Julian Leeser

Julian Martin Leeser (born 25 May 1976) is an Australian politician. He is a member of the Liberal Party and has represented the Division of Berowra since the 2016 federal election.[1]

Julian Leeser

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Berowra
Assumed office
2 July 2016
Preceded byPhilip Ruddock
Personal details
Born (1976-05-25) 25 May 1976
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal
ResidencePennant Hills, New South Wales
EducationCranbrook School, Sydney
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
ProfessionLawyer and politician

Early life

Leeser was born in Sydney.[2] His father John, an accountant, was the son of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, while his mother Sylvia is a fifth-generation Australian whose father was a survivor of the Burma Railway.[3]

Leeser holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.[2] He sat on Woollahra Council from 1995 to 1999. At the time, he was the youngest local councillor ever elected in Australia.[4] In 1999 he served as a member of Prime Minister John Howard's No campaign during the republic referendum. In 2000, he was an associate to Justice Ian Callinan of the High Court of Australia.[5]

Leeser worked as an adviser for Minister for Workplace Relations Tony Abbott in 2001 and for Philip Ruddock between 2004 and 2006. He worked as a solicitor for Mallesons Stephen Jaques between 2002 and 2004. In 2006 he joined the Menzies Research Centre as Executive Director, before becoming Director of Government Policy & Strategy at the Australian Catholic University in July 2012.[6][7]

Leeser has written several articles defending the legacy of Prime Minister William McMahon,[8][9] as well as an obituary of his wife Sonia for The Australian.[10] He authored McMahon's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography,[11] and as of 2016 was working on a full-length biography.[12]


Leeser joined the Liberal Party in 1992 and served as vice-president of the Liberal Party of Australia (New South Wales Division) from 2015 to 2016. He was elected to parliament at the 2016 federal election, succeeding the retiring Philip Ruddock in the Division of Berowra.[2] In his maiden speech he spoke of the impact of his father's suicide when he was 20 years old.[13] He has been identified as a member of the moderate wing of the party.[14]

After the 2019 election Leeser became chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs.[2]

Personal life

Leeser is married to Joanna Davidson and has one son, born in 2018.[15]


  1. Federal election 2016: Julian Leeser wins Liberal Party preselection for seat of Berowra Hills News 18 April 2016
  2. "Mr Julian Leeser MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  3. "Maiden speech". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  4. Liberal candidate Julian Leeser follows in the footsteps of neighbour and political giant Philip Ruddock. Retrieved 3 July 2016
  5. "Julian Leeser Wins Liberal Preselection For Berowra; Succeeds Philip Ruddock | AustralianPolitics.com". australianpolitics.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  6. Julian Leeser Archived 22 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Mercy Health
  7. Julian Lesser to head government relations at ACU Australian Catholic University August 2012
  8. Julia has nothing on Billy, The Spectator, 11 February 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  9. How McMahon was beaten by Whitlam and the Coalition, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January 2003. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  10. Gracious, stylish and steadfast, The Australian, 5 April 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  11. McMahon, Sir William (Billy) (1908–1988), Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2012.
  12. ABC Guide to the Federal Election 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  13. Henderson, Anna (14 September 2016). "Liberal MP Julian Leeser devotes maiden speech to the memory of his dad, who took his own life". ABC News. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  14. Clark, Andrew (24 July 2017). "Fear and loathing in the NSW Liberal Party after democratic plebiscite push". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  15. "About Julian Leeser". Julian Leeser MP. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Jason Bryant
Executive Director of Menzies Research Centre
Succeeded by
Professor Donald Markwell
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Philip Ruddock
Member for Berowra
Succeeded by
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