Richard Marles was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Corio in November 2007. In 2009, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry. In 2010, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and in 2012, he was appointed to the additional role of Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In 2013, he was appointed Minister for Trade.
Born in 1967, Richard was raised in Geelong and educated at Geelong Grammar School. He has a LLB (Hons) and BSc from Melbourne University.
He began his career with law firm Slater and Gordon. In 1998, he became Federal Assistant Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union where he was responsible for bargaining with national transport companies and managing the union’s activities in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
In 2000, he became Assistant Secretary of the ACTU and ran the Working Hours Case which gave workers the right, for the first time, to refuse unreasonable amounts of overtime. He was a member of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and led the ACTU’s work on OHS. He also led an innovative program of co-operation between the Australian and Papua New Guinea union movements.
He was Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Affairs from February 2008 to June 2009.
He lives in Geelong with his wife Rachel and has four children, Sam, Isabella, Harvey and Georgia.