Don Farrell was born in Murray Bridge, South Australia, and is a fourth generation South Australian.
While studying law at the University of Adelaide, he worked as a shop assistant and later joined the South Australian Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association, beginning a 32-year career working for the rights of retail and fast-food workers. Don led the union at the state and national level, overseeing the introduction of the 38-hour week and universal superannuation for retail workers.
He was elected to the Senate in 2008, and served as Minister for Science and Research, Minister for Sport, Minister Assisting on Tourism, and Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water during his six-year term in the Rudd and Gillard governments.
Following his first term in the Senate, Don spent time tending his small vineyard in South Australia's Clare Valley wine region and knows firsthand the daily challenges faced by local growers and primary producers.
He again nominated for the Senate and was re-elected in 2016, serving as the Shadow Special Minister of State, Shadow Minister for Sport and Tourism, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
Following the election of the Albanese Government in 2022, Senator Farrell was appointed Minister for Trade and Tourism, Special Minister of State and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.
As a proud South Australian, Senator Farrell is honoured to represent the people of his home state in Federal Parliament.
Senator Farrell lives in Adelaide with his wife Nimfa and enjoys spending time with his three daughters, and doting on his grandchildren.