Linda Karen Reynolds CSC is an Australian politician and member of the Liberal Party. She was born on May 16, 1965, in Perth, Australia, and grew up in Gooseberry Hill. Reynolds attended St Brigid’s College before obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University. She also holds graduate certificates in training and development, defence management, and strategic studies.
Reynolds enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve in 1984, serving for nearly 30 years, during which she held various positions, including commanding officer of the 5th Combat Service Support Battalion, director of the Accountability Model Implementation Project, and director of the Army Strategic Reform Program. She was adjutant general of the Army Reserve from 2012 to 2013. She was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2011 Australia Day Honours for her “outstanding achievement as the Director of Army Strategic Reform Program coordination”. In 2012, she became the first woman in the Australian Army Reserve to be promoted to a star rank.
Before entering politics, Reynolds was active in the Liberal Party, serving as a campaign manager for the divisions of Pearce and Hasluck, and as a deputy federal director from 2006 to 2008. She also worked as an electorate officer and ministerial advisor, notably as chief of staff and senior adviser to justice minister Chris Ellison from 2001 to 2003. She had mentored political leaders from Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Reynolds was elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election, representing Western Australia. However, a fresh half-Senate election was ordered after the High Court determined that there were missing ballot papers. Reynolds was re-elected in the supplementary election and her Senate term commenced on July 1, 2014. She was subsequently re-elected to the Senate at the 2016 and 2019 federal elections, leading the Liberal Party’s ticket in the latter. Prior to her elevation to the ministry in 2018, she chaired several Senate committees.
Reynolds has held several ministerial positions in the Morrison government, including Assistant Minister for Home Affairs (2018-2019), Minister for Defence Industry (2019), Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery (2019), Minister for Defence (2019-2021), and Minister for Government Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (2021-2022). During the 2018 Liberal Party of Australia leadership spills, Reynolds reportedly supported the incumbent prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in the first ballot before switching her support to Scott Morrison in the second ballot.
Reynolds is a member of the Moderate/Modern Liberal faction of the Liberal Party. She was raised with “strong Christian values” and her maternal grandparents were English immigrants. Her grandfather, Alfred Reynolds, served in the Parliament of Western Australia as a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP).
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