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Stephen Smith was sworn in as Minister for Defence on 14 September 2010. Prior to that Mr Smith was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 28 June 2010 and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 3 December 2007.

Mr Smith was born in Narrogin, Western Australia and spent his early years in Narrogin and Southern Cross. He received his secondary school education at Christian Brothers High School Highgate in Perth.

Mr Smith is a Barrister and Solicitor by profession. He completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Australia. Mr Smith practised as a Barrister and Solicitor in Perth, then completed a Master of Laws at London University, and subsequently lectured and tutored in Law in London.

From 1983 to 1987 Mr Smith was Principal Private Secretary to the Attorney-General of Western Australia. From 1987 to 1990 he was the State Secretary of the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party.

During 1991 and 1992, Mr Smith was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Australia and Senior Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, Paul Keating.

Mr Smith has been the Federal Member for Perth since March 1993.

Prior to his appointment as Foreign Minister, from 1996 until 2007 Mr Smith held a range of Shadow Ministerial positions including Shadow Minister for Trade, Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Shadow Minister for Communications, Shadow Minister for Health, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations and Shadow Minister for Education and Training.

Mr Smith and his wife Jane live in the electorate of Perth and have two teenage children, a son Hugo and a daughter Madeleine.

Mr Smith enjoys watching cricket and hockey.