|Address||653 Wynnum Road |
Morningside, Brisbane, Queensland 4170, Australia
|| September 21, 1957
Jul 06, 2016 08:09pm
Moderate-to-Liberal - Anti-Civil Unions - Anti-Death Penalty - Anti-Gay Marriage - Pro Environment - Pro Free Trade - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gun control - Pro-Labor - Married - Union Member - Anglican -
|Info||Kevin Michael Rudd is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. |
Rudd was born in Nambour, Queensland, and grew up on a dairy farm in nearby Eumundi. He boarded at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane and was dux of Nambour High School in 1974. A critical influence on Rudd's political persuasion was the death of his father, a share farmer and Country Party member, when he was 11, and the hardships this forced upon his family. Rudd has often claimed that his family was evicted from the farm shortly after the death of his father. Rudd joined the ALP in 1972, at the age of 15.
Rudd later went on to study at the Australian National University in Canberra, graduating with First Class Honours in Arts (Asian Studies). He majored in Chinese language, in which he is fluent, as well as Chinese history. During his time at ANU, Rudd resided at Burgmann College.
In 1981 Rudd joined the Australian Diplomatic Service, where he served until 1988. He and his wife, Therese Rein, spent most of the 1980s overseas posted at the Australian embassies in Stockholm, Sweden and later Beijing, China. Returning to Australia in 1988, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Labor Opposition Leader in Queensland, Wayne Goss, a position he held until 1992, when Goss, by then Premier, appointed him Director-General of the Office of Cabinet. These positions gave him experience of a wide range of domestic issues in addition to his experience in foreign affairs.
When the Goss government lost office in 1995, Rudd was hired as a Senior China Consultant by the accounting firm KPMG Australia. He held this position while unsuccessfully contesting the federal seat of Griffith at the 1996 federal election. At the 1998 election he contested Griffith again, this time being successful.
Following his 1998 election success, Rudd was promoted to the Opposition front bench after the 2001 election, and was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In this position he strongly criticised the Liberal government of John Howard over its support for the United States in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while maintaining Labor's position of support for the Australian-American alliance. Rudd has grown increasingly sceptical about the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq since the invasion.
Rudd's policy experience and parliamentary performances during the Iraq war made him one of the best-known members of the Labor front bench. When Opposition Leader Simon Crean was challenged by his predecessor Kim Beazley in June, Rudd did not publicly commit himself to either candidate. When Crean finally resigned in late November, Rudd was considered a possible candidate for the Labor leadership, but announced that he would not run.
Following the election of Mark Latham as Leader, Rudd was expected by some commentators to be demoted or moved as a result of his support for Beazley, but he retained his portfolio. Relations between Latham and Rudd deteriorated during 2004, especially after Latham made his pledge to withdraw all Australian forces from Iraq by Christmas 2004, without consulting Rudd. After Latham led Labor to a heavy defeat at the October 2004 election, Rudd was again spoken of as a possible leader. He retained his foreign affairs portfolio and disavowed any intention of challenging Latham.
When Latham suddenly resigned in January 2005, Rudd was visiting Indonesia, and refused to say whether he would be a candidate for the Labor leadership. Such a candidacy would have required him to run against Beazley, his factional colleague. After returning from Indonesia, Rudd consulted with Labor MPs in Sydney and Melbourne and announced that he would not contest the leadership.
In June 2005 Rudd was given expanded responsibilities as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security, and Shadow Minister for Trade.
Rudd is a supporter of the road map for peace and defended Israel's right to self-defence during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, condemning Hezbollah and Hamas for "violating" Israeli territory. This was seen as a step towards mending relations between the Jewish community and the ALP following the comments of several backbenchers.
In December 2006, with a Newspoll opinion poll suggesting that voter support for Rudd to be double that for Beazley, he announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party in a Beazley-announced leadership ballot. Fellow Labor MP Julia Gillard ran alongside Rudd for Deputy Leader of the ALP.
The vote took place on Monday 4 December 2006 and saw Rudd elected leader by a margin of 49 votes to 39 over Beazley. Gillard was subsequently elected unopposed as Deputy Leader.
After the ballot Rudd and Gillard gave a press conference in the Caucus Room. Rudd began by paying tribute to Beazley and Jenny Macklin (the previous Deputy Leader) and thanking them for their service to the Labor Party. He outlined the areas of industrial relations, the war in Iraq, climate change, Australian federalism, social justice, and the future of Australia's manufacturing industry as major policy concerns. Rudd also stressed his long experience in state government, as a diplomat and also in business before entering federal politics.
Rudd was raised as a Roman Catholic. At University, he met and later married Therese Rein, an Anglican, and converted to Anglicanism in the 1980s. Rudd and his family currently attend a church in his electorate.