Bachelor in Education, Macquarie University.
Special education teacher, 1977-1979. Research officer New South Wales Minister for Sport and Recreation, 1980. Assistant general secretary Australian Labor Party, 1980-1989, national president, 2007—2008.
Senator for New South Wales Parliament House, since 1989, manager government business in the senate, 1993—1996. Minister veterans affairs Government of Australia, 1993-1994, minister defense sciences and personnel, 1993—1994, minister of environment, sport and territories, 1994—1996, special minister state, 2007—2009, cabinet secretary, 2007—2009, vice president executive council, 2007—2010, minister defense, 2009—2010.