Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, has been a Senator since September 2012. Senator Ruston is also the Manager of Government Business in the Senate.
In July 2014, Anne was elected Senior Deputy Government Whip in the Senate and chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. She was also an active participant in the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, initiating inquiries into the Australian citrus and wine industries.
Senator Ruston was appointed Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources in September 2015. She was subsequently appointed as Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific in August 2018.
Prior to becoming a Senator, Anne held several senior positions in government and the private sector, including as the inaugural chief executive of the National Wine Centre.
Anne was also primary producer and an irrigator, producing commercial cut flowers and implementing irrigation efficiencies on her property that reduced water use by more than 60%. She is a passionate advocate for rural and regional communities and for a balanced approach to water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Born and raised in Renmark, on the River Murray in South Australia, Anne is a proud member of the community where she still lives and works to this day. She is the only Senator for South Australia based in a regional area.