Karen brings her experience in engineering, industrial relations and running her own business to her roles as a Cabinet Minister and Federal Member for McPherson.
Her commitment to serving the local community led to her decision to stand as the LNP candidate for McPherson and she was elected at the 2010 election. Karen was re-elected with an increased majority in 2013.
Karen has a history of being prepared to fight for what she believes in. As one of only two female graduates in Mechanical Engineering at QUT in 1983, and later working at power stations and petrochemical sites in regional Queensland and interstate, Karen knows that it takes hard work and determination to succeed in sometimes difficult circumstances.
Having run her own Human Resources and Industrial Relations Consultancy, Karen understands the pressures of owning and running a small business. She is a strong advocate for local businesses as the powerhouse of our local economy.
Karen brings her trademark drive and determination to her job representing Southern Gold Coast residents in the Federal Parliament. Following the 2013 election, she took on a leadership position as Chair of the House of Representatives Joint Standing Committee on Public Works – one of the oldest investigatory Committees of the Parliament, and a “watchdog” on Government building and works programs.
She served in this capacity until December 2014, when she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science. Karen then served as Assistant Minister for Science from September 2015 - July 2016 in the Turnbull Ministry. Following the 2016 election, she was appointed Assistant Minister for Vocational Education & Skills. In August 2018, Karen was sworn in as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in the Morrison Government Cabinet.
A long-term resident of the Southern Gold Coast, Karen understands the challenges and pressures of raising a family. She is married with three children attending school and University.