The Hon Don Harwin is a minister in the NSW Liberals and Nationals State Government and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
He is Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for the Arts and Vice President of the Executive Council.
Don Harwin has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since March 27, 1999 and served as the 20th President of the Council between May 2011 and January 2017.
He has been the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council since January 2017.
Don Harwin was born in Sydney on July 5, 1964.
He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1985 with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours).
After starting work with Ron Phillips in his Miranda electorate office 1987, he worked as an adviser for a number of Liberal ministers in the Greiner and Fahey Liberal governments between 1988 and 1995.
Between 1988 and 1990, he was the NSW President of the Young Liberals.
Before he entered Parliament, he was self-employed in his own small business giving public affairs and government relations consultancy services to business, industry associations and political parties for five years.
Previously, he held positions as Assistant State Campaign Director for the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) during the 1991 State Election Campaign.
He has had a long standing interest in, and professional connection with, matters relating to electoral processes, including the redistribution of electoral boundaries.
Don Harwin was elected to the NSW Legislative Council at the 1999 state election and was re-elected in 2007 and again in 2015 for eight-year terms.
In his maiden speech, he said he stood for “the dignity of the individual, achieved through freedom, including the right to speak freely, assemble, vote, practise religion, own private property and, generally, live one’s life with maximum freedom as long as no harm is done to another individual”.
He was elected Opposition Whip in 2003 following the retirement of John Jobling AM.
Following the election of the O’Farrell-Stoner Liberals and Nationals government in 2011, he was elected President of the Legislative Council.
Following the resignation of Mike Baird as Premier, Gladys Berejiklian was elected as Liberal leader and sworn in as Premier. Harwin resigned as President of the Legislative Council and was subsequently sworn in as the Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities and Minister for the Arts with effect from 30 January 2017.
Mr Harwin has written contributions to several volumes of NSW political history including: