Tony Abbott has long been a key figure in Canberra.


His viewpoints on family, abortion and immigration have given him a reputation as a conservative politician. But as the newly elected leader of the Opposition, just who is Tony Abbott and what will he bring to the table?

University BackgroundHe graduated from Sydney University with a double degree in Law and Economics. Abbott received a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University where he obtained masters in Politics and Philosophy. Before his move into politics he worked as a journalist and was a feature writer for ‘The Bulletin’ and ‘The Australian’. The Political Road: In 1990, Abbott became press secretary to the then Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson. For a short period in 1994 he was the Executive Director of Australian’s for a Constitutional Monarchy – a national not-for-profit organisation that aims to preserve Australia’s current constitutional monarchy. In 1994 he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Member for the northern Sydney suburb of Warringah. He served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs from 1996. In 1998, he became Minister for Employment Services, followed by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Small Business in 2001 and Minister for Health and Ageing from 2003 to November 2007.Since September 2008 he has been the Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. PoliciesAbbott is generally considered a conservative politician. He is a noted Catholic and is against abortion. In the past he’s played down concerns of climate change and global warming saying he refuses “to be terrified of the future.” Abbott has often compared the global warming argument to a fad. He takes a firm stance on potential asylum seekers supporting John Howard’s policies of temporary visas, off-shore processing, and returning boats where possible. Fighting fitTony Abbott is an avid sportsman. He took part in various boxing competitions during his time at Oxford, winning two Blue awards in the process. In the Spotlight: The father/son controversy. In late 2004 Abbott was involved in a controversy over his alleged son. At age 19, Abbott’s then-girlfriend gave birth to a son and had him adopted. The story came to light in 2004 when the boy’s identity was revealed and he was named as Daniel O’Conner – a television sound recordist working in Parliament House. Abbott publicly embraced O’Connor as his son only to discover he was not the biological father. The case became a media sensation.Tony Abbott lives in the northern Sydney suburb of Forestville with his wife and his three daughters.