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ABOUT TERRY BARNES

Terry Barnes has over 25 years experience working in and around governments, and has a strong interest in social policy issues, including health and ageing. Since 2007 he has been principal of his own consultancy, Cormorant Policy Advice.

He first joined the Australian Public Service (APS) as a junior clerk in 1980.  After a long break for study, Terry rose to the Senior Executive Service level before leaving in 2003.  Terry worked in the Defence; Immigration and Ethnic Affairs; Employment, Education and Training; and Health and Family Services/Aged Care portfolios.  He led policy reviews on pharmacy regulation and competition policy (a subject he has revisited in some of his recent writings); the impact of the Trade Practices Act on general practice; and the future of higher education advisory structures.  From his APS career Terry gained extensive and intimate experience in policy-making, programme administration, Cabinet processes and accountability to Parliament.

For two years, in the Senior Executive Service, Terry was responsible for advising on public hospital issues and also administered the operation of the then Australian Health Care Agreements that provide billions of dollars of federal funding each year to the States for public hospitals.  He also was responsible for ensuring that Medicare had the funds needed to pay benefits to Australians.

For almost as long as he can remember, Terry has been deeply interested in politics and the political process.  He studied Australian and comparative politics at the Australian National University and the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Terry subsequently had the great good fortune to serve from 1993 to 1997 as a senior adviser to Michael Wooldridge in several portfolios, including as Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the first Minister for Health and Family Services in the Howard Government.  After six years' absence,Terry returned to politics from 2003 to 2007 as senior adviser to the Minister for Health and Ageing and now Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.  He is very proud that he was there at both the beginning and the end of the Howard government, and that he helped to contribute to its success in several election campaigns.

Additionally, Terry worked for a time as a policy analyst in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet on health and social policy issues, and also as Manager, Government and Regulatory Affairs for Medibank Private.

Terry is expert in political and policy-making processes and social policy issues.  Most recently, Terry worked on contract with the new Baillieu state government in Victoria, as an interim ministerial chief of staff for two ministers and covering five portfolios: Community Services; Mental Health; Women's Affairs; Housing and Children and Early Childhood Development.  While he is best known as a health policy wonk, Terry greatly enjoyed doing more than "just health" in these key ministerial roles, and also relished his unexpected opportunity to try and give some practical direct help to some very vulnerable people in our community.

After the 2007 election loss Terry started to advocate his own opinions as a regular writer of newspaper comment pieces.  The range and frankness of his commentaries have taken many by surprise.  Terry also does radio and television interviews arising from his more topical articles.

After living in Canberra for more than two decades,Terry moved to the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne, in 2003.  He is married to Anna McDonald, a successful and hardworking businesswoman in the energy industry. They live in Patterson Lakes near Frankston, where the waterways teem with a vast array of seabirds – most notably, cormorants.

You can download Terry’s curriculum vitae here.

You can download Terry's publications list here.