Born in Nigeria to British parents, Sussan Ley spent her early childhood in the United Arab Emirates, before migrating to Australia at the age of 13 with her parents and older brother.
Schooled in the U.K., QLD and ACT, later tertiary study led to a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Taxation Law and a Master of Accounting. Before entering Federal Parliament, her career path was wonderfully varied, providing a range of ‘real life’ experiences.
Developing an early fascination with the skies and flying, a young Sussan worked a variety of odd jobs and hours to finance this passion, obtaining a Commercial Pilot’s License which she still holds.
This interest also led to work as an air traffic controller with Sydney and Melbourne Airports, aerial stock-mustering in outback New South Wales and Queensland before life on the land as a shed hand / shearers’ cook through a large chunk of rural Australia.
During a livestock and dairy farming partnership (near Tallangatta in North East Victoria) of seventeen years, Sussan experienced the highs and lows that routinely test the resolve of farming families.
Starting university when her first child turned one, would lead to ten years of part time study on the way to three children and three finance degrees. During this period Sussan certainly gained a deep appreciation of and continued support for rural-based educational institutions.
Still helping manage the farm Sussan took up a position with the Australian Taxation Office at Albury, graduating to the role of Director, Technical Training before seeking Liberal Party pre-selection for the Federal seat of Farrer in 2001.
Re-elected in 2004, Sussan was offered the added responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, then Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry in 2006.
Shadow portfolios for Housing and Women followed in 2007, Justice and Customs /Assistant Treasurer (2008 -2009) then Childcare, Early Childhood Learning & Employment Participation (2010-2013).
On the election of the Abbott Government in September 2013, Sussan took on the role of Assistant Minister for Education before being appointed Minister for Health and Minister for Sport in December 2014, before adding the portfolio of Minister for Aged Care in September 2015.
Sussan is a strong advocate for many rural and regional issues especially those which assist in bridging the ‘city v country divide’. She is particularly passionate about fostering decentralization, supporting our farmers, home grown food security, balancing water for agriculture and the environment as well as improving services for rural health.
Other interests and pursuits include an abiding interest in Middle Eastern politics, fitness and cycling and relaxing back with a ripping yarn, usually a true crime thriller.
Residing in Albury, Sussan maintains her enthusiasm for all things aeronautical, handy when getting around an electorate of nearly 250,000 square kilometers, roughly the same size as New Zealand.
Perhaps little wonder she was dubbed early in her political career the ‘Farrer Flier’.
For more biographical information, go to http://www.sussanley.com
As part of Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Team, Sussan will continue working hard in Farrer to support jobs, growth and investment.