The Hon. Maxine McKew
Member for Bennelong (NSW)
The Hon. Maxine McKew became the Australian Labor Party member for Bennelong (NSW) in 2007, defeating the then Prime Minister John Howard who had held the seat for 33 years. McKew entered Parliament as the Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care, moving to the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government from 2009 to the end of her term in 2010.
In Parliament, McKew spoke about policymakers failing to address the demographic and societal changes being embraced by modern Australia. She drew attention to younger generations of Australians at ease with diversity and taking advantage of opportunities to be global citizens. McKew pointed to education as an important factor in ensuring that all Australians have equitable access to these opportunities. She supported funding for access to early childhood education and appropriate training for educators, promoted Asian language education in schools, and increased funding to the Australian Research Council to ensure world-class research in Australia.
Before entering Parliament, McKew was a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for over 30 years and received Walkley and Logie awards for her work in broadcasting.