After a career as an engineer and running her own industrial relations business, Karen Andrews was elected to parliament in 2010 as the Federal Member for McPherson on the Gold Coast.
Following the 2013 election, she took on a leadership position as Chair of the House of Representatives Joint Standing Committee on Public Works – one of the oldest investigatory Committees of the Parliament, and a “watchdog” on Government building and works programs.
She’s also served as the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and Assistant Minister for Science. In this role, Minister Andrews was one of the architects of the $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.
It’s this experience which saw her sworn in as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in the Morrison Government Cabinet in August 2018. In doing so, she became the first ever female cabinet minister from Queensland.
Since then, Minister Andrews led significant work to help Australian industry to flourish, including designing the Government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
She was a key driver of Women in STEM initiatives and guided the Australian Space Agency on its mission towards a goal of tripling the size of the sector to $12 billion and creating 20,000 new jobs by 2030.
Minister Andrews was sworn in as the first female Home Affairs Minister on 30 March 2021.