Mark Butler

Mark Christopher Butler (born 8 July 1970) is an Australian politician and a member of the Australian Labor Party, representing the electoral division of Hindmarsh in the Australian House of Representatives since 2019, and previously the division of Port Adelaide from 2007 to 2019.

Mark Butler

Mark Butler 2016.jpg
National President of the
Australian Labor Party
In office
17 June 2015 – 18 June 2018
Preceded byJenny McAllister
Succeeded byWayne Swan
Minister for Climate Change
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byGreg Combet
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister for the Environment and Water
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byTony Burke
Succeeded byGreg Hunt
Minister for Social Inclusion
In office
14 December 2011 – 1 July 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded byTanya Plibersek
Succeeded byOffice Abolished
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
In office
12 September 2010 – 1 July 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded byNicola Roxon
Succeeded byJacinta Collins
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hindmarsh
Assumed office
18 May 2019
Preceded bySteve Georganas
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Port Adelaide
In office
24 November 2007 – 11 April 2019
Preceded byRod Sawford
Succeeded byDivision abolished
Personal details
Mark Christopher Butler

(1970-07-08) 8 July 1970 (age 49)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide
Deakin University
OccupationTrade unionist

Before entering parliament, Butler was the South Australian secretary of the Liquour, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU).

Butler served as Minister for Climate Change and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water in the Second Rudd Ministry. At the change of government following the 2013 Federal Election he became Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, and after the 2016 Federal Election the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

In July 2018, a Labor factional deal saw Butler move to the seat of Hindmarsh for the next federal election due to the abolition of his seat of Port Adelaide in a federal redistribution. The redistributed Hindmarsh absorbed most of Port Adelaide's former territory. The member for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas, moved to the seat of Adelaide in place of retiring MP Kate Ellis.

Early lifeEdit

Butler was born in Canberra on 8 July 1970 to Lindsay Nicholson, who worked on the campaign for Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, and David Butler, a Vietnam conscript.[1] He is the great-great-grandson and great-grandson respectively of conservative Premiers of South Australia, Sir Richard B. Butler and Sir Richard L. Butler.[2]

Butler was educated at Unley High School in Netherby, South Australia, completing his senior year in 1986, and then attended the University of Adelaide, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours.[1][3] He later completed a Master of International Relations degree at Deakin University.[2]

Butler was active in student politics while at university and became friends with future South Australian Labor Party leaders including Penny Wong and Jay Weatherill.[4]

Trade union careerEdit

In 1996 Butler became the Secretary of the South Australian branch of the Liquour, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU), and in 1997 he was elected the youngest-ever President of the Labor Party in South Australia.[5]

Butler was a key figure in the Labor Left faction. He developed a close working relationship with his NSW counterpart Anthony Albanese and represented the faction on the ALP National Executive since 2000.[5] He would later serve as Albanese's campaign manager in the October 2013 election for the Federal ALP Leadership.[6]

Butler was also noted for his constructive relationship with the Labor Right faction in South Australia, particularly then-Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, Don Farrell.[5]

Political careerEdit

Butler was elected as the Labor member for the electoral division of Port Adelaide at the 2007 Federal Election.

In a 2009 First Rudd Ministry reshuffle, Butler was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health. On 14 September 2010, he was sworn in as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing in the Second Gillard Ministry. On 12 September 2011 he was given the additional responsibility of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform. On 14 December 2011, Butler's ministry was renamed Mental Health and Aged Care, and he became a member of Cabinet.[7]

After the 2013 election, Bill Shorten named Butler as the Shadow Minister for the Environment.

On 17 June 2015, Butler was elected National President of the Australian Labor Party and was succeeded by Wayne Swan on 18 June 2018, becoming Senior Vice-President to Swan.[8][9][10]

Personal lifeEdit

Butler was previously married to Suzanne Critchley, with whom he has two children.[11] His current partner is former SBS, BBC World News and ABC journalist Daniela Ritorto.[12] Butler supports the Port Adelaide Football Club.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "How far can former Adelaide union boss Mark Butler go in the Australian Labor Party?". The Advertiser. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Hawker Britton profile: Hon Mark Butler MP" (PDF). Hawker Britton. October 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Labor's frontbench, too, is a mostly private affair". Crikey. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Freakish powers of a formidable operator". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 December 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Barry, Paul (26 July 2011). "Political fixers – Mark Butler". The Power Index. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. ^ Kenny, Mark (25 September 2013). "Labor leader pair make their pitch to party faithful". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  7. ^ Thompson, Jenny (12 December 2001). "Gillard unveils expanded Cabinet". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Mark Butler named national president of Australian Labor Party". ABC Australia. 17 June 2015.
  9. ^ Brown, Greg (18 June 2018). "Wayne Swan elected Labor national president". The Australian. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  10. ^ South Australian Butler loses Labor presidency InDaily, 18 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Butler did it". Sunday Mail. 12 September 2010.
  12. ^ "SPINNERS ON THE MOVE". AdelaideNow. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  13. ^ Mark Butler profile: ALP

External linksEdit

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Rod Sawford
Member for Port Adelaide
Division abolished
Preceded by
Steve Georganas
Member for Hindmarsh
Political offices
Preceded by
Justine Elliot
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Succeeded by
Jacinta Collins
Preceded by
Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Social Inclusion
Succeeded by
Julie Collins
Preceded by
Tony Burke
Minister for Environment and Water
Succeeded by
Greg Hunt
as Minister for the Environment
Preceded by
Greg Combet
Minister for Climate Change
Office abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jenny McAllister
National President of the Australian Labor Party
Succeeded by
Wayne Swan
Preceded by
Tim Hammond
Senior Vice-President of the Australian Labor Party