Adam Bandt

Adam Paul Bandt (born 11 March 1972) is an Australian politician and former industrial lawyer who is the leader of the Australian Greens and federal MP for Melbourne. Previously, he served as co-deputy leader of the Greens from 2012 to 2015 and 2017 to 2020. He was elected leader after the resignation of Richard Di Natale in February 2020.[2]

Adam Bandt

Bandt in 2020
Bandt in 2020
Leader of the Australian Greens
Assumed office
4 February 2020
DeputyLarissa Waters
Nick McKim
Preceded byRichard Di Natale
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
In office
21 July 2017 – 4 February 2020
Serving with Larissa Waters
LeaderRichard Di Natale
Preceded byScott Ludlam and
Larissa Waters
Succeeded byNick McKim and
Larissa Waters
In office
13 April 2012 – 6 May 2015
LeaderChristine Milne
Preceded byChristine Milne
Succeeded byScott Ludlam and
Larissa Waters
Member of Parliament
for Melbourne
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded byLindsay Tanner
Personal details
Adam Paul Bandt

(1972-03-11) 11 March 1972 (age 48)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Political partyGreens (since 2004)
Other political
Labor (until 1989)
Claudia Perkins
(m. 2013)
ResidenceFlemington, Victoria, Australia
EducationHollywood Senior High School
Alma materMurdoch University (BA Hons)
Monash University (PhD)[1]
OccupationIndustrial lawyer
(Slater & Gordon)
WebsiteOfficial website

Bandt won his seat in the 2010 federal election, becoming the first member of the Greens elected to the House of Representatives at a federal election, and the second overall after Michael Organ, who was elected at a by-election. Bandt first contested the seat in 2007 and narrowly lost to the Australian Labor Party's Lindsay Tanner. Following his successful 2010 election, Bandt retained the seat in 2013, 2016, and 2019 elections, increasing his majority each time. As of 2019, he holds the seat by the third largest margin of any Australian MP, receiving 72% of votes after preferences.

Early life and educationEdit

Bandt was born in Adelaide, South Australia—a descendant of German immigrants who emigrated to the Hahndorf and Barossa Valley regions in the 1800s. When he was a child, his family moved to Perth, Western Australia where he attended high school and Murdoch University.[3] He graduated in 1996 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees, and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Prize for Academic Achievement, "which is given to the graduate who best combines distinguished academic performance in law units with qualities of character, leadership and all-round contribution to the life of the university".[4]

Early political activityEdit

While in high school, Bandt went to his first demonstration, protesting against a visit of a nuclear-powered ship to Fremantle.[5] From 1987 to 1989, Bandt was a member of the Labor Party.[6] Bandt later stated he had left the party because of the removal of free university under Hawke and Keating, and blamed the Higher Education Contributions Scheme.[7] Bandt stated the change "started making education so expensive and putting people in debt".[8]

At Murdoch University, Bandt was a student activist and member of the Left Alliance.[9] During university, Bandt stated he was inspired by the works and thought of Leon Trotsky.[10] He was president of the student union and an active campaigner for higher living allowances for students, and for free education.[11] While he was a student in 1995, Bandt described the Greens as a "bourgeois" party, but that supporting them might be the most effective strategy, saying that "Communists can’t fetishise alternative political parties, but should always make some kind of materially based assessment about the effectiveness of any given strategy come election time".[9][12]

Pre-parliamentary careerEdit

Prior to his election to parliament in 2010, Bandt lived in Parkville, Victoria and worked as an industrial and public interest lawyer, becoming a partner at Slater & Gordon. He had articles published on links between anti-terror legislation and labour laws[13] and worked on issues facing outworkers in the textiles industry.[14] Bandt says he also represented firefighters and coal workers confronting the threat of privatisation.[8]

In 2008, Bandt completed a PhD at Monash University, supervised by cultural theorist Andrew Milner, with his thesis titled "Work to Rule: Rethinking Marx, Pashukanis and Law". In 2012, he described his thesis as looking "at the connection between globalisation and the trend of governments to take away peoples' rights by suspending the rule of law", saying he "reviewed authors who write about the connection between the economy and the law from across the political spectrum", ultimately arguing "that governments increasingly don't accept that people have inalienable rights". He has said that he had the thesis suppressed for three years in the hopes of having it published as a book.[15]

In 2009, Bandt published a paper analysing how emergencies, such as the global financial crisis and war on terror, have been used by neoliberal "strong states" to "undermine basic rights".[16]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Election to parliamentEdit

Bandt was preselected to stand as the Greens candidate for the federal Division of Melbourne at the 2007 election against Labor's Lindsay Tanner, the then Shadow Minister for Finance. Bandt finished with 22.8 percent of the primary vote, an increase of 3.8 percent, and 45.3 percent of the two-candidate preferred vote after out-polling the Liberal party's Andrea Del Ciotto after preferences. Nationally he was the most successful candidate from any minor party contesting a House of Representatives seat.[17][18]

2010 Labor minority government supportEdit

Following the 2007 federal election Melbourne had become Australia's only Labor/Greens marginal seat.[19] Bandt was preselected as Greens candidate for the second time, and ran successfully[20] against a new Labor candidate, Cath Bowtell,[21] following Lindsay Tanner's retirement. Bandt received a primary vote of 36.2 percent and a two-party-preferred vote of 56 percent against Labor, a swing to him of 13.4 and 10.8 points, respectively.[22] He was elected on the ninth count after over three-quarters of Liberal preferences flowed to him, enabling him to overtake Bowtell and become the first Green candidate to win a seat in a general election.[23]

His main policy interests are environmental and human rights issues, having "nominat[ed] pushing for a price on carbon, the abolition of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and changing the law to recognise same-sex marriage as his top priorities in parliament."[24][25][26]

2013-2019 federal electionsEdit

Bandt, Ellen Sandell, Janet Rice, and Christine Milne marching at People's Climate March in Melbourne 2014

In 2013 Bandt was re-elected to the seat of Melbourne, despite an overall decrease in the Greens' vote and Liberal Party directing preferences to Labor ahead of The Greens.[27] Bandt retained the seat with a 42.6 percent primary and 55.2 percent two-party-preferred vote, with his two-candidate majority almost untouched.[28] Bandt sat on Christine Milne's frontbench.

In 2015, upon the change of Green leadership from Christine Milne to Richard Di Natale, Bandt did not re-contest the deputy leadership saying he had a baby due in the upcoming weeks. Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were elected unopposed as co-deputies.[29]

Bandt was re-elected as Member for Melbourne in the 2016 election for a third time, pushing Labor into third place, and the overwhelming preference for him over the Liberals from Labor voters allowed him to increase his two-candidate-preferred vote to 68.48%.[30] In 2017, the Party's co-deputy leaders Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam were found to be ineligible to sit in Australia's Parliament owing to their status as dual citizens.[31] Rachel Siewert and Bandt were made temporary co-deputy leaders.[32] Bandt achieved national headlines in February 2018 for accusing new senator Jim Molan of war crimes after it was revealed that Molan had shared anti-Muslim content made by far-right party Britain First on their Facebook account. Bandt later apologised.[33][34]

Bandt in March 2019

Bandt retained his seat of Melbourne at the 2019 election with a primary vote of 49.3%, the highest primary vote for the Greens in the history of the electorate.[35] Bandt also received a 4.8% swing in his favour at the election, and his two-party preferred vote against the Liberals rose to 71.8%.[35] The Greens' primary vote in Melbourne (49.3%) was larger than the combined Liberal and Labor vote, of 21.5% and 19.7% respectively, and almost twice as high as their second-highest primary vote (in Wills).[35]

Leader of the GreensEdit

On 3 February 2020, Richard Di Natale announced his resignation as leader of the Greens and imminent retirement from politics, citing family reasons. Bandt announced his candidacy for the leadership shortly after.[36] On 4 February, he was elected unopposed. Larissa Waters was elected unopposed as co-deputy, with Nick McKim defeating Sarah Hanson-Young and Mehreen Faruqi to become the second co-deputy.[37] Bandt has been described by the political journalist Paddy Manning as the first Greens leader from the Left wing of the party.[16]

Since taking on the leadership of the Greens, Bandt has refocused the party's energy towards campaigning for an Australian Green New Deal, to address what he refers to as a "climate and environment emergency."[8] According to Bandt, it would involve the "government taking the lead to create new jobs and industries, and universal services to ensure no one is left behind."[8] Bandt has also focused on relations between his party and regional communities with the intent of visiting mining townships and farmers across Australia, arguing that his party is "the only one" trying to stop climate change from "devastating agriculture".[38] He has adopted a pro-mining message, but with a focus on expanding the lithium industry and other minerals necessary for a zero-carbon economy; rather than on coal.[39] Under Bandt's vision, the party is aspiring to develop a power-sharing situation with a Labor government at the next election, similar to the Gillard era.[40]

Whilst serving as party leader, Bandt also acts as the Greens' spokesperson for: the Climate Emergency, Energy, Employment & Workplace Relations, and the Public Sector.[41]

Political viewsEdit

Adam Bandt has been described as being aligned with the left wing of the Green Party, similar to the former senator Lee Rhiannon.[42][43] Bandt's political beliefs have been categorised as being influenced by post-Marxism.[43]

Bandt has been described as different to previous Greens leaders due to his emphasis on "public ownership, public wealth, and community-driven responses to the links between climate change and capitalism."[44] Following Virgin Airlines Australia undergoing voluntary administration in 2020, Bandt called for the government to purchase the airline "at bargain basement prices".[45]

Personal lifeEdit

Bandt's partner is former Labor staffer Claudia Perkins,[46] who now works as a part-time yoga teacher.[47] Bandt and Perkins have two daughters together.[48]


  1. ^ "Mr Adam Bandt MP". Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  2. ^ Karp, Paul (4 February 2020). "Adam Bandt pledges to push for Australian Green New Deal after being elected Greens leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  3. ^ Attard, Monica: Adam Bandt, Greens MP for Melbourne Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Sunday Profile (ABC Local Radio), 27 August 2010.
  4. ^ Murdoch University News. "Greens party appoint Murdoch alumnus as their leader". Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  5. ^ Ireland, Judith (9 February 2020). "'A leader for the times': Will voters get on the Bandtwagon?". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ Legge, Kate (6–7 November 2010). "Greener Pastures". The Weekend Australian Magazine. The Australian. p. 22.
  7. ^ Crowe, Shaun (2018). Whitlam's Children : Labor and the Greens in Australia. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522874075.
  8. ^ a b c d Bandt, Adam (4 February 2020). "Change is possible: Australia needs a Green New Deal | Adam Bandt". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b Wilson, Lauren (28 August 2010). "Greens too bourgeois for Adam Bandt when he was a uni student". The Australian. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  10. ^ Henderson, Gerard (13 May 2013). "Coalition must be smarter when it issues preferences". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Adam Bandt for Lord Mayor". Make Melbourne Green. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  12. ^ "The ideological drive behind the Greens". ABC News. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  13. ^ Bandt, Adam (4 April 2006). "State waxes, rights wane – Opinion". The Age. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  14. ^ "The Law Report: 15 April 2003 – Outworkers – Out in the Cold". Australia: ABC. 15 April 2003. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  15. ^ Maiden, Samantha (23 September 2012). "How Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt hid his PhD thesis". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Adam Bandt, the personable hardliner". The Monthly. 1 May 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  17. ^ "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". 20 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Mr Adam Bandt MP". Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  19. ^ Raue, Ben (July 2009). "Greens pick Adam Bandt for Melbourne". The Tally Room. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  20. ^ Le Grand, Chip (21 August 2010). "Greens celebrate historic lower house victory". The Australian. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  21. ^ Gordon, Josh (15 August 2010). "Bandt says he will 'side with Labor'". The Age. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  22. ^ "Division of Melbourne, 2010 federal election: AEC". Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ Sharp, Ari; Arup, Tom (23 August 2010). "Profile: Adam Bandt". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  25. ^ Shaw, Andrew (12 July 2010). "Will Adam Bandt be the first Greens man?". Gay News Network. Evolution Publishing. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  26. ^ Davis, Mark. "The tricky political topography of same-sex marriage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  27. ^ Milman, Oliver: "Adam Bandt wins re-election in Melbourne for Greens" in The Guardian, 7 September 2013
  28. ^ Australian Electoral Commission: Virtual Tally Room. Retrieved 12 October 2013
  29. ^ "Christine Milne resigns as Greens leader". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  30. ^ Election 2016: Greens MP Adam Bandt claims victory in Melbourne; Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 3 July 2016
  31. ^ Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam: What do their resignations mean for the Senate?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 16 August 2017
  32. ^ Richard Di Natale's monthus horribilis: where to now for the Greens?; The Sydney Morning Herald; 22 July 2017
  33. ^ Jim Molan responds to Adam Bandt's apology, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 8 February 2018, retrieved 28 February 2018
  34. ^ Remeikis, Amy; Karp, Paul (8 February 2018). "Jim Molan 'deeply disappointed' by Adam Bandt's apology – politics live". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  35. ^ a b c "Melbourne - Federal Election 2019 Electorate, Candidates, Results | Australia Votes". ABC News. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  36. ^ "Richard Di Natale resigns as Greens leader and plans to quit federal politics". ABC News. 3 February 2020.
  37. ^ "Adam Bandt elected unopposed as federal Greens leader; Larissa Waters and Nick McKim as deputies". ABC News. 4 February 2020.
  38. ^ Welburn, Alan (19 February 2020). "MP happy to guide Greens leader on mines tour". Queensland Country Life. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  39. ^ "The Greens leader spruiking new mines". Community News Group. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  40. ^ Grattan, Michelle. "Politics with Michelle Grattan: Adam Bandt on Greens' hopes for future power sharing". The Conversation. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  41. ^ "Greens announce new party room lineup to push for Green New Deal and compassionate pandemic recovery". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  42. ^ "Adam Bandt, the personable hardliner". The Monthly. 1 May 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  43. ^ a b Rundle, Guy (16 April 2012). "Greens will survive the Brown-out". Crikey.
  44. ^ Holloway, Josh (4 February 2020). "Adam Bandt's biggest challenge as Greens leader might not be delivering on climate policy". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  45. ^ McIlroy, Jim (23 April 2020). "Nationalise Virgin, Qantas next in line". Green Left. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  46. ^ Le Grand, Chip (1 September 2010). "Bandt slept with the enemy in campaign". The Australian. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  47. ^ Ireland, Judith (8 February 2020). "'I'm doing it for them': Bandt says family inspired him to seek Greens leadership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  48. ^ "Parliamentarian Adam Bandt Talks Family". 31 August 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.

External linksEdit

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Lindsay Tanner
Member for Melbourne
Party political offices
Preceded by
Richard Di Natale
Leader of the Australian Greens
Preceded by
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Served alongside: Larissa Waters
Succeeded by
Nick McKim and Larissa Waters
Preceded by
Christine Milne
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Succeeded by
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters