Bridget was born in rural Victoria in the small town of Alexandra. She was raised to be proud and passionate about regional Australia with the traditional rural influences of small business, sport and agriculture.
Bridget has completed a double degree in applied science (specialising in human movement) and teaching (specialising in mathematics). She later went on to conduct research in physical activity with young women in rural settings. During 2009–2010, Bridget was a lecturer for the Faculty of Education at the Monash University.
Bridget’s experiences as a secondary school teacher and university lecturer have fuelled her passion for education and Australia’s young people. She is committed to improving opportunities for young Australians, no matter where they live.
As an agent for change, Bridget is committed to increasing the profile of sport in Australia, promoting women’s sport and equality more broadly. She wants everyone, but particularly women and girls to feel empowered through sport.
As a general sports enthusiast, Bridget is proud to promote healthy, active lifestyles. She continuously encourages her fellow Aussies to get out there and get active and participate no matter their ability or age. She believes that sport and physical activity are powerful mechanisms that connect communities.
As a regional Senator and from a rural community, Bridget understands and recognises the vital importance of access to 21st century communications, healthcare services and education.
Bridget’s focus is on encouraging the health workforce to the regions so Australians in rural towns have access to a similar level of services as the rest of the country. This will have a positive effect on the overall health of regional Australia including mental health.
Having lived in rural Victoria, Melbourne and overseas, Bridget is firm in her belief that strong regional economies and secure regional communities are critical to the future prosperity of Australia and acknowledges the critical role Local Government plays in ensuring that their communities continue to grow.
Bridget was elected to the Senate of Victoria in 2010 and re-elected in 2016. She’s been able to help make a difference for remote, rural and regional communities through the various positions she’s held within the National party and parliament, including Deputy Leader of The Nationals; Minister for Regional Communications, Rural Health and Sport; Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation; and Minister for Agriculture.
In her role as Senator for Victoria, Bridget has chaired a number of committees including the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee as well as the committee for Joint Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity committee and the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee.
Bridget is committed to ensuring that all Australians, regardless of where they live, have access to opportunities that will benefitthem and their local communities.
- Elected to the Senate for Victoria 2010 (term began 1.7.2011)
- The Nationals Whip in the Senate (September 2013 to June 2014)
- Deputy Leader of the National Party (December 2017 to February 2020)
- Minister for Regional Communications, Rural Health and Sport (December 2017 to August 2018)
- Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation (August 2018 to May 2019)
- Minister for Agriculture (May 2019 to February 2020)
- Leader of the Nationals in the Senate (February 2020 – present)
- Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee. Chair from June 2014 to December 2017
- Senate Education and Employment References Committee. Deputy chair from June 2014 to December 2017
- Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee from November 2013 to December 2017
- Senate Community Affairs: Legislation and References Committees from July 2011 to June 2014
- Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Legislation Committee from August 2011 to September 2012 and References Committee from August 2011 to September 2013.
- Senate Environment and Communications: Legislation and References Committees from July 2011 to September 2012
- Joint Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from December 2013 to December 2017
- Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from June 2014 to December 2017
- Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit from June 2014 to December 2017
- Senate Standing Committee of Privileges from November 2013 to December 2017
- Publications Committee from November 2013 to June 2014
- Appropriations and Staffing Committee from November 2013 to June 2014
- School Funding from December 2013 to March 2014
- School Funding Investment from February 2016 to May 2016
- Joint Committee on National Disability Insurance Scheme from December 2013 to March 2014
- Joint Standing: Parliamentary Library from July 2011 to August 2013
- Treaties from September 2011 to August 2013
- Junior Vice-President, The Nationals (Vic.) 2006-09.
Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament
- B.App.Sc (Human Movement)(Deakin)
- B.Teach (Secondary)(Deakin)
- Secondary mathematics and physical education teacher 2005-09
- Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Gippsland Campus, Monash University 2009-10