Rudd told a news conference that the new minister would accompany him to a key UN conference in Bali next month which aims to produce plans for action on climate change beyond 2012, when current
Wong was born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to a Chinese Malaysian father and an Australian mother. She moved to
She also became involved in political activism at university, winning a position on the National Executive of the National Union Students. In 1988, Wong joined the Australian Labor Party, winning a position as a delegate to the party's state convention the following year. She has been a delegate each year since, with the exception of 1995.
Wong graduated from university in 1992, and continued on with the CFMEU, working as an industrial officer, gaining admission to the bar in 1993. During 1995 and 1996, she acted as an advisor to the
Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party's South Australian ticket, as a result of affirmative action policies and factional changes. Wong is a member of Emily's List Australia, the support network for Labor women, and currently sits on a number of Senate committees, primarily those related to economics.
She has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister John Howard's ban on same-sex marriages despite the ban also having the support of her own party.
In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.
In November 2007, in the wake of the Labor Party victory in the 2007 election, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. Her appointment as the first Australian from an Asian background to hold a cabinet position was quickly greeted by ethnic groups. As a result of this promotion, she will be the highest ranked politican representing