Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen is the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and a senior member of the Labor Government’s ministry. He was first elected to the Australian Parliament in October 2004.

Since taking up the immigration portfolio in September 2010, Chris’s responsibilities have intersected economic, social policy and national security matters. He has overseen significant changes to Australia’s student visa program and reforms to the skilled migration program to better position the Australian economy into the future.Chris also played a key role in bringing innovative solutions to irregular maritime arrival issues including the establishment of a Regional Cooperation Framework with other countries in the region. Chris was elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Human Services in June 2009 and also served as Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law; Assistant Treasurer; and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs. During that time he maintained responsibility and a personal commitment to policies that will continue to develop Australia as a financial services hub.

He enacted the largest reform agenda to consumer and competition policy in Australia in decades through the criminalisation of cartel conduct; reducing barriers of entry for foreign investment; and empowering consumers through the introduction of a national unfair contract terms law and a component pricing regime. Immediately before being elected to Parliament, Chris was chief-of-staff to Carl Scully, then New South Wales Minister for Roads, Housing and Leader of the House. This followed his time as Mayor of Fairfield and President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. Chris holds a Bachelor ofEconomics from the University of Sydney.