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Kelly O'Dwyer
Kelly O'Dwyer 2017.jpg
Kelly O'Dwyer in 2017
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
In office
24 August 2018 – 11 April 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byMichaelia Cash
Succeeded byChristian Porter (Industrial Relations)
Michaelia Cash (Jobs)
Minister for Women
In office
20 December 2017 – 11 April 2019
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Scott Morrison
Preceded byMichaelia Cash
Succeeded byMarise Payne
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services
In office
19 July 2016 – 24 August 2018
Preceded byHerself (as Assistant Treasurer)
Succeeded byStuart Robert (as Assistant Treasurer)
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
In office
20 December 2017 – 24 August 2018
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byMichaelia Cash
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister for Small Business
In office
21 September 2015 – 19 July 2016
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byBruce Billson
Succeeded byMichael McCormack
Assistant Treasurer
In office
21 September 2015 – 19 July 2016
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byJosh Frydenberg
Succeeded byHerself (as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services)
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Higgins
In office
5 December 2009 – 11 April 2019
Preceded byPeter Costello
Succeeded byKatie Allen
Personal details
Kelly Megan O'Dwyer

(1977-03-31) 31 March 1977 (age 44)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Jon Mant
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
WebsiteOfficial website

Kelly Megan O'Dwyer (born 31 March 1977) is a former Australian politician. She served in the House of Representatives from 2009 to 2019, representing the Liberal Party, and held senior ministerial office from 2015 to 2019.

O'Dwyer was a solicitor, political adviser, and National Australia Bank (NAB) executive before entering politics. She was elected to parliament at the 2009 Higgins by-election, aged 31, replacing Peter Costello.[1] In 2014, she was made a parliamentary secretary in the Abbott Government. O'Dwyer was promoted to cabinet when Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister in 2015. She served as Minister for Small Business (2015–2016), Assistant Treasurer (2015–2016), Minister for Revenue and Financial Services (2016–2018), and Minister for Women (2017–2019). In 2017, she became the first Australian cabinet minister to give birth while in office. O'Dwyer ended her political career as Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations in the Morrison Government,[2] retiring prior to the 2019 federal election.[3]

Early career

O'Dwyer was born in Box Hill and was educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College and the University of Melbourne, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.[4] After working as a solicitor for Freehills in Melbourne,[4] O'Dwyer spent four years as a senior advisor to Peter Costello,[5] then the member for the federal division of Higgins and the Federal Treasurer, later becoming an executive at the National Australia Bank.[6]

Political career

O'Dwyer in Parliament in 2016
O'Dwyer in Parliament in 2016

Entry to federal politics

Costello decided in 2009 not to seek another term of office at the next federal election.[7] On 17 September 2009, O'Dwyer was pre-selected to stand as the Liberal Party candidate for Higgins at the next election.[8] Peter Costello then announced his resignation from Parliament in October 2009.[9] He stated that he chose to retire ahead of the next federal election as a contribution to renewal of the Liberal Party and that O'Dwyer would contribute to this process.[10] A by-election was held on 5 December 2009. O'Dwyer was considered a "shoo-in",[11] especially since the Labor Party did not contest the seat.

In winning preselection, O'Dwyer became the first woman to win Liberal Party preselection for a safe seat in metropolitan Melbourne.[12] During the preselection process federal Liberal politicians Sophie Mirabella, Fran Bailey and Helen Coonan claimed that there had been a sexist campaign against O'Dwyer's candidacy, with some preselectors being told that a "leadership seat" such as Higgins was unsuited to a woman and that being elected to a federal seat might endanger her marriage.[13][14]

2016 federal election

At the 2016 federal election, O'Dwyer was re-elected with a two-candidate preferred vote of 57.99% (a swing against her of 2%) and a 52.5% primary vote (a swing against her of 2.4%).[15][16]

A Greens-funded Lonergan seat-level opinion poll conducted from a sample of 1,100 voters in Higgins took place a month out from the 2016 election on 3−4 June. It suggested the Liberal primary vote may have decreased substantially. However, the poll proved inaccurate, with O'Dwyer winning comfortably.[17]


O'Dwyer had been serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer in the Abbott Government from December 2014, until the leadership spill of the Liberal Party occurred in September 2015. Malcolm Turnbull won the spill and was sworn in as Prime Minister on 15 September 2015. Turnbull introduced an overhaul of the cabinet, which saw O'Dwyer appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer in the First Turnbull Ministry.[18][19] Following the re-election of the Turnbull Government in 2016, the O'Dwyer was appointed as the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, a name change.[20] O'Dwyer was assigned two additional responsibilities, as the Minister for Women and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, in December 2017.[21] Following the commencement of the Morrison Government, O'Dwyer became the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, in addition to her ongoing role as Minister for Women.[2]

In 2018 O'Dwyer was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[22]

On 19 January 2019, O'Dwyer announced that she would not be contesting the upcoming election as her two children would be approaching primary school age and she wanted to give her and her husband the best opportunity for a third child.[3]

Personal life

She is married to Jon Mant, a business executive, and has two sisters and one brother.[23][24] Her daughter, Olivia, was born in 2015.[25][26]

On 13 April 2017, O'Dwyer gave birth to her second child Edward, making her the first Cabinet Minister to give birth while in office.[22]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Conifer, Dan (19 January 2019). "Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer quitting federal politics in shock resignation". ABC News. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Lawyers Weekly (2009). Former Freehills lawyer wins pre-selection.
  5. ^ "Official parliamentary biography".
  6. ^ Grattan, Michelle (4 July 2009). "Costello to endorse Liberal activist as Higgins candidate". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Peter Costello's retirement draws praise". AAP. 15 June 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009.
  8. ^ Harvey, Michael (17 September 2009). "Kelly O'Dwyer secures preselection for Peter Costello's seat of Higgins". Herald Sun.
  9. ^ "Malcolm in the muddle". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 October 2009.
  10. ^ Rogers, Emma (7 October 2009). "Costello quits politics". ABC News. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Anarchy set for Costello's old seat". AAP. 12 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Costello staffer wins Higgins preselection". AAP. 17 September 2009.
  13. ^ Schubert, Misha (15 September 2009). "Sexism claims in race for Costello's seat". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  14. ^ Schubert, Misha (16 September 2009). "Ex-Liberal minister joins sexism outcry". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  15. ^ "Higgins, Vic". Adam Carr. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Higgins". Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  17. ^ 26, scheme=AGLSTERMS.AglsAgent; corporateName=Australian Electoral Commission; address=50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra, ACT 2600; contact=13 23. "House of Representatives division information". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 March 2017.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  19. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  20. ^ Anderson, Stephanie (20 July 2016). "Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull unveils ministry with Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt on the move". ABC News. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Current Ministry List". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  22. ^ a b "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  23. ^ Fyfe, Melissa (6 December 2009). "O'Dwyer straight out of Liberal central casting". The Age. Melbourne.
  24. ^ "About Kelly". Kelly O'Dwyer MP. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  25. ^ "Kelly O'Dwyer - She's arrived 👶 Welcome to the world Olivia! - Facebook".
  26. ^ "Kelly O'Dwyer on Twitter". Twitter.

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins
Succeeded by
Katie Allen
Political offices
Preceded by
Michaelia Cash
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Succeeded by
Christian Porter
Preceded by
Josh Frydenberg
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services
Succeeded by
Stuart Robert
as Assistant Treasurer
Preceded by
Michaelia Cash
Minister for Women
Succeeded by
Marise Payne
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Succeeded by
Greg Hunt
Preceded by
Bruce Billson
Minister for Small Business
Succeeded by
Michael McCormack
This page was last edited on 22 June 2021, at 09:54
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