John Ajaka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Honourable
John Ajaka
MLC
21st President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
Assumed office
21 February 2017
Preceded by Don Harwin
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
Assumed office
24 March 2007
Minister for Ageing
In office
23 April 2014 – 27 January 2017
Premier Mike Baird
Preceded by Andrew Constance
Succeeded by Tanya Davies
Minister for Disability Services
In office
2 August 2013 – 27 January 2017
Premier Barry O'Farrell;
Mike Baird
Preceded by Andrew Constance
Succeeded by Ray Williams
Minister for Multiculturalism
In office
2 April 2015 – 27 January 2017
Premier Mike Baird
Preceded by Victor Dominello (as Minister for Citizenship and Communities)
Succeeded by Ray Williams
Minister for the Illawarra
In office
2 August 2013 – 2 April 2015
Premier Barry O'Farrell;
Mike Baird
Preceded by Greg Pearce
Succeeded by portfolio abolished
Personal details
Born (1956-01-13) 13 January 1956 (age 62)
Bulli, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party
Website Parliamentary biography

John George Ajaka (born 13 January 1956), an Australian politician, is the President of the New South Wales Legislative Council. Until 23 January 2017, he was New South Wales Minister for Ageing from April 2014, the Minister for Disability Services from August 2013, and the Minister for Multiculturalism fom April 2015 in the second Baird government.[1][2][3] Ajaka is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 2007, representing the Liberal Party and he is the first Liberal Party Lebanese Australian member of an Australian parliament.[4] Ajaka has previously served as the Minister for the Illawarra during 2013 and 2015 in the O'Farrell and first Baird government.[5]

Background and early years[edit]

Ajaka was born in Bulli, New South Wales, to migrant parents from Lebanon.[6] He was schooled at St Joseph's Primary School and Marist College Kogarah where he served in the Army Cadets, graduating as the second-highest-ranking officer in his group, and served briefly in the Australian Army Reserve. He subsequently studied law and opened his own practice in Rockdale.[7] He was later elected as a City of Rockdale councillor, serving in that role until his election to parliament.[4]

State political career[edit]

Ajaka was elected to the Legislative Council at the 2007 state election.[5][8] He made his inaugural speech to the Legislative Council on 9 May 2007, in which he called for greater acceptance of migrants within Australian society and declared his intention to oppose racial prejudice and injustice in his role as an MP.[7] He also strongly criticised the police practice of referring to the ethnic backgrounds of criminals, contravening his own party's policy on the matter.[9]

Ajaka was appointed as the Minister for the Illawarra and the Minister for Disability Services on 2 August 2013; and became of member of the O'Farrell cabinet.[10][11] Due to the resignation of Barry O'Farrell as Premier,[12] and the subsequent ministerial reshuffle by Mike Baird, the new Liberal Leader,[3] in April 2014 in addition to his existing responsibilities as a minister, Ajaka was appointed as the Minister for Ageing.[5][13]

Following the 2015 state election, Ajaka was appointed as the Minister for Ageing, the Minister for Disability Services and the Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council in the new second Baird government.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hasham, Nicole (3 April 2015). "Premier Mike Baird's new NSW cabinet sworn in: Gladys Berejiklian and Gabrielle Upton first female Treasurer and Attorney-General". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Nicholls, Sean (1 August 2013). "Greg Pearce sacked over conflict of interest". smh.com.au. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Nicholls, Sean (22 April 2014). "Mike Baird's cabinet reshuffle a preparation for next election". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Upper House Welcome". St George and Sutherland Shire Leader. 27 March 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c "The Hon. John George Ajaka, MLC". Members. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  6. ^ Pearlman, Jonathan (5 June 2007). "Ethnic labelling creates division, says new Liberal". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Inaugural Speech of the Honourable John Ajaka" (PDF). Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 29 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Legislative Council". ABC Elections: New South Wales 2007. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  9. ^ Pearlman, Jonathon (4 December 2005). "Ethnic labelling creates division, says new Liberal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Clennell, Andrew (1 August 2013). "Premier Barry O'Farrell sacks finance minister Greg Pearce". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rockdale's John Ajaka named new Minister for Illawarra to replace sacked Greg Pearce". ABC News. Australia. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Barry O'Farrell quits as NSW Premier over memory fail". The Australian. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Mike Baird's NSW cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Don Harwin
President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
2017–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Constance
Minister for Ageing
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Tanya Davies
Minister for Disability Services
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Ray Williams
Preceded by
Victor Dominello
as Minister for Citizenship and Communities
Minister for Multiculturalism
2015–2017
Preceded by
Greg Pearce
Minister for the Illawarra
2013–2015
Portfolio abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Mason-Cox
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council
2015–present
Incumbent