Clare O'Neil - Class Of 1998

Clare oneil web 


Loreto Toorak Alumnae are strong, capable women and Clare O’Neil (1998) is no exception. Recently, Clare was appointed as Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, joining Cabinet as part of the newly elected Labor government. 
Clare joined the Australian Labor Party at 16 where she met Simon Crean, former party leader, and a person who inspired her and in “whose footsteps she is honoured to walk”. Clare’s commitment to ordinary Australians and her contribution within the ALP over the years has culminated in her proudly becoming one of 10 women in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s 23-member Cabinet, highlighting a positive step forward for women in parliament. 
After leaving Loreto Toorak, Clare studied a Bachelor of Arts (History) and Bachelor of Laws at Monash University, graduating with honours in both fields. In 2004, while studying, Clare was elected as a councillor in the City of Greater Dandenong and, only one year later, she was elected Mayor within the same local government region, becoming the youngest female mayor in Australian history. Clare visited the School at this time to speak about her work in local government, in an assembly presentation that was long remembered by students and staff. With her future in Australian politics sealed, in 2006, Clare was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake a Master of Public Policy at Harvard University, and subsequently moved to the United States of America.  
Clare enjoyed extensive opportunities while in the US. She worked as an Intern for the Global Corporate Client Group at the New York Stock Exchange in 2007, returned briefly to Australia in 2008 to serve as adviser to the Commonwealth Treasurer. For the next four years, after moving again to the US, she was employed as Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company, while also consulting as Business Adviser at the Marngarr Aboriginal Resource Centre throughout 2011. 

In 2013, Clare was elected to the House of Representatives, representing the Victorian seat of Hotham and has held several shadow ministerial roles; most recently, Clare held the role of Shadow Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services.  
Her key priorities in politics are women’s rights, children’s welfare, economics, and the welfare of Indigenous Australians. Clare walks her talk; in 2011, she and her partner, Brendan, spent nine months living in Arnhem Land, where they fostered a child and Clare worked alongside local women to help establish small businesses. She sees her role in parliament as impetus to work towards eradicating the crises in Indigenous health, economics, housing and employment.   
Clare lives in Oakleigh with Brendan and their three children, including baby Greta who frequently accompanied her over the last election campaign! Clare has generously made time to meet with our Year 12 Politics classes since her election, both in Canberra and here at School; always challenging and inspiring our students. 
Congratulations, Clare, from Loreto Toorak! 

Read more about Clare and her part on the the new frontbench by clicking this link (note article is behind a paywall).  

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