Pru Goward was elected to the NSW Parliament in March 2007 as the Member for Goulburn. She has served in the position of Shadow Minister for the Environment and Shadow Minister for Women, and from 2008 to March 2011, as the Shadow Minister for Community Services. Following the NSW Liberals and Nationals 2011 election victory Pru was sworn in as the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and the Minister for Women. In April 2014 Pru was delighted to be sworn in as the NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Women.
Prior to entering Parliament, Pru served as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner for six years from 2001, and the Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination from 2005 to 2007. During her time with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission she became best known for her advocacy of a national paid maternity leave scheme, the implications of demographic change, and the challenge of work-life balance.
An economist by training and a broadcaster by practice, Pru spent 19 years with the ABC as a reporter and national political commentator for television and radio. She has received a number of awards for journalism, including a special Walkley Award, journalism`s highest honour.
In 1997 Pru left broadcasting to become Executive Director of the Office of the Status of Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and was later appointed Government Spokesperson for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, responsible for media management of the thirty Commonwealth Government agencies.
Pru started work as a shop assistant and later as a cleaner and waitress. She has also been a university Economics tutor, a University lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, a high school economics teacher and media consultant. She has authored two books: A Business of Your Own, success strategies for women in business, and co-authored, John Howard, a Biography with her husband, David Barnett.
Pru is a former Chair of the Council for Australian Arab Relations, Deputy Chair of Anglicare (Canberra and Goulburn), and a former member of a number of boards including the John Curtin School of Medical Research. Pru has represented Australia at international forums and negotiations, including APEC, and has been an official guest of the Governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand and Israel. Her speeches have been reproduced in several important collections.
In 2001 she was awarded a Centenary Medal for her services to journalism and women’s rights, and in 2007 an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Charles Sturt University.