Tanya was elected to the Australian Parliament as the Federal Member for Sydney at the 1998 federal election. In her first speech to House of Representatives, Tanya spoke of her strong interest in social justice and her conviction that ordinary people working together can achieve positive change.
Tanya became a Shadow Minister after the 2004 federal election and for the next three years was responsible for a range of portfolios including childcare, work and family, women, youth, human services and housing.
"UTS was a fantastic place to learn both theory and practice. The academics were often inspiring and the friendships I made lasting."
Following the election of the Rudd Government in 2007, Tanya was appointed Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women. As Minister for Housing, Tanya delivered a wide ranging reform agenda, including significant new investments in affordable rental housing. Tanya was also responsible for a Homelessness White Paper that set out a comprehensive national strategy to tackle homelessness in Australia.
As Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya was responsible for development of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
Following the 2010 federal election Tanya was appointed Minister for Human Services and Minister for Social Inclusion. In 2011, Tanya was appointed as Minister for Health.
Tanya lives in Sydney with her husband Michael and children Anna, Joseph and Louis. Tanya is fond of bushwalking and 18th Century novels.