen 2016.jpg
Bowen in 2016
Leader of the Australian Labor Party
In office
18 September 2013 – 13 October 2013
DeputyAnthony Albanese
Preceded byKevin Rudd
Succeeded byBill Shorten
Leader of the Opposition
In office
18 September 2013 – 13 October 2013
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Abbott
DeputyAnthony Albanese
Preceded byTony Abbott
Succeeded byBill Shorten
Treasurer of Australia
In office
27 June 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byWayne Swan
Succeeded byJoe Hockey
Minister for Small Business
In office
4 February 2013 – 22 March 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Preceded byBrendan O'Connor
Succeeded byGary Gray
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
In office
14 September 2010 – 4 February 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Preceded byChris Evans
Succeeded byBrendan O'Connor
Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law
In office
9 June 2009 – 14 September 2010
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded byNick Sherry
Succeeded byBill Shorten
Assistant Treasurer of Australia
In office
3 December 2007 – 8 June 2009
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byPeter Dutton
Succeeded byNick Sherry
Member of the Australian Parliament for McMahon
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded byNew seat
Member of the Australian Parliament for Prospect
In office
9 October 2004 – 21 August 2010
Preceded byJanice Crosio
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Mayor of Fairfield
In office
September 1998 – September 1999
Preceded byAnwar Khoshaba
Succeeded byAnwar Khoshaba
Member of the Fairfield Council
In office
1995 – September 1998
Personal details
Christopher Eyles Guy Bowen

(1973-01-17) 17 January 1973 (age 48)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLabor
Rebecca Mifsud
(m. 2003)
EducationSt Johns Park High School
Alma materUniversity of Sydney (BEc)

Christopher Eyles Guy Bowen (born 17 January 1973) is an Australian politician serving as Shadow Minister for Health since 2019, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for McMahon since 2010. Bowen served as Treasurer of Australia in 2013, and was a Cabinet Minister in the Rudd and Gillard Governments from 2007 to 2013.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 for Prospect, however the seat was abolished and he has represented McMahon since 2010. Bowen is a senior Labor Right figure.[1]

Bowen previously served as Shadow Treasurer from 2013 to 2019, and was briefly the Interim Leader of the Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in 2013 after the 2013 federal election.[2] He previously served as Minister for Financial Services, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and Treasurer.

Early years and background

Bowen was born in Sydney to Christine and Ross Bowen. His father worked for the National Roads and Motorists' Association, while his mother, who was born in the UK, was a childcare worker.[3][4] Bowen grew up in the suburb of Smithfield, where one of his neighbours was soccer player Harry Kewell. He began his education at Smithfield Public School, and later attended St Johns Park High School before going on to the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1994. One of his tutors was the future Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.[5]

Bowen was elected to Fairfield City Council in 1995 and was Mayor of Fairfield in 1998 and 1999. He was elected president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) in 1999 and served as president until 2001.

Political career

In 2004, Bowen was elected to the House of Representatives replacing Janice Crosio after she retired after 25 years in both state and federal politics. In 2006, Bowen was appointed to the Labor front bench as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Revenue and Competition Policy.

Government minister (2007–13)

In December 2007 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed him Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs. In June 2009 Bowen was promoted to cabinet as Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law and Minister for Human Services.

In April 2010 Bowen announced significant reforms to the financial services sector including banning of commissions for financial planners giving advice on retail investment products including superannuation, managed investments and margin loans; instituting a statutory fiduciary duty so that financial advisers must act in the best interests of their clients, and increasing the powers of the corporate regulator; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.[6] The reforms were partially a response to the high-profile collapse of Storm Financial, Westpoint and Opes Prime and the resultant losses for retail investors, but also reflected global concerns with financial governance following the Global Financial crisis of 2007–2010.[7] The reforms are due to be fully implemented on 1 July 2013.

In September 2010, Bowen was appointed Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, succeeding Senator Chris Evans.[8] On 2 February 2013, Bowen replaced Evans as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research. Evans was also Minister for Small Business.[9]

Chris Bowen resigned his ministerial portfolios on 22 March 2013 after he supported an unsuccessful attempt to reinstall Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister.

Following the June 2013 leadership spill, Bowen was reinstated as a Cabinet Minister and given the portfolio of Treasurer. He was sworn in on 27 June 2013. He also has been given responsibility for financial services and superannuation, including carriage of the MySuper and other Simple Super reforms previously held by Bill Shorten.

Opposition (2013–present)

Bowen in 2014
Bowen in 2014

Bowen was appointed Interim Leader of the Labor Party on 13 September 2013 following the resignation of Kevin Rudd in the wake of the party's defeat in the 2013 federal election. Bowen pledged not to stand in the October 2013 leadership spill which was contested by Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten.[10] Shorten was elected as leader.[11][12] Bowen was later appointed Shadow Treasurer by Bill Shorten.

After Labor's shock loss in the 2019 federal election, Shorten announced his pending resignation as leader of the party. Bowen was considered a frontrunner to succeed him. On 21 May, Bowen announced his candidacy in the leadership ballot,[13] but withdrew the following day.[14] He was subsequently replaced as Shadow Treasurer by Jim Chalmers, but remained on the frontbench as Shadow Minister for Health.[15]

As Shadow Treasurer after his stint as Treasurer, he was shadow to his three immediate successors as Treasurer, Joe Hockey, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg.

Political positions

Bowen supports same-sex marriage.[16] Notably in 2017, his Division of McMahon had the 3rd highest percentage of "No" responses in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, with 64.9% of the electorate's respondents to the survey responding "No".[17]

Bowen has supported Foreign Minister Marise Payne's call for an independent global inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic including China's handling of the initial outbreak in Wuhan.[18]

Personal life

Bowen is married to Rebecca Mifsud, who as of 2016 worked for Toll Holdings as an industrial relations executive.[19] They met at the 2000 ALP National Conference, where Mifsud was a delegate for the Electrical Trades Union. The couple have two children together and they currently reside in Smithfield, Bowen's childhood suburb.[5]

Bowen and his older brother Paul had two siblings who died shortly after being born. Bowen's mother, Christine, lost two baby boys when the family was still living in the UK - once in 1959 and in 1960. Bowen revealed this story in order to raise awareness to the lasting negative effects of stillbirths on families.[20]

Bowen possesses a Diploma of Modern Language (Bahasa Indonesia) from the University of New England.[21]

See also


  • Hearts and Minds: A Blueprint for Modern Labor (2013)[22]
  • The Money Men: Australia's Twelve Most Notable Treasurers (2015)[23]
  • On Charlatans (2021)[24]


  1. ^ "Bowen backs out of Labor leadership race, leaving spot open to Shorten and Albanese". ABC News. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Chris Bowen named interim Labor leader". 13 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Labor's Chris Bowen: Paul Keating protégé and would-be treasurer". The Australian Financial Review. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  4. ^ Citizenship Register – 45th Parliament
  5. ^ a b "Chris Bowen: The man most likely". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  6. ^ Chris Bowen. "Overhaul of Financial Advice [26/04/2010]". Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  7. ^ "PM – Changes to financial planning laws will inject billions into the economy 26/04/2010". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 22 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Chris Bowen named interim Labor leader". 13 September 2013.
  11. ^ Harrison, Dan. "Bill Shorten elected Labor leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  12. ^ Griffiths, Emma (13 October 2013). "Bill Shorten elected Labor leader over Anthony Albanese after month-long campaign". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen to run for Labor leader". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Chris Bowen pulls out of Labor leadership battle after party's election defeat". ABC News. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Labor leader Anthony Albanese announces frontbench in wake of federal election 2019". 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  16. ^ Gothe-Snape, Jackson (14 September 2017). "SSM: Electorates with lowest support for same-sex marriage may be ignored by MPs despite postal survey". ABC News. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey 2017 Response Final". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 15 November 2017. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019.
  18. ^ Worthington, Brett (19 April 2020). "Marise Payne calls for global inquiry into China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak". ABC News. Archived from the original on 19 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  19. ^ "MPs quick to declare interests". The Australian. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  20. ^ " | Subscribe to The Courier Mail for exclusive stories". Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  21. ^ Coorey, Phillip. "Albanese is targeting jobs, not unions". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "On Charlatans by Chris Bowen - Books". Retrieved 23 March 2021.

External links

Civic offices
Preceded by
Anwar Khoshaba
Mayor of Fairfield
Succeeded by
Anwar Khoshaba
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Janice Crosio
Member of Parliament for Prospect
Succeeded by
Constituency Abolished
Preceded by
Constituency Created
Member of Parliament for McMahon
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Dutton
Assistant Treasurer of Australia
Succeeded by
Nick Sherry
Preceded by
Nick Sherry
Minister for Financial Services
Succeeded by
Bill Shorten
Preceded by
Chris Evans
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
Succeeded by
Brendan O'Connor
Preceded by
Brendan O'Connor
Minister for Small Business
Succeeded by
Gary Gray
Preceded by
Wayne Swan
Treasurer of Australia
Succeeded by
Joe Hockey
Preceded by
Tony Abbott
Interim Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Bill Shorten
Preceded by
Joe Hockey
Shadow Treasurer of Australia
Succeeded by
Jim Chalmers
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kevin Rudd
Interim Leader of the Labor Party
Succeeded by
Bill Shorten
This page was last edited on 30 May 2021, at 11:13
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