Gareth Ward is a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing the Kiama electorate since March 2011, having been re-elected in March 2015.
On 5th May 2015, Gareth was officially appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier for the Illawarra and South Coast, having previously served as the Deputy Government Whip in the Baird Government.
Gareth is also Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which has oversight over the State’s Electoral Commission, Commissioner and Electoral Funding Authority.
Gareth has other Parliamentary responsibilities including Secretary of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel, Secretary of the Parliamentary Friends of the European Union, Secretary of the Bipartisan Action Committee for NSW Bravehearts and he’s the Membership Officer of the Parliamentary Lions Club.
Prior to entering Parliament, Gareth was an Independent Councillor on Shoalhaven City Council from 2004 until 2012. He was the youngest ever Councillor on the Council elected at age 22. Upon his re-election he was elected the youngest Deputy Mayor in the Council’s history – a position he held for two years.
Gareth was born in Gerringong and grew up in a small business family. He attended Kiama Pre-School, Bomaderry Primary and Bomaderry High Schools. He studied Arts, Commerce and Law at the University of Wollongong and later served the University as a Member of its Governing Council from 2010-2014.
Gareth has worked in a professional capacity for former NSW Senator John Tierney and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock. He has also been employed by the NSW Department of Education and Training to coach and adjudicate debating and public speaking in NSW schools. Even today as an MP he still assists local schools in public speaking and debating as well as the NSW Law Society’s Mock Trial Competition.
Gareth has served on a number of boards including as a Director and later Chairman of Southern Water Services and the Wollongong UniCentre.
In his electorate, Gareth is the patron of a number of groups and organisations with which he is involved. Gareth considers carrying the Olympic Torch during the Sydney 2000 relay, being named Shoalhaven’s 2001 Young Citizen of the Year and also in 2001 being named the YAA’s Illawarra’s Young Business Person of the Year as some of his greatest personal achievements.