Michelle Lensink

Jacqueline Michelle Ann Lensink (born 20 February 1970) is an Australian politician representing the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia in the South Australian Legislative Council since 26 June 2003. Lensink has served as the Minister for Human Services in the Marshall Ministry since 22 March 2018.[1][2]

Michelle Lensink

Minister for Human Services
Assumed office
22 March 2018 (2018-03-22)
PremierSteven Marshall
Preceded byZoe Bettison (as Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, as Minister for Social Housing, as Minister for the Status of Women, as Minister for Ageing, as Minister for Multicultural Affairs, as Minister for Youth, and as Minister for Volunteers)
Member of the Legislative Council
Assumed office
26 June 2003 (2003-06-26)
Personal details
Jacqueline Michelle Ann Lensink

(1970-02-20) 20 February 1970 (age 51)
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia (SA)
Alma mater
OccupationPhysiotherapist; politician

Background and early career

Lensink was educated at Stirling East Primary School and Marryatville High School, before attending the University of South Australia, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) in 1991. In 2003 she was awarded an MBA from the University of Adelaide. From 1991 to 1994, Lensink worked as a physiotherapist at Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, before moving into the political arena.[3]

From 1994 to 1996 she worked as the policy researcher to the federal member for Sturt, who at the time was also parliamentary secretary to the Shadow Minister for Social Security (with responsibility for Child Support policy), and from 1998–2002, she worked as ministerial adviser to the Hon. Robert Lawson QC MLC.

From 2002 to 2003 she worked as the executive officer of the Aged Care Association of Australia, SA (formerly ANHECA).

Political career

From 1991–1995, Lensink served as a member of the Young Liberal Executive, and in July 1995 she was elected South Australian Young Liberal President where she served for two years. In January 1996, she became the Federal Young Liberal Movement's Treasurer.

In 2001 she was selected at number four on the Liberal Party's Senate ticket for the 2001 federal election; however, did not achieve the necessary quota.

Appointed to the Legislative Council in May 2003 following a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Diana Laidlaw, Lensink was elected for a further eight-year term at the 2006 election and has subsequently held a number of shadow ministerial positions including shadow responsibility for mental health and substance abuse, security and infrastructure, gambling, government enterprises, consumer affairs, environment and conservation, sustainability and climate change, the status for women, and for youth. She was re-elected for another eight-year term at the 2014 election. She was at third position on the Liberal ticket in both elections.

Since 26 January 2008, Lensink has also served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council.