Steve Bracks was one of Victoria’s longest serving Premiers. Born in Ballarat in 1954, he was educated at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat and Ballarat University where he obtained both a Diploma of Business Studies (Accounting) and Graduate Diploma of Education (Economics).
After starting as a Secondary Commerce Teacher, Steve Bracks went on to manage a National Community Education Centre, the Victorian Printing Industry Training Board, and as State wide Manager, the Victorian Government’s Employment Policy and Program Division.
Mr Bracks also acted as a Senior Adviser to two former Victorian Premiers and the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Communications.
Steve Bracks subsequently entered Parliament as the Member for Williamstown in 1994. After serving as a Shadow Minister in the Employment, Industrial Relations and Treasury portfolios, he became Leader of the State Opposition early in 1999. Mr Bracks fought the Election later that year with a completely new set of policies he oversaw and personally drafted in Opposition.
Steve Bracks went on to become Victoria’s 44th Premier in October 1999.
He became one of Victoria’s most successful Premiers winning three consecutive elections including achieving record majorities in the 2002 and 2006 elections.
Whilst Premier, Mr Bracks rebuilt Victoria’s infrastructure and services while maintaining strong budgets and managing a growing economy.
He invested heavily in education and skills with Victoria’s retention rate to Year 12 education now one of the highest in Australia.
He also led a reform proposal through a National Reform Agenda designed to increase workplace participation, improve skills, reduce business regulation and boost productivity.
These proposals won backing from all Australian Governments.
Mr Bracks at 52 retired as Premier of Victoria on 27 July 2007, after almost eight years as Premier, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
Subsequent to his retirement as Premier of Victoria, The Hon Steve Bracks AC now holds three major honorary positions: as an Adviser to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao; and, as a Director of the Bionics Institute of Australia Board. He is also Honorary Chair of The Union Education Foundation.
He is Chairman of the superannuation fund Cbus, a non-executive Director of Jardine Lloyd Thomson Australia; and, a non-Executive Director of the Bank of Sydney. He was a Senior Adviser to KPMG from 2007 to 2012. He was also a member of the National Australia Bank’s Philanthropic Board from 2008 to 2013.
Mr Bracks was also the Independent Chair for the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) from 2008 to 2013.
During 2008 Mr Bracks was commissioned by the Federal Government to head a major review of the Australian Automotive Industry. He was the Automotive Envoy for the Australian Government 2009-2013. Additionally from 2011 to 2013 he was appointed Member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR).
He was also Honorary Chair of the Organising Committee for the World Road Cycling Championships held in Victoria in 2010.
Mr Bracks received a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to the Parliament and community of Victoria. In 2011 he was presented with the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal. He has also received Honorary Doctorates from both Ballarat and Deakin Universities.
He is Patron of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Vic) Ltd (ALCC); The Balibo House Trust; The Burnet Institute; the Centre for Dialogue La Trobe University; the Conservation Ecology Centre – Cape Otway; the Eurekea Democracy Centre, Ballarat; the Hadassah Australia Foundation; the Seaworks Foundation, Williamstown; The Sir Rupert Hamer Records Management Awards; and the Western Melbourne Tourism Board.
He is also a leading advocate for both multiculturalism and Aboriginal reconciliation.