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Get to know: Anthony Albanese

You know the drill. Every Wednesday we write a profile on a name you’ve probably seen in the news. Today, we’re talking about Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese – he’s the leader of the Federal Labor party, and he’s Scott Morrison’s direct opponent. Get to know him below: 

Where it began 
While at uni, he was heavily involved in student politics, where he led a Young Labor group. He was also a research officer for a Labor Minister at the time, as well as a Senior Adviser to the New South Wales Premier at the time, Bob Carr.

The Labor Left
There are two distinct factions (think of factions as interest groups or ‘sides’) within the Labor Party, the ‘Labor Left’ and the ‘Labor Right’. The Labor Left traditionally has been more progressive, focused on social issues and more supportive of intervening in the private sector, compared to the Labor Right that is more centrist in its views. Albanese sits in the Labor Left.

When first elected to Parliament, Albanese outlined in his maiden speech (the fancy name for his first speech) his values and issues he supports, including funding public infrastructure, multiculturalism, native title (Aboriginal right to land or territory), the social wage, and childcare. 

Albanese pushed for same-sex marriage and superannuation rights for same-sex couples prior to same-sex marriage being legalised. 

Parliamentary career 
Albanese first entered Federal politics in 1996 as the Member for Grayndler (which includes progressive suburbs like Newtown and Balmain). Since then, he’s held a bunch of positions in Federal Labor (both while they’ve held power and been in opposition), including:

  • Parliamentary Secretary 
  • Shadow Minister for Ageing & Seniors
  • Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Training
  • Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage
  • Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House
  • Manager of Opposition Business in the House 
  • Shadow Minister for Water and Infrastructure 
  • Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • Minister for Regional Development and Local Government 
  • Leader of the House of Representatives
  • Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
  • Deputy Prime Minister
  • Shadow Minister for Infrastructure 
  • Transport and Shadow Minister for Tourism
  • And now finally, Leader of the Opposition 

As you can see, he’s done a lot during his career.  

Leader of the Opposition
When Bill Shorten suffered a shock defeat at the last election, he had no choice but to resign as Leader of the Opposition (ie leader of the Labor Party). Albanese ran unopposed for the leadership, and won, becoming the Labor Party’s new leader. For many, it was a logical transition for the long-time Labor member. 

According to the latest Newspoll (flick back to our newsletter on polling if you need a reminder on this), Albanese is 26 points behind Scott Morrison as “preferred leader”. If we took anything from the last election, however, it’s that polling isn’t always on the mark – in fact, it can sometimes be very, very wrong. We will have to wait and see how Labor performs at the next Federal Election.

Until then, please enjoy this video of DJ Albo.

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