Prominent Women: Gladys Berejiklian

Gladys Berejiklian was born on September 22, 1970. As an Australian politician, she is the Minister of Transport in the O’Farrell Government. Berejiklian has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Willoughby for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2003.

Berejiklian was born in Sydney and has a Bachelor of Arts (1992), a Graduate Diploma in International Studies (1996) from the University of Sydney and Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales (2001). She served a term on the Armenian National Committee of Australia. In 2000, she visited the US as a delegate from the Australian Political Exchange Council.

Berejiklian joined the Liberal Party in 1993 and was President of the New South Wales Young Liberal Party in 1996. This was a most notable victory as there have only been four female Young Liberal Presidents in the party’s history. She also served as a Delegate to State Council (1996–2003), Urban Representative of the NSW Liberal Party State Executive (1997–2003), Campaign Director for State seat of Willougby (1999) and Chair of Convention Committee (2002). Berejiklian worked for Peter Collins and Senator Helen Coonan as well as the National General Manager to Commonwealth Bank of Australia before entering politics.

Elected as the Member for Willoughby in 2003, Berejiklian is the first person of Armenian descent to be elected to the New South Wales Parliament. She joined the frontbench in 2005 as Shadow Minister for Mental Health and was appointed to the opposition frontbench portfolio of Transport by Peter Debnam in 2006. Following the 2007 State election, Berejiklian was given the portfolio of Citizenship by Opposition Leader O’Farrell. Berejiklian has been outspoken against the former Labor Government’s handling of trains, buses and ferries.

Following the election of the O’Farrell government at the 2011 State election, on 3 April 2011 Berejiklian was appointed Transport Minister.

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