Penny Wong

Penny Wong

Infobox Politician

honorific-prefix = Senator The Honourable
name = Penny Wong
honorific-suffix =
imagesize =
caption = Penny Wong accepts a "Sustainable Penrith" bucket hat at her UNFCCC address in Bali 2007.
jr/sr=Australian Senator
state=South Australia
term_start = 1 July 2005
term_end =
predecessor =
successor =
birth_date =Birth date and age|1968|11|5|df=y
birth_place = Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
death_date =
death_place =
office2 = Minister for Climate Change and Water
term_start2 = 3 December, 2007
term_end2 =
predecessor2 =
nationality = Australian
party = Australian Labor Party
spouse =
religion =
relations =
residence =
alma_mater = University of Adelaide
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website = []
footnotes =

Penelope "Penny" Ying-yen Wong (Traditional Chinese:黃英賢,Hanyu Pinyin:Huáng Yīngxián; born November 5, 1968), Australian Labor Party politician, is the current and first Australian Minister for Climate Change and Water. She has been a member of the Australian Senate since 2002, representing South Australia. Wong is the first openly gay member, and the first Asian-born member, of an Australian cabinet or ministry. [cite news|first=Farah|last=Farouque|url=|title=Why, oh why can't I have a civil union?|publisher=The Age|date=2006-06-10|accessdate=2007-05-23] [cite news|url=|title=Australia's Rudd sworn in as PM|publisher=BBC|date=2007-12-03|accessdate=2007-12-03]


Wong was born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia to a Malaysian Chinese Hakka father and an Australian mother. [cite journal|url=|accessdate=2007-12-03|title=Profile|year=2004|month=August|journal=Asian Currents: The Asian Studies Association of Australia's e-bulletin|publisher=Asian Studies Association of Australia] [cite news|first=Michelle|last=Grattan|url=|accessdate=2007-12-03|title=Labor voice inspired by the fight for ideas|date=2007-09-25|publisher=The Age] She moved to Australia at the age of eight with her mother and brother, after her parents separated. After spending a year on exchange in Brazil, Wong studied Arts/Law at the University of Adelaide. While at university, she worked part time for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

Wong is a committed Christian [ [ Freakish powers of a formidable operator] , Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2007, accessed 22 June 2008] , attending Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.


She also became involved in political activism at university, winning a position on the National Executive of the National Union of Students. In 1988, Wong joined the Australian Labor Party, winning a position as a delegate to the party's state convention the following year. She has been a delegate each year since, with the exception of 1995.

Wong graduated from university in 1992, and continued on with the CFMEU, working as an industrial officer, gaining admission to the bar in 1993. During 1995 and 1996, she acted as an advisor to the New South Wales state government, specialising in the area of forest policy. On returning to Adelaide, she began practising law, won a position on the ALP's state executive, and also took on work as a legal officer with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.

Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party's South Australian ticket. Wong is a member of EMILY's List Australia, the support network for Labor women, and currently sits on a number of Senate committees, primarily those related to economics.

In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.

In November 2007, in the wake of the Labor Party victory in the 2007 election, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. As a result of this promotion, she is the highest ranked politician representing South Australia. She accompanied Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Bali for the international climate change talks. Wong led final negotiations as Chair of the United Nations Working Group in the closing days of December's United Nations Climate Change Conference.


* [ Penny Wong Senate Biography]

ee also

* First Rudd Ministry

External links

* [ Official ALP website page]
* [ Senator's own website]

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