Meet Gareth

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Gareth Ward is your Liberal Candidate for Kiama at the 2019 State Election.

Gareth Ward was born in Gerringong into a small-business family and has lived in the Illawarra and South Coast his entire life. Born with Oculocutaneous Albinism, Gareth has been legally blind since birth.

Growing up in the Illawarra, Gareth attended local schools at Nowra East Public School, Bomaderry Primary School and Bomaderry High School. Gareth attended the University of Wollongong and holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts, Commerce and Law. Following his undergraduate studies, Gareth went on to complete the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

Elected to Shoalhaven City Council at age 22 in 2004, Gareth is the youngest-ever Councillor to serve on Shoalhaven City Council and was elected Deputy Mayor 2008-2010.

Prior to entering Parliament, Gareth was employed as an advisor to Senator John Tierney, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Upper House MLC Don Harwin. He has also worked for the fundraising group the Millennium Forum and served as a director of Southern Water Services.

Gareth has held positions on several boards including the Wollongong UniCentre and the NSW Local Government Association – the peak representative body of elected Councillors in NSW.

Gareth counts his most memorable moments in life as carrying the Olympic Torch as part of the torch relay in 2000, being named Shoalhaven’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2001 and the Illawarra Young Business Person of the Year in 2001.

In 2011, Gareth became the first Liberal Member for the State Seat of Kiama.

In Parliament, Gareth has previously served as an Acting Speaker on the Speaker’s Panel – presiding over the House in the absence of the Speaker. Gareth has served on the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as a member and chair as well as serving on the Legislation Review Committee.

In April 2015, Gareth was appointed by the Premier as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast which involves representing the interests of the entire region directly to the Premier and Cabinet. Gareth also has the responsibility of holding the NSW Government to account for its election promises to our region.

In March 2017, Gareth added the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Education to his list of responsibilities. Gareth is responsible for assisting the Minister for Education on anti-bullying and students with disabilities. Gareth enjoys traveling all over the State meeting with front-line teachers and staff and working hard to make our education system the best in the world.

Gareth is currently the Chair of the New South Wales Parliamentary Friends of the European Union and Secretary of the Bipartisan Action Committee for NSW Bravehearts. He is also a member of the Parliamentary Lions Club, the Parliamentary Friends of Ireland, the Parliamentary Friends of Asia-Pacific, the Parliamentary Friends of ANZAC and the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving.