After leading the Labor Party to its first election victory in more than a decade, Anthony Albanese is destined to become Australia’s next prime minister.
Anthony Albanese is a pragmatic politician who is willing to work across ideological lines – and who got his first experience of politics as a child. Australia’s new prime leader came from humble beginnings, as he reminded supporters during his acceptance address on Saturday.
“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mother who was a disability pensioner and grew up in public housing can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” he told them.
Mr. Albanese, 59, was born to an Irish-Australian mother and an Italian father in Darlinghurst, a Sydney suburb, in March 1963. He organized a rent strike when he was 12 to prevent his mother’s public housing from being sold to developers.
In January, he told the National Press Club about how he had to rely on neighbors for food when his mother was unable to provide for him. “It gave me a drive to help individuals like me have a better life every day,” he added.
Mr. Albanese, the first in his family to attend college, majored in economics and became interested in student politics. While working as a research officer under Bob Hawke, Labor’s longest-serving prime minister, he was chosen president of Young Labor at the age of 22.
Mr. Albanese was elected to the legislature in 1996, as Labor launched the first of two decades of opposition. Between 2007 until 2013, when the party regained power, there were leadership battles, during which he acquired a reputation as a mediator willing to work with all sides. Labor was forced to function as a minority administration after losing the 2010 election.
Mr. Albanese ensured that the “business of government” continued as leader of the house, according to Craig Emerson, the commerce minister in that cabinet. Based on the amount of laws approved vs the number of days in office, political pundits stated it was Australia’s most productive parliament.
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