I was born in London in 1956 and spent my early years between Malaysia and Malawi in Africa and England. I was educated in England and Australia.
From 1985 when I moved to the Northern Territory, I worked across a number of industries, including mining, fishing, maritime salvage, security and engineering.
Six years living off the coast of Arnhem Land really cemented my understanding of, and keen interest in the issues facing Australia’s first people, particularly those living in remote areas. From 1991 I settled in Darwin and there’s nowhere better to live than in our wonderful Northern Territory.
Since becoming a Country Liberal Party Senator for the Northern Territory in the Australian Parliament in October 2001, I’ve been privileged to hold a wide variety of portfolios as both a Minister in the Howard Government and as a Shadow Minister in Opposition.
In the Parliament, I sit with the National Party, and since September 2013 have been the party’s leader in the Senate. I take a very grassroots approach to my work as Senator, engaging a wide variety of issues spanning across my Ministerial responsibilities but also advocating for our wonderful Northern Territory.
The greatest honour I’ve had in my parliamentary career is to serve as the Minister for Indigenous Affairs in the Federal Government. The Coalition Government is absolutely committed to tackling disadvantage, wherever it occurs, including in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.