Julie Ann Owens (born 17 October 1958) is an Australian politician who has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since October 2004, representing the Division of Parramatta, New South Wales.
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
9 October 2004
|Preceded by||Ross Cameron|
|Born||17 October 1958|
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
Owens was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, and was educated at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (now a part of Griffith University) and at the University of Sydney. She was a production manager at the Lyric Opera of Queensland from 1985 to 1989 and senior program officer at the Australia Council from 1989 to 1993. She then became a small-business owner and CEO of the Association of Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) before entering Parliament.
Owens' first foray into politics came in 1996, when she stood as the Labor candidate in Division of North Sydney. She was given very little chance of winning, given that North Sydney has long been a conservative stronghold, and was soundly defeated by Liberal Joe Hockey.
In the 2004 election campaign, Owens ran against the incumbent Liberal Ross Cameron. The campaign was notable for the admission by Cameron, a prominent family values campaigner, that he had had an extramarital affair, and Owens won the seat on preferences, despite a swing against the Labor Party in New South Wales.
Owens is a backbencher and has been a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts from December 2004. Although her seat was made notionally Liberal in a redistribution ahead of the 2007 election, she did not only retained her seat, but recorded a healthy swing of seven points. She won a third term in 2010 with only a small swing against her, and narrowly won a fourth term in 2013 even as Labor lost government. Her 2013 victory marked only the second time (her initial win being the first) that the Liberals or their predecessors have been in government without holding Parramatta.
Following the resignation of Labor MP Craig Thomson as chair of the Economics Committee, Owens was appointed head of the Committee.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Parramatta