Kevin was born in the country town of Nambour in Queensland in 1957, the son of a share farmer and a nurse. Kevin was educated at the Eumundi Primary School, Marist College Ashgrove and Nambour State High School, where he was dux of the school.
He joined the Australian Labor Party at the age of 15 in 1972.
He gained his Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree with First Class Honours in 1981 from the Australian National University in Canberra where he met his wife, Thérèse.
Kevin is passionate about securing Australia's place in the world having worked as a diplomat, as a senior official in the Queensland Government, and as a consultant helping Australian firms to establish and build their business links in China.
He believes passionately in a fair go for all.
“When my father was accidentally killed and my mother, like thousands of others, was left to rely on the bleak charity of the time to raise a family, it made a young person think. It made me think that a decent social security system designed to protect the weak was no bad thing. It made me think that the provision of decent public housing to the poor was the right thing to do. When I saw people unnecessarily die in the appallingly underfunded Queensland hospital system of the 1960s and 1970s it made me think that the provision of a decent universal health system should be one of the first responsibilities of the state.”
Kevin led the Labor Party to government in 2007 campaigning on a policy platform focused on education, delivering a National Broadband Network, climate change, increased health funding and restoring fairness for working families. He is only the second Queenslander in Australian history to lead his party to a Federal Election victory.
One of his first acts as Prime Minister was to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and his first act in the Parliament was the Apology to Indigenous Australians.
Kevin is proud to see Labor's work making a difference in his community on Brisbane's southside. This includes successful efforts to support small businesses and jobs during the Global Financial Crisis, Labor's investment in improving organ donation rates at the PA Hospital, and the transformation of local schools through the building of 30 new classrooms, 25 new libraries, 17 new multi-purpose centres and delivering 7,365 new school computers in the last five years.
Kevin and his wife Thérèse have three children - Jessica (married to Albert Tse), Nicholas (married to Zara) and Marcus. They became grandparents for the first time in 2012.