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Gabrielle Upton

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Premier  Mike Baird
Succeeded by  Stuart Ayres
Preceded by  Brad Hazzard
Premier  Mike Baird

Premier  Barry O'Farrell
Name  Gabrielle Upton
Preceded by  Brad Hazzard
Role  Attorney

Political party  Liberal Party of Australia
Education  University of New South Wales, New York University Stern School of Business

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Gabrielle Cecelia Upton (born 16 December 1964), an Australian politician, is the New South Wales Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Local Government, and the Minister for Heritage since January 2017 in the Berejiklian government. Upton is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing the seat of Vaucluse for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2011.


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Upton previously served as the NSW Attorney General between April 2015 and January 2017 in the second Baird government and was the first woman to be appointed as Attorney General. She has also previously served as the New South Wales Minister for Family and Community Services in the first Baird government during 2014 and 2015; and the Minister for Sport and Recreation during 2013 and 2014.

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Background and early career

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Upton was born and raised in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney where she attended Brigidine College in Randwick and the University of New South Wales, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. Upton's career began as a banking and finance lawyer with legal firms Freehill, Hollingdale & Page and DLA Phillips Fox, after being admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 1988.

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Upton moved to live New York City in 1993 where she graduated with a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Management) from the Stern School of Business at New York University, New York. She then worked as a banker with Deutsche Bank and Toronto Dominion Bank in New York financing the energy sector. From 2000 until 2010, Upton was legal counsel at the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of CAMAC, the Australian federal government's principal advisory committee on corporations and securities law, between 2006 and 2011. Upton served as Deputy Chancellor at the University of New South Wales from 2006 until 2009, and on the University's Council from 2002 to 2010. From 2005 to 2011, Upton was the Deputy Chair of the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in Australia; and was also a board member of Neuroscience Research Australia from 2007 to 2011; and a Fellow of the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales.

Neuroscience and mental health advocacy

Upton has spoken out about the need to raise awareness about mental health and in March 2010 gave a speech to Sydney Rotary where she called for a "full gamut" approach to combating mental illness. This speech noted that every day in Australia six to seven people die by suicide, which was 40 per cent higher than deaths caused on the country's roads – a statistic she described as "completely unacceptable". She has written about the prevalence of mental illness among young Australian lawyers and discussed moves by the legal profession to combat mental illness in the law firm workplace.

Political career

Following the earlier announcement that the Liberal sitting member, Peter Debnam would not re-contest the next state election, on 26 September 2010 Gabrielle won Liberal Party pre-selection for Vaucluse. At the 2011 state election, Gabrielle was elected with a swing of 9.9 points and won the seat with 81.4 per cent of the two-party vote. Following the election, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills. In August 2011 she was appointed Chair of the NSW Parliamentary friends of Israel. On 21 August 2013, Upton was appointed as the Minister for Sport and Recreation.

Due to the resignation of Barry O'Farrell as premier, and the subsequent ministerial reshuffle by Mike Baird, the new Liberal Leader, in April 2014 Upton was appointed as the Minister for Family and Community Services; and lost the portfolio of Sport and Recreation.

Following the 2015 state election, Premier Mike Baird announced that Upton would become the next NSW Attorney General, and on 2 April 2015, she was sworn in as the first female Attorney General of New South Wales. Following the resignation of Mike Baird as Premier, Gladys Berejiklian was elected as Liberal leader and sworn in as Premier. The Berejiklian ministry was subsequently formed with Upton sworn in as the Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Local Government, and the Minister for Heritage with effect from 30 January 2017.


Gabrielle Upton Wikipedia