About Simon – Biography
Simon Birmingham has served as a Liberal Party Senator for South Australia since May 2007 and in the Coalition Shadow Ministry since December 2009.
After a short period living with his grandmother, a war widow and former school teacher who Simon cites as one of his greatest influences, Simon grew up near Gawler in Adelaide's north.
Along with his mother and stepfather, who worked in the retail and transport sectors, Simon helped to manage their small horse agistment property. These experiences helped teach the value of hard work and the importance of small business from an early age.
Educated at government schools, Simon attended Westbourne Park Primary, Angle Vale Primary and Gawler High before going on to study at the University of Adelaide where he completed a Masters of Business Administration.
Prior to entering the Senate, Simon established particular experience in the wine, tourism and hospitality sectors – industries that are critical to South Australia's prosperity. Working as an executive with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and the Australian Hotels Association, as well as an adviser or chief of staff to several Ministers, Simon dealt with policy issues such as taxation, water security, public health and trade.
Simon has focussed on issues concerning water security, environmental management and communications since entering the Senate and continues to do so through Shadow Ministry and Parliamentary committee appointments.
First appointed to the Shadow Ministry in December 2009, Simon continues to serve as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray-Darling Basin as well as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, and in the Senate represents the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband.
In September 2012 Simon was elected for a second term as Chair (References Committee) and Deputy Chair (Legislation Committee) of the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, having previously undertaken these roles between August 2008 and February 2010.
Simon is also on the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network, and until September 2012 was Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.
Simon also actively supports work to improve the lives of children throughout the world and is proud to be Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF. Simon is married to Courtney, has two daughters Matilda and Amelia and is an active supporter of the Adelaide Crows.