Don is a fourth generation South Australian, proud again to be representing the people of his state in Federal parliament.
While studying law at the University of Adelaide, Don worked as a shop assistant and joined the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association. This was the start of his 32 year career working for the rights of retail and fast food workers, including leading the union at a state and national level, overseeing the introduction of the 38 hour week for retail workers and universal superannuation for all workers.
Don successfully ran for the Senate in 2008, serving his state as Minister for Science and Research, Minister for Sport, Minister Assisting on Tourism, and Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water during his six year term.
Taking a two year break from public life, Don tended his small vineyard in South Australia’s Clare Valley, and knows firsthand the daily challenges faced by local growers and primary producers.
But Don could not sit back and watch the Abbott-Turnbull government allow Australian manufacturing jobs to disappear, and nominated for the Senate in 2016 knowing that only a Labor Government would fight for South Australian jobs.
Don was re-elected to the Senate in the 2016 Federal election, and in October 2016 was appointed Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Shadow Special Minister of State and Shadow Minister for Sport.
Don lives in Adelaide with his wife Nimfa. When not carrying out his parliamentary duties he can be found working in his Clare Valley vineyard, spending time with his adult daughters, and doting on his grandson.