Karen Andrews was born on 23 August 1960 is an Australian politician who served in the Morrison government as Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology from 2018 to 2021 and as Minister for Home Affairs from 2021 to 2022. She is a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland and has represented the Queensland seat of McPherson since the 2010 federal election. Andrews was an assistant minister in the Abbott and Turnbull governments. Previously, she worked as a mechanical engineer and industrial relations consultant.
On 18 April 2023, Andrews announced that she would retire at the next Australian federal election.
Andrews grew up in Townsville and attended Townsville Grammar School. She subsequently completed the degree of Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the Queensland Institute of Technology, as one of the engineering faculty’s first two female graduates.
After graduating from Andrews worked as a drafter with the Queensland Electricity Generating Board and in plant maintenance at the Gladstone Power Station. She later moved to Victoria to work in the oil industry as a supervisor, during which time she completed a graduate diploma in industrial relations at Victoria University.
Career in Politics
In October 2009, Karen Andrews secured the Liberal National Party of Queensland preselection for the federal seat of McPherson. This opportunity marked the beginning of her distinguished political career, succeeding the retiring incumbent MP, Margaret May. Over the years, Andrews actively engaged in various parliamentary committees and initiatives, showcasing her commitment to science and technology. She co-chaired the Parliamentary Friends of Science in 2012, underscoring her dedication to promoting scientific advancements within Australia.
Promotions and Ministerial Roles:
Karen Andrews’ tenacity and leadership did not go unnoticed. In December 2014, she was promoted to the role of parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science in the Abbott Ministry. Her commitment to science was further acknowledged when her title was changed to Assistant Minister for Science in September 2015 under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. Her influence and responsibilities expanded significantly.
During the 2018 Liberal leadership spills, Karen Andrews played a pivotal role by supporting Peter Dutton in the first ballot and later casting her vote for Scott Morrison against Dutton. As a reward for her dedication, she was promoted to the prestigious position of Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology in the newly formed Morrison government. Her official swearing-in took place on August 28, 2018, marking a significant milestone in her career.
In March 2021, Karen Andrews assumed the vital role of Minister for Home Affairs following a cabinet reshuffle related to the 2021 Australian Parliament House sexual misconduct allegations. This position further exemplified her commitment to national security and public safety.
Legacy and Retirement:
On April 18, 2023, Karen Andrews announced her decision to retire from politics, leaving a lasting legacy of dedication to her constituents and her country. Throughout her career, she tirelessly advocated for women’s representation in politics and was a champion for science and technology in Australia.
Karen Andrews’ story is one of remarkable achievement, from her early days as a pioneering female engineering graduate to her influential roles in the Australian government. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of leaders, scientists, and advocates for a better Australia.
She is the daughter of William and Moya Weir; her father served in World War II and was later national secretary and treasurer of an organization for disabled veterans.
Andrews has three daughters with her husband Chris. As of 2018, according to the parliamentary register of financial interests, she owned nine investment properties.
Net Worth 2023
As of 2023, Karen Andrews’ estimated net worth falls within the range of $1 million to $5 million. Her financial standing reflects a combination of her career in politics, her prior work as a mechanical engineer, and any other investments or assets she may have accumulated over the years.
Latest News About Karen Andrews
Karen Andrews says male MP used to ‘breathe on the back of my neck’ in parliament
Former home affairs minister Karen Andrews has alleged a male colleague “used to breathe on the back of [her] neck in question time” and subject her to innuendo about “thrusting and probing” questions.
Andrews, the Liberal MP for McPherson, described the alleged conduct in an interview with the ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet to air on Tuesday evening. The Labor frontbencher Julie Collins has denounced the “appalling” incident.
Asked by the ABC’s Annabel Crabb if she had been subjected to sexual harassment, Andrews replied: “I did have one of my male colleagues who used to breathe on the back of my neck in question time.
“Yes, breathe. I’d just be sitting there minding my own business and I would have the back of my neck breathed on.
“And if I asked a question, it would be ‘that was a great question – thrusting and probing’ and, you know, that sort of stuff.”
Andrews said the comments were “not really” funny but “there would be people that would say: ‘Can’t you take a joke? You know – can she not take a joke?’”