Joseph Karl Szakacs (/sɒkˈɑːr/; born 1982) is an Australian politician and trade unionist.

Joe Szakacs

Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Cheltenham
Assumed office
9 February 2019
Preceded byJay Weatherill
Personal details
Born1982 (age 37–38)
Political partyAustralian Labor Party (SA)
Alma materFlinders University
OccupationTrade union secretary

Szakacs was born in Adelaide to a Hungarian father and Australian mother. He attended St Michael's College, Adelaide. In his teens, Szakacs was a competitive swimmer, holding the state 50m freestyle title and representing Australia at the 2002–03 FINA Swimming World Cup. He won swimming scholarships to the South Australian Institute of Sport and the University of Missouri, then returned to Australia to study law at Flinders University.[1]

Introduced to the trade union movement by his father, a waterside worker in Port Adelaide, Szakacs worked as a volunteer lawyer at the Young Workers Legal Service, then as an industrial officer with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and later the United Firefighters Union South Australia.[2] In October 2013, he was elected as state secretary of SA Unions.

Szakacs was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in the by-election for the seat of Cheltenham on 9 February 2019, replacing former premier Jay Weatherill.[3]


  1. ^ "Young, fresh faces taking over South Australia's unions". The Advertiser. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  2. ^ Green, Antony. "Cheltenham by-election". ABC Elections. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ Keane, Daniel (9 February 2019). "Labor claiming victory in Cheltenham and Enfield by-elections after resignations". ABC News. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
Jay Weatherill
Member for Cheltenham