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इंडियन आवाज़     27 Nov 2022 06:27:22      انڈین آواز

Anthony Albanese; From humble beginnings to prime ministership of Australia

He is still widely known by his childhood nickname, Albo.

AMN / WEB DESK

After 26 years in parliament and just six in government, Anthony Norman Albanese has led Labor from the political wilderness and back into office.

Albanese began his life journey as the only child of a single mother who raised him on a pension in gritty inner-Sydney suburbia, said his victory will inspire a generation of future leaders.

He’s vowed to implement policies to address climate change, stagnant wages, closing the gender pay gap, Indigenous recognition and strengthening Medicare.

He is also a hero of multicultural Australia, describing himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years that the office has existed.

Albanese has promised to rehabilitate Australia’s international reputation as a climate change laggard with steeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. The previous administration had stuck with the same commitment it made at the Paris Agreement in 2015: 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Albanese’s Labor Party has promised a 43% reduction.

His financially precarious upbringing in government-owned housing in suburban Camperdown fundamentally formed the politician who has led the center-left Australian Labor Party into government for the first time since 2007. He is still widely known by his childhood nickname, Albo.

“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mom who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Albanese said in his election victory speech on Saturday.

“Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars,” he added.

Labor also promised cheaper child care for working parents and better nursing home care for the elderly.

Albanese this week promised to begin rebuilding trust in Australia when he attends a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Albanese said he will be “completely consistent” with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s current administration on Chinese strategic competition in the region.

But he said Australia had been placed in the “naughty corner” in United Nations’ climate change negotiations by refusing to adopt more ambitious emissions reduction targets at a November conference.

“One of the ways that we increase our standing in the region, and in particular in the Pacific, is by taking climate change seriously,” Albanese told the National Press Club.

Albanese was born in Sydney to an Irish-Australian mother and an Italian father. He attended St Mary’s Cathedral College, before going on to the University of Sydney to study economics. He joined the Labor Party as a student, and before entering Parliament worked as a party official and research officer. Albanese was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1996 election, winning the seat of Grayndler in New South Wales. He was first appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 by Simon Crean and went on to serve in a number of roles, eventually becoming Manager of Opposition Business in 2006.

After Labor’s victory in the 2007 election, Albanese was appointed Leader of the House, and was also made Minister for Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. In the subsequent leadership tensions between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard from 2010 to 2013, Albanese was publicly critical of the conduct of both, calling for party unity. After supporting Rudd in the final leadership ballot between the two in June 2013, Albanese was elected deputy leader of the Labor Party and sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister the following day.

Following Labor’s defeat in the 2013 election, Albanese stood against Bill Shorten in the ensuing leadership election, the first to include party members as well as MPs. Although Albanese won a large majority of the membership, Shorten won more heavily among Labor MPs and won the contest; Shorten subsequently appointed Albanese to his Shadow Cabinet. After Labor’s surprise defeat in the 2019 election, Shorten resigned and Albanese became the only person nominated in the leadership election to replace him; he was subsequently elected unopposed as leader of the Labor Party, becoming Leader of the Opposition.

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