Speeches First speech Browse all speeches (Hansard) Biography Parliamentary service Elected to the Senate for Queensland 1998. Re-elected 2004 and 2010. Retired prior to general elections 2016. Parliamentary positions Temporary Chair of Committees from 12.2.2002 to 16.11.2004. Ministerial appointments Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing from 3.12.2007 to 9.6.2009.Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers from 14.9.2010 to 25.3.2013.Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 5.3.2012 to 25.3.2013.Minister for Human Services from 25.3.2013 to 18.9.2013. Committee service Senate Standing: Publications from 9.8.1999 to 1.7.2002; Regulations and Ordinances from 9.8.1999 to 4.10.2000; Senators' Interests from 9.8.1999 to 11.2.2002; Scrutiny of Bills from 1.7.2002 to 15.11.2004; Privileges from 14.2.2008 to 27.9.2010. Senate Select: Lucas Heights Reactor from 17.8.2000 to 24.5.2001; Medicare from 15.5.2003 to 11.2.2004; Administration of Indigenous Affairs from 23.6.2004 to 15.11.2004; Health from 26.6.2014 to 26.11.2015; National Broadband Network from 12.11.2015 to 9.5.2016; Health from 27.11.2015 to 9.5.2016. Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Finance and Public Administration: References from 18.6.2001 to 23.8.2001; Community Affairs: References from 13.2.2002 to 15.11.2004; Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts: References from 13.2.2002 to 1.7.2002; Community Affairs: Legislation from 25.3.2004 to 15.11.2004; Community Affairs: References from 1.7.2005 to 15.9.2005; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 12.2.2008 to 17.3.2008. Joint Statutory: Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund from 9.8.1999 to 31.8.2004; Corporations and Financial Services from 24.6.2009 to 26.10.2010; Public Works from 24.6.2009 to 19.7.2010 (Chair from 24.6.2009 to 19.7.2010). Joint Select: Northern Australia from 9.12.2012 to 9.5.2016. Parliamentary party positions Shadow Minister for Ageing and Disabilities from 26.10.2004 to 24.6.2005.Shadow Minister for Aged Care, Disabilities and Carers from 24.6.2005 to 10.12.2006.Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disabilities and Carers from 10.12.2006 to 3.12.2007.Shadow Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Mental Health from 18.10.2013 to 13.10.2015. Party positions Delegate to the Australian Labor Party State Council (Qld.) from 1986 to 1997.Delegate to the Australian Labor Party State Conference (Qld.) from 1990 to 1999.President of the Australian Labor Party Leichhardt Federal Electorate Council from 1996 to 1998.Delegate to the Australian Labor Party National Conference, 1998. Personal Born 27.3.1958, Atherton, Australia 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 from 1995 to 1999.