The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Matt Thistlethwaite


Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Media contacts

Ben Leeson: 0404 648 275


Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister profile

The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP is the Labor Member for Kingsford Smith. 

He is the Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affair, and Assistant Minister for the Republic.

Matt was a Senator for New South Wales in the Australian Senate from 2011 to 2013 during which time he served as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport. 

Matt grew up in Maroubra and completed high school at Marist Brothers Pagewood.

He is an active community volunteer and passionate advocate for advancing the interests of vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Matt has extensive experience representing workers as a lawyer and trade union official in a range of industries. He is a former General Secretary of NSW Labor and was an Assistant Secretary at Unions NSW, as well as a former Vice President of the Australian Workers Union.  Matt has worked as a Senior Consultant with law firm King and Wood Mallesons.

Matt is a former director of the State Transit Authority of NSW. He has been an active surf lifesaver for over 38 years and served four years as President of Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club. He was also the President of Maroubra PCYC and received a distinguished service award from PCYC NSW.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Economics from UNSW, Diploma of Law, and a Diploma of Modern Languages in Chinese. He has a HSK 3 Chinese language qualification.

Matt lives in Matraville with his wife Rachel and their four daughters.


  • Information and communications technology
  • Defence Data strategy
  • Security and vetting
  • Estate and infrastructure management and delivery
  • Defence's response to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substance matters (PFAS)
  • Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program
  • Defence’s contribution to the Maritime Strategic Fleet
  • Assist with minor acquisition and sustainment projects where requested
  • Assist with specific Integrated Investment Program projects where requested
  • Assist with the Defence Cooperation Program outside of the Pacific where requested
  • Defence Housing Australia