Monday, February 4, 2008

Penny Wong: The first Asian-born member of the Australian Cabinet

Penny Wong Australian Minister for Climate Change and Water

Photo of Penny Wong is property of penrithsustainabilityunit

Penny Wong is the current Australian Minister for Climate Change and Water who went to Bali for the international climate change talks with current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Bali for the international climate change talks. It had been reported that Penny Wong was the Chair Person of the United Nations Working Group for the final negotiations in the final days of December's United Nations Climate Change Conference at Bali. Was it a positive or negative development for the environment I don't know but the previous Australian Prime Ministe, John Winston Howard, was closely aligned with George Bush of the United States of America who had been a big, frustrating stumbling block to the progress of the Climate Change negotiations. However, with the change of government with Kevin Rudd leading the Australian government, Australia had reversed its previous stance towards the environment and is now all for environmental issues. So I supposed Penny Wong must have played a positive role at international climate change talks at Bali recently.

Background of Penny Wong

The first Asian-born member of the Australian Cabinet, Penny Wong, was born in Kota Kinabalu who migrated to Australia at the age of eight with her Australian mother after her divorce from her Malaysian Chinese Hakka father. That make us kind of kinsmen as I am also of Hakka ancestry.

Penny Wong's eductional background and career path

Pwnny Wong studied Arts/Law at the University of Adelaide and worked part time for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union while still a student. Penny Wong was an active activist during student days and was the National Executive of the National Union of Students. She joined the Australian Labor Party in 1988 and acted as a delegate to the party's state convention the following year.

She graduated in 1992 and continued working for CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union) as an industrial officer. Penny Wong was admitted to the Australian Bar and began her law practice and also worked as a legal officer with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.

When the Labor Party won the Australian election in November 2007, Penny Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. She thus became the first Asian-born member of the Australian Cabinet.