Matt Thistlethwaite

Matthew James Thistlethwaite (born 6 September 1972) is an Australian politician. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since 2013, representing the electorate of Kingsford Smith. He was formerly a member of the Australian Senate from 2011 to 2013. Thistlethwaite served as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs in the Gillard government from March to July 2013, and as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport in the Rudd government from July to September 2013.[1][2] Before joining Parliament, he was the general secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party.

Matt Thistlethwaite

Shadow Assistant Minister for an Australian Head of State
Assumed office
24 October 2017
Preceded byPosition Established
Member of the Australian Parliament for Kingsford Smith
Assumed office
7 September 2013
Preceded byPeter Garrett
Senator for New South Wales
In office
1 July 2011  9 August 2013
Succeeded bySam Dastyari
General Secretary of the Labor Party
in New South Wales
In office
1 October 2008  17 July 2010
LeaderMorris Iemma
Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Preceded byKarl Bitar
Succeeded bySam Dastyari
Personal details
Matthew James Thistlethwaite

(1972-09-06) 6 September 1972
Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLabor Party
Spouse(s)Rachel Casamento
ResidenceMatraville, New South Wales, Australia
EducationMarist College Pagewood.NSW.
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
OccupationLegal advisor
(Mallesons Stephen Jaques)
Union organiser
(Australian Workers' Union)
ProfessionTrade unionist

Early life and background

Thistlethwaite graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Economics.[3]

In 1995 he began working at the Australian Workers Union as an organiser. Whilst in this role he studied law part-time and completed a Diploma of Law[3] in 2000. In 2001 he was elected Vice President of the Australian Workers Union NSW Branch. At the age of 22, Thistlethwaite joined NSW Labor Party and was president of the NSW Young Labor from 1997 to 1998.[3]

In 2004 Thistlethwaite was elected deputy assistant secretary of Unions NSW.[3] In this role he represented workers in public sector enterprise agreement negotiations and in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. He was a co-ordinator of the Your Rights at Work campaign in New South Wales against the Howard Government's WorkChoices laws. Thistlethwaite is a former director of the State Transit Authority of NSW, and the NSW Manufacturing Council. He was a member of the Racing Industry Participants Advisory Council, and an executive member of the NSW Jockeys Association. He was elected general secretary of NSW Labor from 2008 to 2010.[4] During his time as NSW ALP secretary Thistlethwaite backed Frank Sartor's unsuccessful candidacy to replace premier Nathan Rees and Rees was instead replaced by Kristina Keneally.[5] Before entering Parliament, Thistlethwaite worked as a senior consultant with law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.[3]

Political career

Thistlethwaite sought to become the endorsed Labor candidate for the House of Representatives seat of Kingsford Smith in Sydney's eastern suburbs, for the 2004 election. However, Peter Garrett was chosen by the then Labor leader Mark Latham.[6]

He was endorsed for a seat in the Senate, representing New South Wales, at the 2010 election. He was successful, and his term began on 1 July 2011.[3] On 18 July 2011 he gave his first speech in the Senate. Soon after his term began, Thistlethwaite was appointed to serve on five Parliamentary Committees. In August 2012, Thistlethwaite became Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices.[3]

Following the announcement Peter Garrett that he would not recontest the seat of Kingsford Smith at the next federal election, Thistlethwaite announced on 2 July 2013 that he would again seek Labor preselection;[7] and gained endorsement on 20 July 2013, defeating Tony Bowen, the mayor of Randwick.[8]

Thistlethwaite was elected as the member for Kingsford-Smith at the election held on 7 September 2013. Thistlethwaite was one of three people to have moved from the Senate to the House of Representatives at this election (the others were his ALP colleague David Feeney in Batman and former Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce in New England).

In 2017 the Australian Labor Party announced a national vote on the republic during the first term of a future Labor government,[9] and appointed Matt Thistlethwaite as the first 'Shadow Assistant Minister for an Australian Head of State'.[10]


Party political offices
Preceded by
Karl Bitar
General Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch)
Succeeded by
Sam Dastyari
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Garrett
Member for Kingsford Smith
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