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Stephen Smith (Australian politician)

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Preceded by  John Faulkner
Succeeded by  Craig Emerson
Succeeded by  David Johnston
Name  Stephen Smith

Prime Minister  Julia Gillard
Spouse  Jane Seymour
Preceded by  Simon Crean
Party  Australian Labor Party
Stephen Smith (Australian politician) psephosadamcarrnetcountriesaaustraliaMPpix
Prime Minister  Julia Gillard Kevin Rudd
Role  Member of the Australian House of Representatives
Children  Madeleine Smith, Hugo Smith
Books  Local Taxation: The Options and the Arguments
Education  University of London (1982), University of Western Australia (1977), University of Western Australia
Similar People  David Forrest, Mark Pearson, Sijbren Cnossen, Malcolm Fraser, Kevin Andrews

Stephen Francis Smith (born 12 December 1955) is a former Australian member of parliament. He was the member for Perth in the Australian House of Representatives from March 1993 to August 2013, representing the Australian Labor Party. His last ministerial appointment was Minister for Defence, and he had previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade.


Smith was born in Narrogin, Western Australia, and was educated at CBC Highgate, the University of Western Australia and the University of London, where he earned a master's degree in law. He was a solicitor, lecturer and tutor before entering politics. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Western Australian Attorney-General, Joe Berinson 1983–87 and State Secretary of the Western Australian Labor Party 1987–90 From 1990 to 1993 he was an adviser to Paul Keating, first as Treasurer, then as Prime Minister. He was instrumental in securing caucus support in order for Keating to defeat Bob Hawke for the Labor Party leadership in 1991 and thereby allowing Keating to ascend to the prime ministership.

He has been a University of Western Australia professor of international law since early 2014.


Stephen Smith was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry from March 1996 until the November 2007 elections, which were won by the Labor party. He was Shadow Minister for Trade 1996–97, for Resources and Energy 1997–98, for Communications 1998–2001, Health and Ageing 2001–03 and Immigration 2003–04. He was Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations from October 2004 until December 2006, when he was appointed to the position of Shadow Minister for Education and Training.

During the leadership crisis in the Labor Party in 2003, Smith was a prominent supporter of his fellow Western Australian, Kim Beazley. As early as 2002 his name had been mentioned as a possible future leader. He again supported Beazley in the leadership contest which followed the resignation of Mark Latham in January 2005, which saw Beazley return to the leadership.

Smith was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in Kevin Rudd's cabinet on 3 December following Labor's win in the 2007 election, and when Julia Gillard took over from Kevin Rudd as prime minister in June 2010, she added Minister for Trade to Smith's portfolio. After the 2010 Federal election Smith was appointed to the vacant Defence portfolio, while Rudd and Craig Emerson were appointed to the Foreign Affairs and Trade ministries, respectively.

Following Kevin Rudd's return to the leadership of the ALP and as prime minister, on 27 June 2013 Smith announced he would not be a candidate at the 2013 federal election.

Smith was appointed Winthrop Professor of International Law at the University of Western Australia on 29 April 2014.

After federal parliament

In March 2016, Smith announced that he did not believe that the current Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia, Mark McGowan, was capable of leading Western Australian Labor to victory at the 2017 election. Smith proposed to get into Western Australian Legislative Assembly by being preselected in the new seat of Baldivis at the election.


Stephen Smith (Australian politician) Wikipedia