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STEPHENS, the Hon. Ursula MaryBiography for STEPHENS, the Hon. Ursula Mary

Senator for New South Wales 2002-14

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the Senate for New South Wales 2001 (term began 1.7.2002) and 2007. Defeated at general elections 2013 (term ended 30.6.2014).

Parliamentary Positions

Temporary Chair of Committees from 7.7.11 to 30.6.14.

Ministerial Appointments

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector from 3.12.07 to 14.9.10.

Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion from 3.12.07 to 25.2.09.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: House from 1.7.02 to 27.9.10; Library from 18.11.04 to 1.7.05; Regulations and Ordinances from 30.9.10 to 1.7.11; Senators' Interests from 1.7.11 to 11.11.13; Privileges from 21.6.12 to 11.11.13.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Legal and Constitutional: References Committee from 1.7.02 to 4.12.03; Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport: References Committee from 1.7.02 to 1.7.05 and Legislation Committee from 18.11.04 to 1.7.05; Economics: Legislation and References Committees from 24.6.03 (Chair, References Committee from 26.6.03) to 11.9.06; Economics from 11.9.06 to 11.2.08; Finance and Public Administration: Legislation Committee from 1.7.05 to 13.9.05 and from 30.9.10 to 11.11.13 and References Committee from 1.7.05 to 13.9.05; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation and References Committees from 1.7.11 to 30.6.14; Environment and Communications: References Committee from 12.11.13 to 30.6.14.

Senate Select: Medicare from 15.5.03 to 11.2.04; Australia's Food Processing Sector from 1.7.11 to 16.8.12; Cyber-Safety from 27.6.13 to 30.8.13.

Joint Statutory: Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 1.7.02 to 31.8.04 and from 12.11.13 to 30.6.14; Corporations and Financial Services from 26.10.10 to 7.2.12; Intelligence and Security from 7.7.11 to 5.8.13; Human Rights from 13.3.12 to 30.6.14.

Joint Standing: Treaties from 1.7.02 to 1.7.05; National Broadband Network from 24.3.11 to 16.3.12; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 1.7.11 to 30.6.14; National Disability Insurance Scheme from 4.12.13 to 30.6.14.

Joint Select: DisabilityCare from 18.6.13 to 5.8.13.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Turkey and Ireland, October 2005.

Official visit to Italy, October 2010.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Brazil and Panama, April 2011.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Switzerland, Germany and Austria, October 2011.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Uganda and Kazakhstan, March-April 2012.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to UK, Spain, Germany and USA, April-May 2012.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Canada, May 2012.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development (Senate) from 26.10.04 to 24.6.05; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Science and Water from 24.6.05 to 10.12.06; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition (Social and Community Affairs) from 10.12.06 to 3.12.07.

Party Positions

Member, ALP National Executive.

Member, Labor Women's Network National Executive from 2000.

President, ALP (NSW) October 2002-June 2006.


Born 7.7.1954, Wicklow, Ireland.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

DPA (Canberra), DipT (Goulburn CAE); BEd (SACAE).

Teacher 1974-92.

Small business operator 1992-96.

Senior Project Officer, NSW Premier's Dept. 1997-2001.