Life Before Leading The Opposition: Anthony Albanese’s Rise To The Top

All eyes are on the Labor leader.

Anthony Albanese is in the process of climbing the biggest political mountain of his career as he guns for the majority vote in the federal election, but tackling the high stakes isn’t anything new to him. 

The leader of the Labor party has worked in politics for more than two decades, slowly climbing the ladder to the point where, at age 59, he now stands a chance at becoming Australia’s 31st prime minister. 

Albanese’s leadership, political career and election promises have never been more important as he reaches crunch time on the campaign trail—so if you’re doing your research ahead of May 21st’s vote, you may also be wondering what Albanese’s life is like behind the camera—and how he rose to prominence in politics in the first place. 

Here, everything to know about Albanese’s personal life and his career. 


Anthony Albanese’s partner

Anthony Albanese has been in a relationship with Jodie Haydon since 2020. 

The pair recently did their first ever public facing photoshoot with Australian Women’s Weekly in February where they revealed their first encounter had been at an event in Melbourne where Albanese was speaking to an audience. 

After asking if there were any South Sydney rugby league supporters in the audience, Haydon yelled out, “Up the Rabbitohs!”

Not long after this, Albanese and Haydon, 43, met for a drink in Sydney’s Newtown—the rest, as they say, was history. 

Jodie is a strategic partnership manager for an industry superannuation fund, and going by that first interview with The Weekly, the pair (who live separately in Marrickville and Stanmore) continue to go from strength to strength. 

A year before meeting Haydon, Albanese separated from his wife of 19 years, Carmel Tebbutt. A politician herself, Tebbutt was a former Deputy Premier of New South Wales, and the pair share a 21-year-old son, Nathan. 

(Credit: Getty)

Albanese’s career

Anthony Albanese was raised by his mother in public housing, who gave him three great rules to live by: Catholicism, the South Sydney Football Club and the Labor party. 

After finishing school. Albanese worked for Commonwealth Bank for two years. He then began studying economics at University of Sydney, which was where he became involved in politics—he was elected in the university’s Students Representative Council. 

After graduating, he became a research officer for Tom Uren who was Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services at the time. Uren, who later became the deputy leader of the Labor party, was a longtime mentor of Albanese’s. 

In 1996, Albanese entered into politics by winning the seat of Grayndler. His key areas of focus included social wage and childcare. 

(Credit: Getty)

Over the next 10 years, Albanese slowly rose the ranks, his notable campaigns included advocating for the rights of the Indigenous community in the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy, as well as campaigning against nuclear power for Australia. He also became known as a supporter and advocate for LGBT rights, and actively campaigned for same sex marriage before it was legalised in 2017.

When Labor won the election in 2007, Albanese became the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, with his work on Melbourne’s Regional Rail Link and the Hunter Expressway widely commended. In June 2013, he became the deputy Prime Minister, a role he held until Labor was ousted by the Liberals in September that same year. 

In 2019, Bill Shorten, the existing leader of Labor stepped down—it was Albanese’s time to lead. He stepped up to the mantle as leader of the opposition, and now, he’s well and truly on the campaign trail in the hopes of becoming Australia’s next prime minister. 

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