Matt Foley discusses his early education and childhood in Brisbane.
Matt Foley describes his employment options following the completion of his senior school certificate and recalls an amusing anecdote about a meeting with senior members of the Air Force at the Officer Academy at Point Cook.
|armed services, RAAF, social work, University of Queensland|
Matt Foley discusses the political views of his family and the development of his own political views while a student at the University of Queensland.
|Brian Laver, Dan O'Neill, University of Queensland, Vietnam War|
Matt Foley comments on an early career position as a Child Welfare Officer and describes time spent travelling in the United Kingdom before moving to live in a Kibbutz in Israel.
|Bruno Bettelheim, social work|
Matt Foley describes moving to Belfast where he worked on a project which examined the impact of the Troubles on young people. Following this he moved back to Australia and he describes the political mood on his return.
|Indigenous issues, Roisin Goss, Whitlam Government 1972-75|
Matt Foley shares his opinion on the Bjelke-Petersen Government. He recalls meeting Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) as a teenager.
|Aboriginal Legal Service, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Colin Lamont, James Baldwin, Kath Walker, Paul Wilson, Stradbroke Island|
Matt Foley describes how he taught Aboriginal Social Policy at the University of Queensland. He discusses his decision to study law.
|Aboriginal Legal Service, University of Queensland|
Matt Foley speaks on his initial reluctance to join a political party but describes how he eventually joined the ALP, first becoming a member at the Kurilpa branch and later Yeronga.
|Anne Warner, Communist Party, Di Fingleton, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley describes how he was approached to stand for election and discusses his 1989 election campaign strategies.
|1989 election, campaign strategy, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley recalls his pre-existing impressions of the Queensland Parliament prior to the election of the Goss Government in 1989. He discusses some of the reforms of the Goss Government.
|Fitzgerald Inquiry, Goss Government 1989-96, Native Title, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley talks about his involvement with EARC. He recalls an anecdote about his time in Britain to illustrate his views on the Peaceful Assembly Act.
|Criminal Justice Commission, EARC|
Matt Foley talks further about the Peaceful Assembly Act. He describes issues associated with One Vote One Value. He speaks on changes to the relationship between the government and the opposition.
|Lesley Clark, Molly Robson, Rod Welford|
Matt Foley discusses his appointment as Minister of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations.
|Employment, Industrial Relations, Jim Elder, Molly Robson, SEQEB dispute, unions, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley describes the industrial action at the Mount Isa Mines in 1994.
|Bill Kelty, industrial disputes, Martin Ferguson, Mount Isa Mines, Tony McGrady|
Matt Foley speaks further on industrial relations, the introduction of Enterprise Bargaining and the role of employee groups. He discusses the training and employment aspects of his portfolio.
|enterprise bargaining, Industrial Relations, Laurie Brereton, Queensland Rail, tobacco tax, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley describes his relationship with the Director General and the department.
|Bob Marshman, Peter Henneken, relationship with public service, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley discusses the role of evidence and argument in advancing the priorities of the department. He describes some of the reforms needed within the sector.
|Bob Marshman, Employment, Industrial Relations, Kevin Rudd, privatisation, Serina Russo, Training, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley discusses losing government in 1996 and the importance of acting while in government.
Matt Foley describes the impact of One Nation on the 1998 election and discusses the conduct of One Nation members in Parliament.
|1998 election, Heiner Enquiry, One Nation, Rosa Lee Long|
Matt Foley discusses his appointment as Attorney General and Minister for Justice and the Arts in 1998 with emphasis on the immediate priorities for the portfolios. He describes reforms to the stalking laws, the Criminal Code, the Guardianship and Administration Act and de facto law.
|Attorney General, Basil Stafford, de facto law reform, Guardianship and Administration Act, Justice, Peter Beattie, Public Advocate, Women's Taskforce on the Criminal Code|
Matt Foley talks further about legal reforms to the status of de facto relationships.
|de facto law reform, Gordon Nuttall|
Matt Foley discusses budget allocation for the Arts portfolio.
Matt Foley discusses his return to the Employment, Training and Youth Affairs portfolio following the 2001 election.
|2001 election, Anna Bligh, Employment, Paul Braddy, Training|
Matt Foley describes the led up to the Shepherdson Inquiry.
|Anna Bligh, Bill Gunn, Criminal Justice Commission, Jim Elder, Peter Beattie, Shepherdson Inquiry|
Matt Foley comments on the leadership skills of Peter Beattie.
|leadership, Peter Beattie|
Matt Foley discusses the appointment of women to the Magistrate’s Court and to the bench.
|Executive Council, Magistrates Court, Margaret Wilson, women|
Matt Foley comments on future law reforms he believes are required in Queensland.
|Indigenous issues, law reform, poker machines, Wayne Goss|
Matt Foley comments on his belief that Queensland should have a Bill of Rights and talks about his decision to retire from politics.
|republic, Rod Welford|
Labor politician Matt Foley was the member for Yeerongpilly from 1989 to 2004. During this period he was Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations (1992-95), Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Industrial Relations and the Arts (1995-96), Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and The Arts (1998-2001), Minister for Employment, Training and Youth and The Arts (2001-04).
Matt Foley was born on the 24 January 1951 in Brisbane. After completing his schooling he studied social work and law at the University of Queensland. While on a break from his studies Foley spent some time travelling in the United Kingdom before living for a short period in a Kibbutz in Israel. Returning to Australia he worked as a social worker at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Legal Service (1974-78).
His early interactions with the Bjelke-Petersen government were in protest. In 1975 alongside Wayne Goss and Roisin Hirschfeld he arranged a petition against the Bjelke-Petersen government’s attempt to push an Act through Parliament which would enable bauxite mining in Aurukun.
Foley became a Barrister in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1983. In 1989 he was elected as the Member for Yeerongpilly (formally Yeronga) where he remained until 2004. During his time as Attorney-General he established many reforms to Queensland law, including reforms to the Guardianship and Administration Act, the Criminal Code and the establishment of the Office of the Public Advocate.
As Arts Minister he was an advocate of the role of art in creating communities and when criticised by the One Nation Party for the level of spending on Arts he told the media that ‘racism can’t flourish where the Arts are vibrant’. Foley was Minister for Arts when the Beattie Government launched the Millennium Arts Project in 2000. A major objective of this project was the construction of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane.
Matt Foley retired from politics and returned to law in 2004.
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