Gai Brodtmann was elected the Member for Canberra on 21 August 2010 and has extensive experience in the public, private and community sectors.
Gai ran her own small business for ten years and understands the challenges faced by small business owners. Prior to that, she was a federal public servant, primarily with Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney-General’s.
Gai has represented Australia in India and worked on a range of international and national issues, from Indigenous youth development and climate change to defence capability, tax and foreign policy.
As a volunteer director on the Gift of Life and Our Wellness boards, Gai helped to lift the profile of organ donation and raised funds for better health services in Canberra. She is a former director and audit committee member of the Cultural Facilities Corporation and ACTTAB and a former director of the National Press Club.
Gai is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Small Business and Parliamentary Friends of Organ and Tissue Donation groups. She is Patron of the Tuggeranong Festival and Tuggeranong Bulldogs Junior Football Club.
Gai graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, a Bachelor of Public Relations from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Graduate Certificate in Business from Monash University.
She has tutored at the University of Canberra and studied North Asian perceptions of Australia’s strengths as a manufacturing nation as the 1989 Royce Fellow.
Gai’s public policy interests include education, small business, defence, foreign affairs, superannuation, financial literacy and effective administration.
A long time Canberra resident, Gai enjoys cooking, gardening, architecture, visual arts, dance, walking, reading and spending time with her husband Chris Uhlmann.
Here's an extract of her first speech, which you can read in full in Parlinfo:
“Words can only stretch so far and they fail when I try to express the honour and the terror of being here today. I have dreamed of being here. I admire anyone who takes up the challenge of politics and who honestly tries to improve the lives of his or her people, no matter what political lights they follow. Although it is not fashionable to say it, I believe politics is, or should be, an honourable profession. In the end, it is about improving people’s lives. And at its best politics is about building a better community and a better nation.”