Speeches First speech Browse all speeches (Hansard) Biography Parliamentary service Elected to the Senate for Queensland 1998 (term began 1.7.1999), 2004 and 2010. Retired prior to general elections 2016 (term ended 9.5.2016). Parliamentary positions Temporary Chair of Committees from 12.2.02 to 16.11.04. Ministerial appointments Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing from 3.12.07 to 9.6.09.Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 5.3.12 to 25.3.13.Minister for Human Services from 25.3.13 to 18.9.13.Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers from 14.9.10 to 25.3.13. Committee service Senate Standing: Publications from 9.8.99 to 1.7.02; Regulations and Ordinances from 9.8.99 to 4.10.00; Senators' Interests from 9.8.99 to 11.2.02; Scrutiny of Bills from 1.7.02 to 15.11.04; Privileges from 14.2.08 to 27.9.10.Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Finance and Public Administration: References Committee from 18.6.01 to 23.8.01; Community Affairs: References Committee from 13.2.02 to 15.11.04 and from 1.7.05 to 15.9.05 and Legislation Committee from 25.3.04 to 15.11.04; Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts: References Committee from 13.2.02 to 1.7.02; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 12.2.08 to 17.3.08.Senate Select: Lucas Heights Reactor from 17.8.00 to 24.5.01; Medicare from 15.5 03 to 11.2.04; Administration of Indigenous Affairs from 23.6.04 to 15.11.04; Health from 26.6.14 to 26.11.15 and from 27.11.15 to 9.5.16; National Broadband Network from 12.11.15 to 9.5.16.Joint Statutory: Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund from 9.8.99 to 31.8.04; Corporations and Financial Services from 24.6.09 to 26.10.10; Public Works from 24.6.09 to 19.7.10 (Chair from 24.6.09 to 19.7.10).Joint Select: Northern Australia from 9.12.12 to 9.5.16. Parliamentary party positions Shadow Minister for Ageing and Disabilities from 26.10.04 to 24.6.05.Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disabilities and Carers from 24.6.05 to 3.12.07.Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and Shadow Minister for Mental Health from 18.10.13 to 13.10.15. Party positions Delegate, ALP State Council (Qld) 1986-97.Delegate, ALP State Conference (Qld) 1990-99.President, Leichhardt Federal Divisional Executive 1996-98.Delegate, ALP National Conference 1998. Personal Born 27.3.1958, Atherton, Qld. Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament DipT (Townsville College of Advanced Education).Teacher 1979-88.Electorate officer 1991-94. Local government service Councillor, Cairns City Council 1995-99.