Anna Burke

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Anna Burke
File:Anna Burke.jpg
28th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
9 October 2012 – 12 November 2013
Deputy Bruce Scott
Preceded by Peter Slipper
Succeeded by Bronwyn Bishop
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
24 November 2011 – 9 October 2012
Preceded by Peter Slipper
Succeeded by Bruce Scott
In office
12 February 2008 – 28 September 2010
Preceded by Harry Jenkins
Succeeded by Peter Slipper
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Chisholm
Assumed office
3 October 1998
Preceded by Michael Wooldridge
Personal details
Born (1966-01-01) 1 January 1966 (age 53)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Steve Burgess (m. 1994)
Children Two
Residence Box Hill South[1]
Education Presentation College, Windsor
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Monash University
Occupation Union representative, Politician

Anna Elizabeth Burke (born 1 January 1966) is an Australian politician, and a former Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives. She has been a member of the Australian Labor Party and a member of the Australian House of Representatives since October 1998, representing the Division of Chisholm, Victoria.

Early life

Anna Burke was born in Melbourne and educated at Presentation College, Windsor. She graduated from Monash University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in English Literature, and later from the University of Melbourne in 1994 with a Master of Commerce with Honours in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.

Before entering politics, Burke worked as a trade union official and human resources manager. In this capacity, she worked for Victoria Roads from 1988 to 1993 and for Victoria University (then the Victorian Institute of Technology) from 1993 to 1994. In 1994, she joined the Finance Sector Union as their National Industrial Officer.[2]


Early years

She had joined the Ashwood branch of the Labor Party in 1986, and in 1997 she was pre-selected for the Division of Chisholm by the Labor Party. The division was then held by Liberal Minister for Health and Family Services Michael Wooldridge. She was not expected to win, but after Wooldridge switched seats she won the seat at the 1998 federal election[3] against Peter Vlahos of the Liberal Party.

Role as Deputy Speaker and Speaker

After Labor's win at the 2007 federal election, Burke was elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

She successfully defended her seat in the 2010 federal election.

On 24 November 2011, she was nominated by the Opposition for the position of Speaker of the House, which she declined. However, she accepted the Government's nomination for the position of Deputy Speaker on the same day, and was elected to that position following a ballot.

On 22 April 2012 the Speaker, Peter Slipper, announced he was standing aside, meaning he would remain Speaker but would not attend sessions of the House, until fraud allegations made against him with respect to travel expenses were resolved.[4] The Opposition called for Slipper to stay away from the chamber until sexual harassment charges were resolved as well.[5] As Deputy Speaker, Burke was deprived of her deliberative vote, being able only to vote in the case of a tie. On 9 October 2012, Peter Slipper resigned as Speaker of the House.[6] Later that evening, Burke was nominated and elected the new Speaker of the House of Representatives unopposed.

Retirement from politics

On 15 December 2015, Burke announced that she would retire at the next Australian federal election. She has held her seat of Chisholm since 1998.


  1. Ms Anna Burke MP, Q&A (ABC).
  2. "How Acting Speaker of the Federal Parliament Anna Burke juggles the office, kids, haircuts and misbehaving politicians". Herald Sun. 26 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Retrieved October 16, 2015
  3. "Being Anna Burke: the former speaker opens up". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Retrieved October 16, 2015
  4. "Slipper stands aside amid harassment claims". ABC News. 22 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Roxon Warns against 'lynch mob' over Slipper claims". ABC News. 23 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Slipper resigns as Speaker". ABC News. 9 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Michael Wooldridge
Member for Chisholm
Preceded by
Peter Slipper
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Bronwyn Bishop