Gary came to Canberra as a student at age 19 – and never left!
After obtaining an arts/law degree from the Australian National University he worked in Canberra as a lawyer and public servant. In 1989 he won a seat in the first ACT Legislative Assembly, going on to serve there for 14 years, most of that time as a minister. In 2000 he became Chief Minister.
In 2003 he was chosen to represent the ACT in the Senate. In December 2009, Gary was appointed to the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families, Housing and Human Services and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott. Following the 2010 Federal election, Gary was appointed to the new roles of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Materiel.
Gary is married to Cathie. They live with their sons Felix and Owain in Kambah. Gary is a passionate Canberran, often defending the city in the national media and in the Federal Parliament against governments of all flavours.
Australian Capital Territory: elected to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly 1989.
Federal: chosen by the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory on 18.2.2003, under section 44 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to represent the Australian Capital Territory in the Senate, vice Senator the Hon. ME Reid (resigned). Elected 2004 and 2007 (Territory Senators serve for the same term as the House of Representatives).
Temporary Chair of Committees from 26.6.08 to 2.2.10.
Australian Capital Territory: Minister for Health, Education and the Arts 1989-91.
Minister for Arts and Heritage; Environment, Land and Planning; Police and Emergency Services; and Fair Trading 1995-98.
Deputy Chief Minister 1997-2000.
Minister for Health and Community Care 1998.
Minister Assisting the Treasurer 1998-99.
Chief Minister 2000-01.
Shadow Ministerial Appointments
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families, Housing and Human Services from 8.12.09 to 14.9.10; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship from 8.12.09 to 14.9.10.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General from 14.9.10; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Materiel from 14.9.10.
Australian Capital Territory: Opposition Whip.
Manager of Opposition Business in the Legislative Assembly.
Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry. Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Legal and Consumer Affairs; Electoral Matters; the Arts and the Family; Shadow Attorney-General.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition 1989, 1991-93.
Leader of the Opposition 1991 and 2001-02.
Australian Capital Territory: Standing: Conservation, Heritage and Environment 1989.
Select: Establishment of Casino 1989; Hospital Bed Numbers (Chair) 1991.
Federal: Senate Standing: Privileges from 20.3.03 to 11.2.08; Senators’ Interests from 20.3.03.
Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Community Affairs: Legislation and References Committees from 20.3.03 to 11.9.06; Community Affairs from 11.9.06 to 14.5.09; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations from 1.7.08 to 14.5.09;
Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Legislation and References Committees from 14.5.09 to 2.2.10.
Senate Select: Medicare from 15.5.03 to 11.2.04; Ministerial Discretion in Migration Matters from 24.6.03 to 31.3.04; Mental Health from 10.3.05 to 28.4.06.
Joint Statutory: Public Accounts and Audit from 25.3.03 to 17.10.07.
Joint Standing: National Capital and External Territories from 14.2.08 to 7.9.09 and from 27.10.09.
Qualifications and Occupations before entering Parliament
BA, LLB (ANU).
Legal Officer, ACT Administration 1987-88.
Private Secretary to Senator Vanstone 1988-89.