Karen McNamara
Women in Federal Parliament

Karen McNamara

Member for Dobell (NSW)

LIB, 2013–2016

Karen McNamara was elected to the House of Representatives as the Liberal Party representative for the electorate of Dobell in 2013.

Born in Scotland, McNamara immigrated to Australia with her family as a young child. She spent most of her early life in western Sydney and, on completing year 12, entered the New South Wales Public Service. Upon moving to the Central Coast she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Legal and Justice Studies at Southern Cross University and moved into the field of compliance and fraud investigation, working for WorkCover NSW immediately prior to entering parliament.

In her first speech McNamara spoke of her pride at representing the Liberal Party’s values, emphasising the importance of the individual and of recognising ‘each person's ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility’. She noted the crucial position of small businesses in the economy of Dobell, the need to support local jobs and new businesses, and the importance of improving outcomes for local youth through education and employment programs. Throughout her parliamentary term she also spoke of the achievements of many in her local community and advocated for more funding for education, suicide prevention, community groups and sporting clubs.

McNamara was defeated at the 2016 federal election.

Karen McNamara.

Image courtesy of Deirdre Jackson.