Senator for South Australia

Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Penny was born in Sabah, Malaysia. She moved to Australia when she was eight and her family settled in the Adelaide Hills.
After winning a scholarship to attend Scotch College, Penny went on to study Arts and Law at the University of Adelaide.

While she was still studying, Penny started working for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. After she was admitted to the bar, she continued her work with the CFMEU, and was elected as an organiser and industrial official. She worked in forest policy in the NSW Labor Government and later returned to Adelaide to practise law.

Penny is driven by compassion for those less well-off in our community and to ensure equality for all Australians regardless of race, personal beliefs, sexuality or where they live.

Penny believes that opportunity opens a door both to a more equal society, but also to a more productive society

“One thing my father always told me was this: They can take everything away from you but they can’t take your education. For him the opportunity that he was given to study defined his life.”

Penny lives with her partner Sophie and their young daughter Alexandra in Adelaide.