The Hon. Jan McLucas

Senator for Queensland

ALP, 1999–2016

The Hon. Jan McLucas (centre) at a UnitingCare Australia aged care forum in 2007.

Image courtesy of Colleen Geyer.

After being elected in the 1998 federal election, Jan McLucas entered the Senate in 1999 as an Australian Labor Party senator for Queensland.

A teacher by training, McLucas taught in Queensland schools from 1979 to 1988. She then worked as an electorate officer before being elected to the Cairns City Council in 1995.

McLucas was an advocate for better resourcing and infrastructure for regional Australia. She regularly expressed concern about the effects of climate change and sought to address discrepancies in access to good health, education and social services. In 2004, as chair of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, McLucas tabled the Forgotten Australians report, which formed part of the committee’s inquiry into children in institutional care.

After time in the shadow ministry (2004–2007) she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing in 2007. McLucas was a strong advocate for people with disabilities while in these roles and she initiated a Senate committee inquiry that in 2007 recommended the implementation of a National Disability Strategy. In her subsequent parliamentary secretary roles (2010–2013) and as Minister for Human Services (2013) she was closely involved with the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Following the 2013 election McLucas again held positions in the shadow ministry. She retired prior to the 2016 election.