Ken was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, an electorate South East of Perth, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives. In September 2013 Ken became the first Member for Hasluck re-elected for a second term. Since his election to Parliament in 2010, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate and to help build a stronger local community.
In 2015, Ken again made history as the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive, after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health. Ken is responsible for Aged Care service delivery and implementation, as well as for Dementia Care. Ken also has Ministerial responsibility for the Organ and Tissue Authority, which is an independent statutory agency within the Health portfolio.
Before entering politics Ken worked in community roles in the fields of Health and Education as a Director in New South Wales and Western Australia.
Not only has Ken had an extensive career in health and education, he has also made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people. This was recognised in 1996 when Ken was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for ‘his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health’.
Ken brings his knowledge in the areas of Health and Education to his role as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, as well as a lifetime of experiences in raising a family and being part of the local Perth community.
During his time in Parliament, Ken has served on the following Committees:
- Joint Statutory: Human Rights from 14.3.2012 to 12.10.2015; Public Accounts and Audit from 10.2.2015 to 12.10.2015.
- Joint Select: Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from 30.11.2012 to 25.6.2015 (Chair from 11.2.2014 to 25.6.2015).
- House of Representatives Standing: Health and Ageing from 25.10.2010 to 5.8.2013; Health from 4.12.2013 to 12.10.2015; Procedure from 7.9.2015 to 12.10.2015.