Leslie Williams (politician)

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Leslie Williams

Assistant Minister for Education
Assumed office
2 April 2015
Preceded byVictor Dominello
Succeeded byTBD
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Assumed office
2 April 2015
Preceded byNew title
Succeeded byTBD
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Assumed office
2 April 2015
Preceded byVictor Dominello
Succeeded byTBD
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Port Macquarie
Assumed office
26 March 2011
Preceded byPeter Besseling
Majority19.0 (2015)
Personal details
Leslie Gladys Uren

Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Political partyThe Nationals
Spouse(s)Don Williams
RelationsVickie Chapman (cousin)
Ted Chapman (uncle)
ResidenceLake Cathie, New South Wales
OccupationSmall business owner and nurse

Leslie Gladys Williams (born on Kangaroo Island, South Australia[1]), an Australian politician and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Port Macquarie since 2011 for the Nationals. Williams has served as the New South Wales Assistant Minister for Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Early Childhood Education since 2 April 2015.[2][3]


Williams early career was in teaching in regional South Australia and completed a short-term assignment as chief executive officer of the Northern Territory division of the Sudden Infant Death Association. In 2000, Williams and her husband commenced ownership of the Lake Cathie post office and now operate a mail delivery service. At the same time, Williams completed a degree in nursing and worked in the medical and palliative care ward at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital.[1]

Williams' community involvement includes membership of the Rotary Club of Laurieton, a director of both the Hastings Men's Shed and the Suicide Prevention Network and is a volunteer for various organisations including the Cancer Council of New South Wales and the Salvation Army.[1]

Political career[edit]

Williams' first tilt at public office was at the 2007 State election where she was defeated by Nationals-turned-independent member, Rob Oakeshott.[4] Williams gained a 3.4 percent swing towards the Nationals. When Oakshott resigned the seat to contest a by-election in the Federal parliament, Williams again contested the seat against Oakshott's staffer and independent candidate, Peter Besseling. Besseling won the by-election despite a large 23.7-point swing towards Williams and the Nationals.[4]

Williams again contested Port Macquarie at the next general election, the 2011 state election, and won against Besseling with a two-party-preferred swing of 10.9 points to the Nationals, giving Williams a 6.4-point margin against her independent opponent.[5] She actually won enough votes on the first count to reclaim the seat for the Nationals without the need for preferences.

Her victory was put down in part to anger at Besseling's association with Oakeshott, who kept federal Labor in office as a minority government after the 2010 federal election.[6] Port Macquarie has long been National heartland, and had been a comfortably safe National seat in "traditional" two-party matchups with Labor even when Oakeshott held it without serious difficulty as an independent.

Following the 2015 state election, Williams was sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Education, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and the Minister for Early Childhood Education in the second Baird government.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Williams is the cousin of South Australian MP Vickie Chapman, and niece of Vickie's father Ted Chapman.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Leslie Williams – Candidate for Port Macquarie". The Nationals team. National Party. 2010. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Coultan, Mark (1 April 2015). "Mike Baird reveals NSW cabinet". The Australian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "No surprise as the Nats' back Leslie Williams". Port Macquarie News. Fairfax Media. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Williams whitewash". Port Macquarie News. Fairfax Media. 28 March 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Close battle expected in Port Macquarie electorate". ABC News. Australia. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Former KI schoolgirl now a NSW Minister". The Islander. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.

External links[edit]

New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Peter Besseling
Member for Port Macquarie
Political offices
Preceded by
Victor Dominello
Assistant Minister for Education
Succeeded by
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
New title Minister for Early Childhood Education