Kristina Keneally BIO

  • Former Member for Heffron

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Kristina lives in South Sydney with her husband Ben and their two sons, Brendan and Daniel.

Kristina’s grandmother and mother were Australian-born women who married American men. Kristina was raised and educated in the United States.

Kristina graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Hons) in 1991 and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies in 1995.

Before entering Parliament, Kristina taught primary school in a ‘teacher shortage area’ in rural New Mexico and worked as the State Youth Coordinator for the NSW Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Kristina became the Member for Heffron in 2003, and she was a strong voice for her community.

In 2007, Kristina became Minister for Ageing and Disability.  In this role, she delivered the largest increase in funding for disability services in NSW and announced the start of our State’s new child protection system – to better support vulnerable children and young people.

In 2008, Kristina became Minister for Planning, where she worked to deliver major investments that create jobs and grow our economy. Kristina also took a leading role in the delivery of the $6 billion redevelopment of Barangaroo – one of the most important urban renewal projects in Australia’s history.

On 4 December 2009, Kristina became the 42nd Premier of NSW, and the State’s first female Premier.

Kristina worked tirelessly to deliver new services and investments in her electorate of Heffron. As the Labor Member for Heffron, she delivered:

  • Better public transport – with three new Metrobus Routes now providing frequent, air-conditioned services to the Sydney CBD and other destinations
  • Better healthcare – with the new Redfern Health Centre opened  in 2010 providing a range of community health services
  • Better education – with the delivery of new facilities including JJ Cahill Memorial High School’s new gym and Tempe High School’s science lab and kitchen upgrades
  • Better housing – with projects like the $12 million Green Neighbour underway to improve housing in Waterloo
  • Better community facilities – with more than $800,000 delivered for local projects in Heffron over the past two years through the Community Building Partnership

Kristina took decisive action to stand up for her community, including acting to save the Betty Spears Childcare Centre, ruling out the use of Tempe Reserve as part of the M5 widening and toughening rules to restrict coal seam gas exploration.

Kristina also acted to bring more jobs to South Sydney through the revitalization of Redfern-Waterloo and by supporting major projects like the $400 million Amcor Australasia paper recycling facility.

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