Susan Templeman

Susan Raye Templeman (born 30 July 1963) is an Australian politician. She is the member for Macquarie in the Australian House of Representatives. She is a member of the Australian Labor Party and defeated the Liberal Louise Markus at the 2016 federal election. She was re-elected in 2019.[2] Templeman had previously run twice for the same seat, in 2010 and 2013.[2]

Susan Templeman

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Macquarie
Assumed office
2 July 2016 (2016-07-02)
Preceded byLouise Markus
Personal details
Susan Raye Templeman

(1963-07-30) 30 July 1963
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Spouse(s)Ron Fuller[1]
ChildrenTwo (a son and a daughter)[1]
ResidenceWinmalee, New South Wales, Australia
Alma materUniversity of Technology, Sydney
ProfessionJournalist (2UE, Austereo, LBC), Self-employed media trainer.[1]

Just two months after her defeat in the 2013 Australian Federal Election Templeman's family home in Winmalee was destroyed in the 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires.[1]

At the 2016 election, Templeman defeated Louise Markus, winning the Division of Macquarie with a 6.7% two-party preferred swing towards her.[3] On primary votes, Templeman saw a 4.5% swing towards her.[3] Reasons for the increased support included her stance on issues such as opposition to the Western Sydney Airport and support for road infrastructure in the City of Hawkesbury, including a third bridge over the Hawkesbury River.[4]

Early life and education

Templeman was born in Sydney, and is the daughter of an accountant father and public school music teacher mother. The family owned a newsagency in Strathfield, with Templeman regularly working the morning paper run with her parents.[5] Templeman credits her upbringing in the newsagency for her becoming a journalist.

Templeman attended Killara High School, and then later Strathfield Girls High School. She spent the final year of her secondary education at Colegio Mochis in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico as a Rotary exchange student.[6] Templeman stated that the exchange:

"Opened my eyes to the world and to the challenges of inequality and discrimination in a way my seven public schools had not."[7]

Templeman graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.



Templeman began her career in January 1985, during the second Hawke term, as a journalist in the Canberra Press Gallery, at Old Parliament House. At the time she was the youngest permanent journalist in the press gallery. She covered the 1987 election campaign.[7]

In 1988, Templeman and her husband moved to New York, and then London working as radio journalist foreign correspondents for both 2UE and Austero. Templeman then became the News Editor for the London Broadcasting Corporation, before moving back to Australia to work as the Media Relations officer for Telstra (then Telecom).[8]

In 1991, Templeman and her husband became media trainers, running the company Templeman Consulting. Templeman later partnered with other media trainers, becoming the principal trainer at Media Skills. Templeman has been described as "one of Australia's most successful media trainers".[9]

Political career

Templeman joined the Labor Party during John Howard's government. Describing her reasons for joining the Party, Templeman said:

"I could not sit by and see Australia becoming a backwards-looking and defensive society. Apparently, we no longer cared about being a republic or about Aboriginal reconciliation. We moved away from inclusion and we distanced ourselves from Asia. That was not the Australia I wanted for my children. So I joined the Labor Party, with no clear ambition other than to help get rid of John Howard. Not a bad one."[7]

Templeman sought to be preselected as Labor's candidate for Macquarie at the 2010 federal election, and was the preferred candidate of the outgoing member, and former minister, Bob Debus.[10] The preselection was marred with controversy, and required the intervention of the ALP's national executive, which ordered a rank-and-file preselection.[11] Templeman, a member of the Socialist Left Faction, or hard left, of the ALP, was locked in a bitter battle with former Blue Mountains mayor, Adam Searle, a member of the Ferguson Left, or soft left.[11] Searle was backed by the members of the soft left, members of the Labor Right faction and factional powerbroker Mark Arbib, but Templeman ultimately prevailed in the rank-and-file preselection, gaining 84 votes against the only other nominee, former policewoman Donna Ritchie.[10]

At the 2010 election, Macquarie was the fourth most marginal Labor-held seat in the country.[12] Templeman, who was touted as a "Western Sydney soccer mum",[13] lost, with Labor suffering a 1.54% two party preferred swing, delivering the seat to former Member for Greenway and Liberal candidate for Macquarie, Louise Markus.

Templeman was pre-selected again in 2013, suffering a 3.32-point swing against her. She was pre-selected for a third time in 2016. At the 2016 election, Templeman defeated the incumbent Louise Markus, winning the Division of Macquarie with a 6.7% two-party preferred swing towards her.[3] On primary votes, Templeman saw a 4.5-point swing towards her, as well as the largest swing at an ordinary polling booth on Election Day in the country, where she recorded a 31.55% swing in Kurrajong East[3]

In the 45th Parliament, Templeman was appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.[7] Templeman is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings, and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts.[14] Following her re-election in 2019, Templeman was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network.

Templeman announced that she would seek preselection to recontest the seat of Macquarie in 2019 Australian federal election.[15] Templeman was preselected unopposed.[16]

Political views

Templeman is a supporter of marriage equality and LGBTIQ+ rights,[17] and is an avid supporter of the Australian Republican Movement, citing the push for Australia to become a republic as one of the driving forces for her membership of the Australian Labor Party.[7] She is a member of EMILY's List Australia, an organisation dedicated to the election of Labor women.[18]

Following the closure of the Manus Island Detention Centre, Templeman declared opposition to Australia's system of offshore detention – a stance directly at odds with the platform of the Labor Party.[19][20] Templeman has expressed similar opposition, contrary to party policy, to the Australian live export industry following the release of footage showing 2,400 live export sheep dying during the journey.[21]

Templeman was the subject of media criticism for opposing the planned Western Sydney Airport.[22] The proposed airport is a topic of debate within Templeman's electorate, with many residents opposed to the project for environmental and quality of life reasons.[23][24]

In January 2018, Templeman and other community activists joined a lock-on protest at Windsor Bridge to stop the NSW Roads and Maritime Services from beginning dig works at Thompson Square, the oldest public square in Australia. Objectors to the works contest that it will destroy the Georgian heritage of the region.[25] Templeman was forcibly and controversially removed from the protest by police, and was issued with two infringement notices for failing to move on from the protest site.[26]

Templeman has been an advocate for the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, and has described Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories as imprisonining Palestinians.[27][28] She was a critic of Australia's decision to vote against an independent inquiry into Israel's response to the 2018 Gaza border protests,[28] and joined with other parliamentarians in signing a statement against Israel's treatment of Palestinian children in the military detention system.[29] Templeman is a supporter of the Australia–Palestine Advocacy Network, and visited Palestine in November 2017 as part of a study tour sponsored by APAN.[30]

Templeman has been an ongoing critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its successor, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP-11).[31] A member of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties – the committee with principal oversight over the TPP and TPP-11 –[7] Templeman was the first Labor MP to publicly criticise the Agreement during debate, raising significant concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement provisions, skills testing of foreign workers, the waiving of labour market testing and the lack of independent modelling as to the benefits of the agreement.[32] She said that she would push for side letters with parties to the TPP-11 to be sought to remove the ISDS provisions.[33]

Personal life

Templeman lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband, Ron Fuller – the former Australian Broadcasting Commission TV News Chief of Staff.[34] In 2013, Templeman's family home in Winmalee was destroyed in the 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires.[1]

She has two children – a son and a daughter. In her inaugural speech, Templeman spoke about her daughter's battles with mental illness, and how it had been a transformative experience for her entire family.

A former board director of Family Planning NSW[35] and Sexual Health Australia, Templeman was the P&C President of her children's schools, Winmalee Public School and Winmalee High School.[6]

Templeman and her husband are both members of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance union.[30] Templeman speaks fluent Spanish.


  1. Madigan, Damien (22 October 2013). "First an election loss, now a home for Susan Templeman". Blue Mountains Gazette. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  2. "Macquarie – Australia Votes". Election 2016. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. "Macquarie – Australia Votes | Federal Election 2016 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  5. "Hansard of the House of Representatives". Parliament of Australia. 14 September 2016.
  6. Martin, Greg. "Meet the new Member for Macquarie: Susan Templeman". Hawkesbury District Independent. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  7. "Hansard of the House of Representatives". Parliament of Australia. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  8. "Macquarie – 2010 Federal Election – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  9. "The Media Skills™ Network". Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  10. "Electorate Form Guide – Macquarie". Crikey. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  11. "Tips and rumours: No seriously, Do Not Call me". Crikey. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  12. Green, Antony. "Pendulum – 2010 Federal Election – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. Benson, Simon (26 February 2010). "Soccer mum Susan Templeman is Labor's weapon in the west". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  14. "Ms Susan Templeman MP". Parliament of Australia.
  15. Mamo, Erin (17 October 2017). "Local MPs want back in". Blue Mountains Record. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  16. "October Political Briefing – Report from the Administrative Committee" (PDF). NSW Labor. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  17. "Federal Parliament to Debate Same Sex Marriage". Blue Mountains Australia. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  18. "Our Federal MPs – EMILY's List Australia". EMILY's List Australia. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  19. "Susan Templeman MP". Facebook. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  20. "A humanitarian crisis: call your MP and demand action". GetUp! Action for Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  21. Templeman, Susan. "Susan Templeman MP on Twitter". Twitter.
  22. Markson, Sharri (13 December 2016). "Badgerys Creek: The Labor MPs trying to stop our second airport taking off". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  23. "MP challenges government on airport plan". Blue Mountains Gazette. 12 June 2017.
  24. Crowe, David (15 December 2017). "Badgerys Creek airport row a threat to jobs push". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  25. Facebook – Susan Templeman MP Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. Mitchell, Georgina (8 January 2018). "Two arrested, protesters removed at Windsor Bridge protest". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  27. "Susan Templeman MP". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  28. "ParlInfo – ADJOURNMENT : Middle East". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  30. "45th Parliament: Members' Interests Statements – Susan Templeman" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  31. "Susan Templeman MP".
  32. "Ms Templeman (Second Reading Speech)". House Hansard – Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018, Customs Tariff Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018. Parliament of Australia.
  33. Remeikis, Amy; Karp, Paul (13 September 2018). "First Labor MPs speak against Trans Pacific Partnership". The Guardian.
  34. Carter, Lucy. "A NIGHT IN A RELIEF CENTRE AND FINDING THE NEWSMAN WHO BECAME A NEWS STORY". ABC Backstory. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  35. Annual Report 2011 (PDF). Family Planning NSW. 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Louise Markus
Member for Macquarie
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