Meryl Swanson was born and raised in Heddon Greta near Kurri Kurri NSW. After graduating from the local high school, Meryl went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts/Communications at the University of Newcastle. She worked as a radio announcer prior to entering politics, but her career history includes business manager for Hunter Region Organisation of Councils, executive director of Hunter Tourism and small business owner.
In July 2016, Ms Swanson was elected to the House of Representatives as the first female Member for Paterson. In her first term in Parliament, Ms Swanson was a member of several joint committees, Labor Caucus committees and parliamentary friendship groups.
In 2019 Ms Swanson was re-elected into the House of Representatives. She was soon after appointed as Chair of Labor’s Regional Jobs Taskforce which is to complete a thorough investigation into unemployment rates across regional and rural Australia. On 11 August 2020 Ms Swanson was appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence.
Meryl is a passionate advocate for the residents of Williamtown affected by PFAS contamination. Meryl has served as the Deputy Chair of the PFAS Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade. The Committee released its first report on the remediation in and around Defence bases in November 2018 and continues its inquiry.
In the 46th Parliament, Meryl Swanson undertakes the following roles:
- Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence
- Member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade (JSCFADT)
- Deputy Chair of the JSCFADT Defence Sub-Committee
- Deputy Chair of the JSCFADT PFAS Sub-Committee
- Member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science & Resources
- Chair of Labor's Regional Jobs Taskforce
- Member of Labor’s Indo-Pacific Trade Taskforce
- Member of the Labor’s Country Caucus
- Member of Labor’s Caucus Committee into Economic, Productivity, Industry & Innovation
- Member of Labor’s Caucus Committee into International and Legal
- Co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Vision 2020 Australia
- Member of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Seafood
- Member of the Parliamentary Friends of Asbestos-Related Diseases
- Member of the Parliamentary Friends of Infrastructure
- Member of the Parliamentary Friends of Coal Exports
- Member of the Parliamentary Friends of Golf
Meryl Swanson now lives on 50 acres in the rural area of Buchanan with her husband, daughters and their animals. She is a keen golfer and gardener, and through her children’s participation, is involved in horse riding and equestrian sports.
Meryl is the patron and sponsor of countless community-based organisations including the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs, Marine Rescue NSW - Port Stephens Unit, BHP Rifle Club, Raymond Terrace Senior Citizens, Maitland High School P&C, Maitland Musical Society Inc., Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Kurri Kurri RSL Sub Branch and Maitland Community Men's Shed.
How Meryl can help
Meryl and her team can help with matters relating to Federal Government departments including: Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, Defence and Veterans Affairs, Communications, Taxation, Immigration, Education and Training.
Congratulatory messages can be organised for people celebrating a birthday of 90 or more years, or a wedding anniversary of 50 or more years.
Flags - Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island - can be requested by schools, community organisations and individuals.
During weeks when Parliament is not sitting, Meryl may be available to attend and speak at local events and meetings.
How to contact Meryl
You can make contact with Meryl and her staff or make an appointment: