There are currently 150 members of the House of Representatives, each representing one geographic area of Australia. Members are elected for a 3 year term and when in parliament take part in debate on proposed laws and public policy, representing the views of the people in their electorate.
Members are often elected as representatives of a particular political party, although some members do not belong to any political party (and are known as independent members). The political party or coalition of parties with the support of the most members in the House forms the government.
At those times when parliament is not in session, members work in their electorates and perform various other duties. They deal with a range of issues affecting their electorates, including helping people who live in their area. Members also participate in committee inquiries from time to time.
For more information;
Infosheet 15: The work of a Member of Parliament (October 2010) (PDF 255KB)