Anne McEwen

  • Senator Anne McEwen


Anne McEwen (born 3 August 1954) is a Labor member of the Australian Senate, representing South Australia.

Anne was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and attended St Joseph’s Primary School Hectorville, and St Aloysius College in the city. The daughter of a school teacher mother and an accountant father, after leaving school Anne went on to work in clerical and administrative positions within both the private and public sectors.

During the 1980s, Anne undertook tertiary study as a mature age entry student at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Politics and English Literature.

In the late 1980s, while working in administration within the University of Adelaide’s Student Union,Anne became a workplace delegate for her union, the Federated Clerks’ Union. After a brief period of working for the National Tertiary Education Union, Anne joined the Federated Clerks’ Union (later to become known as the Australian Services Union) as an Industrial Officer/Organiser in 1993. In 2002, Anne was elected Secretary of the South Australian and Northern Territory branch of the Australian Services Union (ASU). In 2003, Anne was awarded the Centenary Medal for her services to trade unionism as the Secretary of the ASU SA+NT.

In 2005, Anne became President of the South Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Anne was elected Senator for South Australia in the October 2004 Federal Election, replacing retiring senator, Nick Bolkus. Her term in the Senate began on 1 July 2005, and she was re-elected for a second term in the 2010 Federal Election.

Anne made her maiden speech to the Senate on 9 August 2005. Formerly Deputy Government Whip in the Senate and Chair of the Environment, Communications and the Arts (Legislation) Senate Committee, since the 2010 Federal Election Anne is now the Chief Government Whip in the Senate. She is also a member on a number of Committees, including the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Senate Selection of Bills Committee and the Senate Procedure Committee. Anne is also a member of a number of Parliamentary groups, including the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, and she is Secretary of the Australia/Papua New Guinea Parliamentary Friendship Group.                                                                                                                           

During her time in Federal Parliament, Anne has been particularly active on issues regarding workplace relations, higher education, Australia’s indigenous population, and veterans’ affairs. Currently, Anne is the duty senator for the Federal electorates of Sturt and Barker in South Australia.

In her spare time, Anne enjoys trekking and bushwalking, and has completed walking the Kokoda Track four times, where her father served as a member of the 2/27th AIF Battalion during WW2. She has also completed Shaggy Ridge in Papua New Guinea and the Sandakan Death March in Borneo, both important sites of Australia’s wartime history.


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