Who Is Bill Shorten?
William Richard ‘Bill’ Shorten is an Australian politician. He served as the Australian Labor Party’s leader as well as the Leader of the Opposition. Shorten is currently the Shadow Minister for Government Services as well as the Shadow Minister of the National Disability Insurance.
He is most known for running against Scott Morrison in the 2019 federal election. Although he was poised to win, the Liberal-National Coalition won a majority of the seats, making Scott Morrison the current prime minister.
What Is Bill Shorten’s Political History?
Shorten began forming his political ideals at Monash University where he was studying law. During this time, he became increasingly involved with student activism and even created a Labor-Right faction of Young Labor, the youth arm of the Australian Labor Party.
After graduation, Shorten began working as a lawyer. Within two years, he joined the Australian Workers’ Union and became a trainee organiser. In 2001, seven years after starting his union career, he was elected as the AWU’s national secretary.
Shorten officially entered politics as a member of the House of Representatives in 2007 and remained active in various positions throughout the Rudd and Gillard governments. It wasn’t until 2013 that Shorten reached a new career high – Leader of the Opposition. He held this position until he resigned as party leader after losing the 2019 elections.
Who Is Bill Shorten’s First Wife?
Shorten’s first wife was Debbie Beale. Beale is the daughter of former Liberal member of parliament Julian Beale. Although their marriage lasted for eight years, Debbie and Bill Shorten had no kids together. This is despite multiple attempts to get pregnant via IVF. They divorced in 2008.
Who Is Bill Shorten Married To Now?
In 2009, a year after his first marriage crumbled, Shorten married Chloe Bryce. Chloe is a corporate affairs consultant and the daughter of then-Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Although neither of the two has ever discussed the dirty details of how their relationship started, it is speculated that Shorten left his first wife for Chloe (who was also battling a messy divorce at the time).
A few months after the wedding, Chloe gave birth to her and Bill Shorten’s only daughter together. Rounding out Bill Shorten’s family are teenagers Rupert and Georgette (a.k.a. Gigi), Chloe’s two kids from her previous marriage to architect Roger Parkin.
How Do Bill And Chloe Shorten Parent Their Children?
Shorten, his wife, and his kids are part of a ‘blended family’ or a family comprised of children from current and past relationships. While this might sound difficult in theory – especially for Bill who went from no children to three kids in the span of a few months – Chloe and Bill effectively share parenting responsibilities with the teens’ father Roger. The happy couple even went to therapy immediately so that they could handle this new stepfamily with sensitivity.
Chloe, who couldn’t find good resources on how to deal with her specific and unusual family situation, wrote a book called Take Heart: A Story For Modern Stepfamilies. The book is full of advice for new stepparents.
One of the ways the Shortens stay close is by eating together as much as possible. Because Bill often works late nights, the family has to adjust their schedules to get everyone together for dinner every day.
Bill Shorten’s Children
Age: 17 years old
Relationship: Stepson (father is Roger Parkin)
Age: 16 years old
Relationship: Stepdaughter (father is Roger Parkin)
Age: 9 years old
Relationship: Biological daughter
Shorten’s Special Family
Although he lost the 2019 elections and stepped down as ALP’s leader, Shorten’s political career is far from over. Plus, he has the love and support of his blended family to help him through his good and bad days.