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Linda Reynolds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linda Reynolds

Senator Linda Reynolds.png
Minister for Government Services
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Assumed office
30 March 2021
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byStuart Robert
Minister for Defence
In office
29 May 2019 – 29 March 2021
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
DeputyMelissa Price
Preceded byChristopher Pyne
Succeeded byPeter Dutton
Minister for Defence Industry
In office
2 March 2019 – 26 May 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded bySteven Ciobo
Succeeded byMelissa Price
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
In office
28 August 2018 – 2 March 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byAlex Hawke
Succeeded byJason Wood
Senator for Western Australia
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Personal details
Linda Karen Reynolds

(1965-05-16) 16 May 1965 (age 56)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLiberal
Alma materCurtin University
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army Reserve
Years of service1984–2012
Commands5th Combat Service Support Battalion
AwardsConspicuous Service Cross

Linda Karen Reynolds CSC (born 16 May 1965) is an Australian politician serving as Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme since 2021. She is a member of the Liberal Party and has served as a Senator for Western Australia since 2014.

Before entering parliament Reynolds was a member of the Australian Army Reserve for nearly 30 years and was the first woman in the reserve to attain the rank of brigadier. She was initially elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election, but the result was voided and she was re-elected at a supplementary election in 2014. In the Morrison Government she has served as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs (2018–2019), Minister for Defence Industry (2019), Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery (2019), Defence (2019–2021), Government Services (2021–present), and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (2021–present).

Early life and education

Reynolds was born in Perth on 16 May 1965.[1] She is the daughter of Laith and Jan Reynolds and has two brothers; she has said she was raised with "strong Christian values".[2] Her grandfather Alfred Reynolds served in the Parliament of Western Australia as a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP).[3] Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants.[4]

Reynolds grew up in the suburb of Gooseberry Hill and attended St Brigid's College.[5] During her childhood she lived in Indonesia for a period where her father was a manager for Philips. The family learned to speak Indonesian and her mother took a degree in Indonesian studies.[4][6]

Reynolds holds the degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University and also holds graduate certificates in training and development (Southern Cross University), defence management (University of Canberra) and strategic studies (Australian Defence College).[1]

Military career

Reynolds enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve in 1984, aged 19.[5] She served variously as an officer cadet, regional logistics officer, training development officer, military instructor at the Army Command and Staff College, commanding officer of the 5th Combat Service Support Battalion, director of the Active Standby Staff Group, project director at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, strategy development director of Raytheon Australia, director of the Accountability Model Implementation Project, and director of the Army Strategic Reform Program. She was adjutant general of the Army Reserve from 2012 to 2013.[1] She was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2011 Australia Day Honours for "outstanding achievement as the Director of Army Strategic Reform Program coordination".[7] On attaining the rank of brigadier in 2012, Reynolds became the first woman in the Australian Army Reserve to be promoted to a star rank.[8]

Early political involvement

Reynolds at a Senate committee meeting in February 2017
Reynolds at a Senate committee meeting in February 2017

Reynolds joined the Liberal Party in 1987. Prior to her election to parliament, she held various positions in the party's organisational wing. She was a campaign manager for the divisions of Pearce and Hasluck and served as a deputy federal director from 2006 to 2008. She also worked as an electorate officer and ministerial advisor, notably as chief of staff and senior adviser to justice minister Chris Ellison from 2001 to 2003.[1]

Senate (2014–present)

Reynolds was elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election from third position on the Liberal Party's ticket in Western Australia. However, her position was placed in doubt when the High Court ordered a fresh half-Senate election after determining that there were missing ballot papers.[9] Reynolds was successful in the re-run and her Senate term commenced on 1 July 2014.[10] She was subsequently re-elected to the Senate at the 2016 federal election and the 2019 federal election, leading the Liberal Party's ticket in the latter. She chaired a number of Senate committees prior to her elevation to the ministry in 2018.[1]

During the 2018 Liberal Party of Australia leadership spills, Reynolds reportedly supported the incumbent prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in the first ballot on 21 August before switching her support to Scott Morrison in the second ballot on 24 August. On 23 August, she told the Senate that she was "distressed and disturbed" by the behaviour of some Liberal MPs during the leadership conflict, which had "no place in my party or this chamber".[11]

Government minister

Reynolds in August 2019 with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne
Reynolds in August 2019 with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne

In August 2018, Reynolds was appointed Assistant Minister for Home Affairs in the First Morrison Ministry, serving under Peter Dutton.[1] She was elevated to Cabinet in March 2019 as Minister for Defence Industry, as part of a planned transition to the role of Minister for Defence following Christopher Pyne's decision to retire at the 2019 federal election.[12] She was also appointed to the new role of Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery,[13] having previously held responsibility for disaster recovery in the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs position.[12] In early 2019, she was a strong opponent of the medevac bill that expanded the medical evacuation of asylum seekers from offshore processing facilities to Australia. In a speech to the Senate, she said that the bill would encourage unauthorised arrivals by boat and that as a result the military would "have to recover the bloated corpses of babies and women mauled by sharks".[14]

Reynolds was appointed Minister for Defence in May 2019, following the Coalition's victory at the 2019 federal election,[1] the second woman to hold the position after Marise Payne.[14] Her appointment was cautiously welcomed by Neil James, the president of the Australian Defence Association, who noted her lack of ministerial experience.[14] In May 2020, Reynolds was accused of misleading the Senate by Mark Sullivan, the chair of the Defence Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal, over her rejection of a posthumous Victoria Cross for Australia for Teddy Sheean.[15]

In March 2021, Reynolds was demoted to Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.[1]

Alleged rape between staff

In February 2021, reports emerged that a junior staffer had allegedly been raped in 2019 by an advisor to Reynolds in the then Senator's office late at night.[16] Reynolds faced pressure to reveal what she had known about the incident. The alleged assailant was sacked days after the incident for a "security breach." Reynolds did not provide a reference but did not say whether his termination payout was withheld.[17] Prime Minister Scott Morrison publicly rebuked Reynolds for not telling him of the incident.[18] Reynolds was due to address the National Press Club on 24 February, but it was announced that day that she had taken indefinite medical leave related to a pre-existing condition.[19][20] Her medical leave was extended on 7 March for another four weeks to 2 April.[21]

In March 2021, it was reported that Reynolds had called the above mentioned junior member of parliamentary staff a "lying cow" in the presence of her own staff at Parliament House Canberra. Lawyers representing the junior staff member demanded a public apology.[22] Reynolds issued an apology for the comment, saying the comments were not over the rape allegation.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  2. ^ "First speech". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  3. ^ Emerson, Daniel (10 February 2015). "Simpson legend annoyed medic". The West Australian. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The Bridge Interviews: Laith Reynolds". The Bridge Magazine. October 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b Spagnolo, Joe (1 March 2014). "Meet Linda Reynolds: The unluckiest person in Australian politics". PerthNow. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  6. ^ Taylor, Ross B. (10 February 2020). "Indonesia: Good friends but still with some reservations". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 4 July 2020. Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds is certainly Indonesia-savvy, having lived here some years ago.
  7. ^ "Reynolds, Linda Karen". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  8. ^ Grattan, Michelle (2 March 2019). "Linda Reynolds appointed to defence industry and cabinet". The Conversation. The Conversation Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  9. ^ "WA Senate election: counting begins for poll re-run". ABC News. Australia. 6 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Palmer wins, wants WA Senate race declared". 1 November 2013.
  11. ^ Karp, Paul (12 September 2018). "Linda Reynolds says Liberals will deal with bullying complaints 'internally'". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b Murphy, Katharine (2 March 2019). "Scott Morrison moves Linda Reynolds into cabinet after more high-profile departures". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  13. ^ Belot, Henry (2 March 2019). "Scott Morrison insists he's not distracted by ministerial exodus as Christopher Pyne bows out of politics". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Maley, Paul (21 May 2019). "Morrison Cabinet: Defence favourite's rapid rise in the ranks". The Australian. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Defence tribunal chief accuses Reynolds of misleading Senate". The Weekend Australian. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Staffer Brittany Higgins allegedly raped in office of senior government minister Linda Reynolds inside Parliament House". ABC News. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  17. ^ Knaus, Christopher; Murphy, Katharine (18 February 2021). "Linda Reynolds refuses to say if payout was withheld from staffer alleged to have raped Brittany Higgins". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  18. ^ Murphy, Katharine (16 February 2021). "Scott Morrison publicly rebukes defence minister for not reporting rape allegation to him". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  19. ^ Worthington, Brett (24 February 2021). "Defence Minister Linda Reynolds admitted to hospital amid Brittany Higgins rape allegation scandal". ABC News. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  20. ^ Henderson, Anna (24 February 2021). "Alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins to make formal statement as Linda Reynolds sent to hospital". ABC News. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  21. ^ a b Brisden, Colin (7 March 2021). "Reynolds extends sick leave to April 2". 7News. AAP. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Brittany Higgins says minister's 'lying-cow' slur is further evidence of Parliament's toxic culture". ABC News. 3 March 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2021.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Christopher Pyne
Minister for Defence
Preceded by
Steven Ciobo
Minister for Defence Industry
Succeeded by
Melissa Price
Preceded by
Alex Hawke
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Jason Wood
This page was last edited on 22 July 2021, at 13:10
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