Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Concetta Anna Fierravanti-Wells (born 20 May 1960) is an Australian Liberal Party politician who served as Minister for International Development and the Pacific from 2016 to 2018, and has served as Senator for New South Wales since 2005.[1]

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
In office
18 February 2016 (2016-02-18)  21 August 2018 (2018-08-21)
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded bySteven Ciobo
Succeeded byAnne Ruston
Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs
In office
September 2015  18 February 2016 (2016-02-18)
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byCraig Laundy
Senator for New South Wales
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byJohn Tierney
Personal details
Born (1960-05-20) 20 May 1960
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)John Wells
Alma materAustralian National University (B.A, LL.B)

Fierravanti-Wells previously served in the Turnbull Government as Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs between September 2015 and February 2016. Fierravanti-Wells was elected to the Senate at the 2004 federal election.

Background and early career

Fierravanti-Wells was born in Wollongong, New South Wales.[2] Both her parents were Italian immigrants born in Calitri in the Province of Avellino.[3][4] She was educated at the Australian National University. She was a Legal Officer, Australian Government Solicitor, Canberra 1984-86, Legal Officer, then Senior Legal Officer, Australian Government Solicitor, Sydney 1986-90 and Acting Principal Legal Officer, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service 1990. She was a Policy Advisor to Jim Carlton, then Shadow Minister for Policy Co-ordination and Development 1990-1993, and Senior Private Secretary to John Fahey, then Premier of New South Wales, 1993-1994. She was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor in Sydney 1994-2004.[5]

Political career

Fierravanti-Wells has been a member of the Federal Council of the Liberal Party; is an active member of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy; and is on the committee of a new Liberal Party publication, The Conservative.[6] She opposes same-sex marriage and adoption, claiming in a 2012 interview that many LGBT people do not "even intend on staying in a monogamous relationship".[7]

Normally she would have taken her seat on 1 July 2005, however following the resignation of Senator John Tierney in April (his term was due to expire on 30 June), Fierravanti-Wells was appointed to the resulting vacancy, and took her seat on 5 May.

Prior to the 2013 federal election, she was the Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Ageing; and was appointed to the Abbott Ministry as the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Services from September 2013. During the Turnbull cabinet re-shuffle, Fierravanti-Wells was appointed as Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, an outer ministry position.[8]

On 13 February 2016, it was announced that Fierravanti-Wells would be appointed Minister for International Development and the Pacific following a rearrangement in the First Turnbull Ministry.[9] In April 2018, speaking at the Overseas Development Institute in London, Fierravanti-Wells said increasing Australia's foreign aid commitment was opposed by most in the country. “In Australia we had some research done where it showed that about 80% of Australians believe that we should not be spending more on foreign aid or that what we spend is about right.” In 2018, Australia’s foreign aid commitment stood at $3.9bn,[10] its lowest ever level as a proportion of the budget: 0.22% of gross national income.[11]

Fierravanti-Wells is a public opponent of same sex marriage, and was one of twelve senators who voted against what became the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017.[12]

Fierravanti-Wells resigned from the ministry on 21 August 2018, following the Liberal Party leadership spill that day.[13]


  1. "Ministerial Swearing-in Ceremony". Events. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 18 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  4. "Citizenship Register". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  5. Parliament of Australia: Senators and Members: Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
  6. 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells". Retrieved 8 November 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. McIlwain, Kate (21 September 2012). "Gay couples 'not interested in monogamy'". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  8. "Turnbull cabinet reshuffle: who's going where". ABC News. Australia.
  9. Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  10. Hunter, Fergus (11 May 2017). "Julie Bishop says foreign aid will stay in freezer until budget reaches surplus". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  11. Doherty, Ben (17 April 2018). "Australian minister claims foreign aid spending too unpopular to increase". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  12. "Senate passes same-sex marriage bill". News Limited. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  13. Pearson, Andrew (21 August 2018). "Wollongong-based Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells resigns". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Tierney
Senator for New South Wales
Political offices
Preceded by
Steven Ciobo
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
New ministerial post Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Succeeded by
Craig Laundy
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