Before entering Parliament, Senator Deborah O’Neill was a high school teacher (1986-1996) and a lecturer at the University of Newcastle (1996-2010). Deborah’s connection to the regional NSW community through education guided her into politics.
Elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Robertson in the Gillard Government, Deborah was appointed to the Senate in 2013. In 2016, Deborah was elected as a Senator for NSW for six years.
In September 2016, Deborah was appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Innovation and Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health.
- Member of the Kincumber branch 1996 – present.
- Officer positions in the seats of Terrigal and Robertson 1998 – 2010.
- Member of the NSW Labor Health Policy Committee 2003.
- Delegate to the ALP State Conference 2001 – present.
- Junior Vice-President of NSW Labor 2011 – present.
Deborah’s parliamentary positions include:
- Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Health from July 2014 to May 2016;
- Chair of the Joint Parliamentary on Corporations and Financial Services 2011 – 2013, Deputy Chair 2013 – present;
- Member of the Speaker's Panel 2012 – 2013;
- Temporary Chair of Committees 2014 – 2016;
- Member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade 2013 – present;
- Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment 2014 – 2016, 2016 – present;
- Member of the Senate Select committee on School Funding Investment Feb 2016 – May 2016;
- Member of the Joint Statutory Committee on Public Accounts and Audit 2010 – 2013;
- Member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment 2010 – 2013;
- Member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing 2010 – 2013;
- Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Senators' Interests 2014 – 2016;
- Member of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia 2013 – 2016.