About the PM

About the PM

Kevin Rudd with World Cup trophy
Kevin Rudd with World Cup trophy

Kevin Michael Rudd was sworn in as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia on 3 December 2007.

Mr Rudd was born in the country town of Nambour in Queensland in 1957, the son of a share farmer and a nurse. Mr Rudd was educated at the Eumundi Primary School, Marist College Ashgrove and Nambour State High School, where he was Dux of the school. He joined the Australian Labor Party at the age of 15 in 1972.

Prior to entering Parliament in 1998, Mr Rudd worked as a diplomat, as a senior official in the Queensland Government, and as a consultant helping Australian firms to establish and build their business links in China and in Taiwan.

Mr Rudd gained his Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree with First Class Honours in 1981 from the Australian National University in Canberra. After graduation he was appointed to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs as a cadet diplomat. He served in the Australian embassy in Stockholm and later in the embassy in Beijing as First Secretary. In 1988, Mr Rudd was promoted to the rank of Counsellor and later to the Senior Executive Service.

In 1988 Mr Rudd returned to Queensland to work as Chief of Staff to the Hon Wayne Goss, the Queensland Opposition Leader. Mr Goss made history the following year, leading the Queensland Labor Party back to government in its first election win since 1956. Mr Rudd served in the Goss Government first as Chief of Staff to the Premier and later driving the Government’s reform program as Director General of the Cabinet Office, the central policy agency of the Queensland Government. During this period Mr Rudd, a Mandarin speaker, was also appointed by Prime Minister Keating and the State Premiers to chair an inter-government committee to develop a National Asian Language and Studies Strategy for Australian schools.

Mr Rudd contested the Federal seat of Griffith for the Australian Labor Party in 1996. The Keating Labor Government was defeated at the 1996 election and Mr Rudd’s bid to win a seat in Parliament was unsuccessful. Between 1996 and 1998 Mr Rudd then worked in business, primarily as the Senior China Consultant for KPMG Australia. His role focused on opening up trade and business opportunities for Australian corporates in China and Taiwan.

In 1998 Mr Rudd again contested the seat of Griffith and was elected to the Parliament of Australia. He was immediately elected Chair of the Parliamentary Labor Party’s Committee on National Security & Trade and served on a variety of parliamentary committees and taskforces. Following the November 2001 election, Mr Rudd was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, subsequently adding responsibilities for International Security in 2003 and Trade in 2005.

On 4 December 2006 Mr Rudd was elected as the 19th leader of the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Rudd has written extensively on Chinese politics, Chinese foreign policy, Australia-Asia relations and globalisation.

Mr Rudd and his wife Thérèse were married in 1981. They have three children – Jessica (married to Albert Tse), Nicholas and Marcus.

Mr Rudd is an avid supporter of the FIFA World Cup Bid. Be sure to check out the short film - a soccer ball goes flying straight through the PM's office!