Mathias Cormann Biography
Mathias Hubert Paul Cormann (born September 20, 1970) is an Australian Liberal Party politician who has served as the Morrison Government’s Minister of Finance and Public Service since 2018 and Western Australia’s Senator since 2007. Cormann served as the Abbott and Turnbull government’s finance minister from 2013 to 2018.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promoted Cormann to the position of Deputy Government Leader in the Senate on 20 September 2015; and served as Special Minister of State in the First Turnbull Ministry between February and July 2016, having served in the role since December 2015. Cormann currently serves as the Senate Government Leader and the Executive Council Vice-President.
Mathias Cormann Personal Life
A Roman Catholic, Cormann is married to a lawyer, Hayley. They’ve got two girls. On Australia Day in 2000, Cormann became an Australian citizen, resulting in the automatic loss of his Belgian citizenship. Before nominating for preselection as a Senate candidate, this was re-confirmed.
Mathias Cormann Early Life
Born in Eupen, a German-speaking city in eastern Belgium, Cormann graduated from the Catholic University of Leuven with a Bachelor of Law degree. Cormann took part in a one-year student exchange program at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1993–94 as part of his university studies, where he first learned English speaking. He became a councilor with the Christian Social Party in his local area at the age of 21. He migrated permanently to Australia after a visit to Perth in 1994.
Mathias Cormann Political Career
At the age of 21, Cormann joined the Christlich Soziale Party (CSP) in Raeren, where he served as a member of the city council. Cormann served as assistant to Mathieu Grosch, Member of the European Parliament, from 1994 to 1996. He joined the Western Australia Liberal Party and took on a job as chief of staff minister, then senior advisor to Western Australia’s then-Premier, Richard Court.
He then moved to federal politics and worked as a senior advisor for two years, then as Justice Minister and Customs Minister Chris Ellison. Cormann was the senior vice-president of the Liberal Party in Western Australia between 2003 and 2008. He also served as general manager of HBF, a WA-based health insurance company, until resigning to contest a Senate seat in May 2007. At the expense of controversial Senator Ross Lightfoot, who withdrew from the preselection race and resigned from politics when he realized the numbers were against him, Cormann’s preselection for the coveted third position on the Liberal Senate ticket for the 2007 election was all but certain.
On 27 April 2007, Lightfoot stated on the Stateline program of the ABC that he considered Cormann (although he stopped short of naming him) an “inappropriate person” to replace him. The main complaint of Lightfoot was that there were “more appropriate people” to succeed him “who have served the party longer” and “who have been in the country longer” When on 4 May 2007 Senator Ian Campbell unexpectedly announced his planned resignation, the party quickly preselected Cormann to fill the resulting casual vacancy.
On 31 May 2007, Campbell formally resigned. On 20 June 2007, Cormann was sworn in and served until 2011 for the remaining four years of Ian Campbell’s term. Cormann was re-electedon 21 August 2010 as Senator for Western Australia for a further six-year term and again on 2 July 2016. In Opposition, Cormann served as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration (2008–09), Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Learning and Training (2009–2010) and Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Superannuation Minister (2010–2013). He chaired the Fuel and Energy Select Committee (2008–2010) and the New Tax Committee Scrutiny (2010–2011) in the Senate. When the Coalition won government in 2013, Cormann became Finance Minister under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, a role he has held since then.
Although he publicly supported Abbott in the 2015 leadership spill, Turnbull encouraged Cormann to assume additional roles as Special Minister of State in 2016 and Government Leader in the Senate in 2017. As the upper house government leader, Cormann became the third in line to serve as prime minister when needed. In February 2018, in a unique set of circumstances in which Prime Minister Turnbull made a state visit to the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce took personal leave in the midst of a scandal surrounding an affair with an employee, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party Julie Bishop made official visits to Europe in her role as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Cormann personally opposes same-sex marriage and argued “for a postal vote plebiscite to be held before a parliamentary vote on the issue” in 2017. Following that survey, Cormann chose to vote in favor of the bill legalizing same-sex marriage and found most Australians supporting same-sex marriage. Cormann is a monarchist in the constitution.
Mathias Cormann Honours
In January 2018, Cormann was awarded with the rank of Grand Cross with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Ambassador Anna Prinz on behalf of the Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier for his work “in advancing German-Australian relations.”