Karen Andrews MP - Federal Member for McPherson
Karen brings her experience in engineering, industrial relations and running her own business to her roles as a Cabinet Minister and Federal Member for McPherson.
Born and educated in Queensland, Karen’s aptitude for maths and science saw her break through stereotypes to pursue a career in engineering. As one of only two female graduates in Mechanical Engineering at QUT in 1983, Karen knows that it takes hard work and determination to succeed in sometimes difficult circumstances.
Karen has a history of breaking down barriers. She worked at power stations in Queensland, and in Victoria she became both the first female and the youngest plant engineer employed by a petrochemical company.
From there, Karen launched her own Human Resources and Industrial Relations Consultancy, where she gained first-hand experience of the pressures of owning and running a small business. She is a strong advocate for local businesses as the powerhouse of our local economy.
Karen’s commitment to serving the local community led to her decision to stand as the LNP candidate for McPherson and she was successful at the 2010 election. Karen was re-elected in 2013 and again in 2016 and 2019 to represent Southern Gold Coast residents in the Federal Parliament.
Delivering $1 billion in Federal Government funding to fix the M1, including widening the stretch from Varity Lakes to Tugun, is among Karen’s proudest achievements for the Southern Gold Coast. On top of this, Karen has been behind an increase in funding for local infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. She is also a champion for small business owners, the tourism industry and jobs creation.
Karen is humbled to be Queensland’s first-ever female Federal Cabinet Minister, having been sworn in as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in the Morrison Government Cabinet in August 2018. She retained this vital portfolio following the Coalition’s 2019 election win.
In this role, Minister Andrews has done significant work to help Australian industry to flourish, with commitments including the $160 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund. She has been a key driver of Women in STEM initiatives and has guided the Australian Space Agency through its highly successful first year, as it works to a goal of tripling the size of the sector to $12 billion and creating 20,000 new jobs by 2030.
Prior to this, Karen held a leadership position during 2013 and 2014 as Chair of the House of Representatives Joint Standing Committee on Public Works. She served in this capacity until December 2014, when she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science.
Karen’s also served as Assistant Minister for Vocational Education & Skills and Assistant Minister for Science in the Turnbull Ministry, where she was one of the architects of the $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.
A long-term resident of the Southern Gold Coast, Karen understands the challenges and pressures of raising a family. She is married with three daughters, all attending either high school or university.
If you would like to read Karen’s Maiden Speech to the House of Representatives, click here.