Barnaby Joyce drew national headlines in 2013 when he announced his intention to resign from The Senate and return to the region of his birth to contest the Federal Seat of New England as The Nationals candidate.
Having pulled up stumps at St George and moved to Tamworth, Barnaby hosted more than 40 community forums throughout New England during the election campaign which enabled him to gather the important ‘on the ground’ opinions and needs of constituents.
On 7 September 2013, Barnaby was elected as the Member for New England with more than 54 per cent of the first preference vote and over 64 per cent of the vote on a two party preferred basis.
He is strongly committed to bringing his passionate advocacy for rural and regional Australians, which has earned respect across both sides of the political divide, to the New England Electorate.
Barnaby is one of a family of eight from a cattle and sheep property near Woolbrook in the southern New England.
While studying accountancy at the University of New England (1986-89), Barnaby met Natalie, who is from Manilla, and the two were married in 1993. Their four daughters were all born in Tamworth.
Always a keen rugby player, Barnaby proudly threw on the jersey for St Albies College at UNE where he counts three premiership appearances, one lost front tooth, distended spleen, 28 stitches across his face, fractured ribs and partially popped shoulder among his firm memories from his time on the paddock.
After graduation, Barnaby spent three years with a chartered accountancy firm then a short period with an American multinational in cost accounting before completing five years with a major regional bank.
With a choice between a senior role in banking or starting his own business, Barnaby chose the latter and owned and operated Barnaby Joyce and Co for ten years in the western Queensland town of St George.
He said operating his own business was among the challenging yet rewarding decisions of his career. Barnaby remains unashamedly pro small business and is derided by many because of his pro small business views.
In 2004, he was elected to head The Nationals Senate team in Queensland and won back the previously lost Senate seat.
Having taken his seat in Canberra, Barnaby believed in a more classic role of the Senate as an independent house of review than the executive.
His much reported decisions to cross the floor 28 times during his career made him both hero and villain, but overwhelmingly respected by his constituency as a conviction politician. Barnaby has also become one of the most quoted politicians in Australia.
Barnaby was a voting member of the Senate Economics Committee and was author of “The Birdsville Amendment” to protect small business.
In 2009, he was elected to the role of The Nationals Leader in The Senate and became Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water.
In September 2013, following the election of the Coalition to the Federal Government, Barnaby was appointed Federal Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals.
Barnaby is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, a former serving member of the Australian Defence Force Reserves and a long term member of St Vincent De Paul.
He represented Central North NSW in Rugby and has three times been the subject for the Archibald Prize.