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The Honourable
 Brendan O'Connor

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Burke
In office
10 November 2001 – 9 October 2004
Preceded by Neil O'Keefe
Succeeded by Division abolished

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gorton
Assumed office 
9 October 2004
Preceded by New seat

Born 2 March 1962 (1962-03-02) (age 47)
London, England
Nationality Irish Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Occupation Trade unionist

Brendan Patrick O'Connor (born 2 March 1962), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since November 2001, representing the Division of Burke, Victoria 2001-04 and the Division of Gorton since October 2004. He is currently the Minister for Home Affairs.

He was born in London, England, to Irish parents and held Irish citizenship until 1995, when he became an Australian citizen. He was educated in Ireland and Australia, taking degrees in Arts and Law at Monash University. In 1995, he participated in the Harvard Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School, Harvard University.

He was Assistant National Secretary with the Australian Services Union before entering politics.

The Electoral Division of Burke was abolished by the 2003 redistribution, and O'Connor contested the new Electoral Division of Gorton at the 2004 election.

He is a member of the Independent Left faction of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party, more commonly known as the Ferguson Left.

In December 2005, he was elected to the position of Chair of the Federal Labor Industrial Relations Taskforce, in a caucus ballot. The Taskforce was instigated by the caucus in order to investigate the adverse effects of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation, a controversial package of industrial relations changes.

In 2006, the Taskforce travelled to every state and territory convening meetings with individuals, employers, church and community groups and trade unions, collecting testimony. An interim report, 'WorkChoices: A Race to the Bottom' was launched by Opposition Leader Kim Beazley at Parliament House, Canberra on 20 June 2006.

Shortly after the election of Kevin Rudd to the office of federal Labor leader and Leader of the Opposition on 4 December 2006, O'Connor was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial Relations.

Following the Labor victory at the 2007 federal election, the new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that O'Connor would serve as the Minister for Employment Participation from 29 November 2007.[1]

On 6 June 2009 O'Connor was announced as the Minister for Home Affairs in the Rudd Government, replacing Bob Debus who will be retiring at the next federal election.[2]


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Sharman Stone
Minister for Employment Participation
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Neil O'Keefe
Member for Burke
2001 – 2004
Division abolished
New division Member for Gorton
2004 – present


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