WA Labor Leader
Mark’s early days and the navy Mark McGowan grew up in regional New South Wales, where his parents ran small businesses and educated their two sons at public schools.
Mark studied arts and law at the University of Queensland and began his career in public service in the Royal Australian Navy, going on to serve as a Lieutenant at HMAS STIRLING.
Mark was the Deputy Mayor of Rockingham before winning the State seat of Rockingham in December 1996. Mark and his wife Sarah and their three young children – Samuel, Alexander and Amelia – live in the Rockingham community.
In the years since his election to the Western Australian Parliament, Mark has held many senior portfolios in both Government and Opposition.
He was Parliamentary Secretary to former Premier Geoff Gallop for four years and has served as a Minister in the portfolios of Education and Training, Environment, Racing and Gaming, Tourism and South West.
As minister Mark approved the Gorgon Gas project and the FMG iron ore mining project.
As the Minister for Racing and Gaming, Mark drove the small bar reforms which have liberalised Perth’s entertainment scene, while as Minister for Tourism, he boosted Western Australia’s tourism industry by negotiating to bring low-cost carrier Jetstar to Perth.
As Education Minister, Mark got back to basics and brought in major curriculum changes including more exams, traditional marking and reports, and reintroduced the syllabus.
In recent years, Mark has developed Labor’s fresh ideas for Medihotels and METRONET as well as Labor’s Plan for Jobs and Labor’s WA Jobs First policies.
Mark was elected WA Labor Leader on 23 January 2012.