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Tony Abbott

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Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott - 2010.jpg
28th Prime Minister of Australia
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Deputy Warren Truss
Preceded by Kevin Rudd
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
Assumed office
1 December 2009
Deputy Julie Bishop
Preceded by Malcolm Turnbull
32nd Leader of the Opposition
In office
1 December 2009 – 18 September 2013
Deputy Julie Bishop
Preceded by Malcolm Turnbull
Succeeded by Chris Bowen
20th Minister for Health and Ageing
In office
7 October 2003 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Kay Patterson
Succeeded by Nicola Roxon
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Warringah
Assumed office
26 March 1994
Preceded by Michael Mackellar
Majority 16,163 (9.5%)[1]
Personal details
Born 4 November 1957 (1957-11-04) (age 62)[2]
London, United Kingdom[2]
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Margie Aitken
Children Louise, Bridget and Frances

Anthony John "Tony" Abbott (born 4 November 1957) is an Australian politician, who is the Prime Minister of Australia, and parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party. He took over from Malcolm Turnbull on 1 December 2009.

Early life

Abbott was born in London, England to an Australian mother; her father was Dutch; her mother was Welsh. Abbott's father was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, moved to Australia during the Second World War and is a naturalized Australian citizen.[3] Abbott was raised in Sydney, Australia and is a Roman Catholic.[4] He studied economics and law at Sydney University, and then did a Master of Arts in politics and philosophy at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.[2][5] When he came back to Australia he entered St. Patricks Seminary in Manly where he began training as a priest.[2] He did not complete his priest training[2] and in 1990 he started work as a journalist writing for the Bulletin magazine and the Australian newspaper.[6] From 1990-1993 Abbott worked as press secretary and an advisor to Dr. John Hewson, who was the Leader of the Opposition.[6] He then worked as the executive director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy.[6] He was elected to the Federal Parliament for the Division of Warringah in a by-election in 1994 after Michael McKellar resigned.[7]


In 1998 Prime Minister John Howard made Abbott the Minister for Employment Services and in 2001 was promoted to Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business.[2] In 2003 Abbott was the Minister for Health and Ageing, and Leader of the House of Representatives in the Federal Parliament.[2] After the defeat of the Howard Government in 2007 he was Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. He resigned on the 26 November 2009 in protest against Liberal Party policy on climate change.[8] He then defeated the leader Malcolm Turnbull by only one vote in a Liberal Party leadership election on 1 December, 2009.[2]

Opposition leader

Abbott led the party to the 2010 Federal Election. Following the narrow victory of the Australian Labor Party, Abbott was re-elected leader of the Liberal Party and remained Leader of the Opposition.

Prime Minister

At the 2013 federal election on 7 September, Abbott led the Coalition to victory and became Prime Minister on 18 September 2013.


Abbott has always held strong conservative and religious views and has not been afraid to speak out on controversial issues. Combined with his earlier training as a priest this has led to his being given the nickname of the "Mad Monk".[3] Abbott for example does not support the right of women to have an abortion.[9] As Minister for Health he created a huge protest in 2006 when he tried to ban a drug used for abortions.[2] In 2012 he was criticised by Australian lawyer Julian Burnside for saying that refugees trying to reach Australia were acting in an un-Christian way.[10] Abbott's policies for the 2013 Australian election includes a plan to stop refugee boats coming to Australia.[11] He does not support marriage equality which would let same sex couples get married.[12]

Personal life

Abbott is a very keen sportsman, and regularly takes part in competitions. He is currently in training for the 2014 Port Macquarie Ironman contest. This is a race with a 3.9km swim, 180km bicycle ride, and finishing with a 42.2km run.[12] Abbott is married with three daughters.


  1. "Warringah - Federal Election 2007". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "The facts of Tony's life". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Woolford, Don (26 November 2009). "Tony Abbott, Mad Monk and honest larrikin". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  4. BBC profile
  5. Warne-Smith, Drew (10 August 2010). "Top Lib wins respect by degrees". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Tony Abbott MHR - Biography". 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  7. "Warringah - 2010 Federal Election". 2013 [last update]. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  8. ttp://
  9. Abbott, Tony (2004). "Rate of abortion highlights our moral failings". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  10. Burnside, Julian (11 July 2012). "Boat people un-Christian? Wrong, Mr Abbott". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  11. Salna, Karlis (14 October 2012). "I'll turn the boats back, Abbott insists". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Gordon, Michael (4 May 2013). "No revisiting marriage: Abbott". Retrieved 20 May 2013.

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