- Parliamentary service
- Elected to the Senate for New South Wales 2007 (term began 1.7.2008), 2013 and 2016.
- Parliamentary positions
- Temporary Chair of Committees from 7.7.11 to 11.11.13.
- Ministerial appointments
- Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness from 1.7.13 to 18.9.13.
- Committee service
- Senate Standing: Library from 1.7.08 to 30.6.11; Scrutiny of Bills from 1.7.08 to 30.9.10; Privileges from 30.9.10 to 1.7.11.
- Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Economics from 1.7.08 to 14.5.09; Economics: Legislation Committee from 14.5.09 and References Committee from 1.7.11; Finance and Public Administration from 1.7.08 to 14.5.09; Finance and Public Administration: Legislation and References Committees from 14.5.09 to 27.9.10; Environment and Communications: Legislation and References Committees from 30.9.10 to 11.11.13 (Chair Legislation Committee from 30.9.10 to 11.11.13); Education and Employment Legislation from 30.8.16 to 1.9.16; Education and Employment References from 30.8.16 to 1.9.16.
- Senate Select: Climate Policy from 18.3.09 to 15.6.09; Scrutiny of New Taxes from 30.9.10 to 1.11.11; Health from 26.6.14 to 14.5.15.
- Joint Statutory: Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity from 1.7.08 to 5.8.13.
- Joint Standing: Parliamentary Library from 1.7.08 to 30.6.11; National Broadband Network from 23.3.11 to 5.8.13.
- Joint Select: Parliamentary Budget Office from 22.11.10 to 23.3.11; Broadcasting Legislation from 14.3.13 to 24.6.13.
- Parliamentary party positions
- Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 14.10.13. Shadow Minister for Human Services from 18.10.13 to 23.07.16.
- Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships from 23.07.16.
- Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness from 23.07.16.
- Party positions
- Member, ALP Administrative Committee (NSW).
- Delegate, ALP State Conference (NSW).
- Delegate, ALP National Conference.
- Born 27.1.1951, Bellshill, Scotland, UK.
- Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
- City and Guilds qualified fitter and machinist.
- Maintenance fitter, steel, ship repair, vehicle and power industries.
- Organiser, Assistant State Secretary, Assistant National Secretary and National Secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union.
- Vice-President, Australian Council of Trade Unions 1999-2007.
- Member, Australian Best Practice Committee.
- Trustee, Superannuation Trust of Australia.
- Director, Australian Super Pty Ltd 2006-07.