Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations
Photograph of the Premier Mark McGowan


Premier Mark McGowan believes in the value of hard work and merit but very much supported by the values of equality, opportunity and compassion. He learned these values early, growing up in regional New South Wales, where his parents ran small businesses and educated their two sons at public schools.

Mark studied arts and law at the University of Queensland and began his career in public service in the Royal Australian Navy, going on to serve as a Lieutenant at HMAS STIRLING. Mark is still a member of the Navy Reserves and was awarded the Governor General's Commendation for Bravery for actions he took in 1995 rescuing an unconscious driver from a burning car.

When Mark first moved West, he was struck by the magnificent climate, the unique natural environment and the opportunity that Western Australia provided to its people. He benefited from those opportunities and was determined to give something back to the home that had given him so much.

Mark and his wife Sarah and their three young children - Samuel, Alexander and Amelia - live in the Rockingham community. Mark also had an ambition to do what he could to make his local community, and Western Australia, a better place to live for all WA families.

This led to his work in local and state government.

Mark was the Deputy Mayor of Rockingham before winning the State seat of Rockingham in December 1996.

In the years since his election to the Western Australian Parliament, Mark has held many senior portfolios in both Government and Opposition.

He was Parliamentary Secretary to former Premier Geoff Gallop and has served as a Minister in the portfolios of Education and Training; Environment; Racing and Gaming; Tourism and South West.

As the Minister for Racing and Gaming, Mark drove the small bar reforms which have liberalised Perth's entertainment scene. It could be argued that this policy - which many influential people opposed at the time - has done more to revitalise Perth than any building or monument.

As Tourism Minister, Mark boosted WA's tourism industry by negotiating to bring low-cost carrier Jetstar to Perth. As Education Minister, Mark got back to basics and brought in major curriculum changes including more exams, traditional marking and reports, and reintroduced the syllabus.

In recent years, Mark has served as Manager of Opposition Business, as well as Shadow Minister for State Development; and Planning and Housing.

He was elected Leader of the Opposition on 23 January 2012 and chose to retain responsibility for the portfolios of Regional Development, Economic Reform and Public Sector Management.

In the 2017 State Election, WA Labor won 41 Legislative Assembly seats and Mark became the 30th Premier of Western Australia.

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Page reviewed 6 April 2021