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Penelope "Penny" Ying-yen Wong
(November 5, 1968 - living) Malaysia - Australia

Penny Wong

Senator

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Wong was born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia to a Malaysian Chinese Hakka father and an Australian mother. She moved to Australia at the age of eight with her mother and brother, after her parents separated. After spending a year on exchange in Brazil, Wong studied Arts/Law at the University of Adelaide. While at university, she worked part time for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. Wong is a committed Christian, attending Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.

She became involved in political activism at university, winning a position on the National Executive of the National Union of Students. In 1988, Wong joined the Australian Labor Party, winning a position as a delegate to the party's state convention the following year. She has been a delegate each year since, with the exception of 1995. Wong graduated from university in 1992, and continued on with the CFMEU, working as an industrial officer, gaining admission to the bar in 1993. During 1995 and 1996, she acted as an advisor to the New South Wales state government, specialising in the area of forest policy. On returning to Adelaide, she began practising law, won a position on the ALP's state executive, and also took on work as a legal officer with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.

Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party's South Australian ticket. Wong is a member of EMILY's List Australia, the support network for Labor women, and currently sits on a number of Senate committees, primarily those related to economics.

In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.

In November 2007, in the wake of the Labor Party victory in the 2007 election, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. As a result of this promotion, she is the highest ranked politician representing South Australia. She accompanied Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Bali for the international climate change talks. Wong led final negotiations as Chair of the United Nations Working Group in the closing days of December's United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Wong is the first openly homosexual member, and the first Asian-born member, of an Australian cabinet or ministry.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Website: http://PennyWong.com.au

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