Ms Anna Burke
Ms Anna Burke was the elected representative for the Victorian electoral division of Chisholm in the Australian Parliament from 1998 until 2016; she served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 43rd Parliament from 2012 to 2013.
Prior to becoming Speaker, Ms Burke served as Deputy Speaker in the both the 42nd and 43rd Parliaments as well as on a number of Parliamentary Committees including Economics, Finance and Public Administration, Climate Change, Environment and the Arts, Petitions, Privileges and Public Accounts and Audit. In parliament Ms Burke saw her role as a local representative as paramount and was well known throughout her local community and was successfully re-elected six times.
Many people know Ms Burke not only for her role in the Speaker’s Chair, but for her highly successful campaign to protect people from unwanted telemarketing calls. In 2005, she moved a Private Member’s Bill in Federal Parliament to create a national ‘Do Not Call’ register, which led to the former Government adopting her policy.
Prior to entering Federal Parliament, Ms Burke worked at VicRoads and Victoria University in their Industrial Relations departments and then as a National Industrial Officer for the Finance Sector Union, representing workers in banking and insurance. Ms Burke is currently serving as a full time Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, following her appointment this year by the Attorney General.
After retiring from parliament, Ms Burke has been actively involved in leading a range of public purpose organisations. She is currently serving on the Boards of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, RedR Australia, veski, Institute of Breathing and Sleep, Alkira foundation, and she is Chair of the Advisory Group for Transforming Humanities Focus Research Area at La Trobe University.
During her time as an elected representative Ms Burke saw herself as a parliamentarian and not a politician. As a Presiding Officer of the Parliament, Ms Burke had the opportunity to work with Parliaments in the South Pacific developing their capacity and strengthening their democratic processes. She has been able to continue in this work by facilitating training with the Samoan Parliament and working with the International Parliamentary Union in Kenya undertaking gender sensitivity audits and exercises. She continues to work in the Western Pacific region and Africa mentoring and advising women with political aspirations about election to their Parliaments.
Ms Burke was born in Melbourne and she and her four siblings were raised in Ashwood, part of the Chisholm electorate she represented. All five Burke children graduated from Monash University. Ms Burke holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Monash University and a Master of Commerce (Honours) from The University of Melbourne.