Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann was born in the German-speaking part of Belgium and decided to migrate to Australia permanently, after first visiting Perth in 1994, attracted by the great lifestyle and opportunities on offer in Western Australia. He has been the Australian Minister for Finance since 18 September 2013, having represented the State of Western Australia in the Senate since June 2007. Since 20 December 2017, he has been the Leader of the Government in the Senate, having previously served as the Deputy Leader since 20 September 2015.
Appointed by the Australian Prime Minister and the German Chancellor, Mathias has served as the Co-Chair of the Australia Germany Advisory Group, along with Prof Dr Maria Böhmer, the Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Office on behalf of Germany. The work of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group has led to a broader, deeper and stronger bilateral relationship between Australia and Germany. Significant achievements include the signing of a new more contemporary bilateral double taxation agreement, closer strategic relations through a biennial 2+2 dialogue between Defence and Foreign Ministers and the establishment of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce to enhance collaboration between Australian and German industry in advanced manufacturing. Holding a major Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for German, Australian and Asia-Pacific business and political leaders in November 2017 was also one of the outcomes of the Advisory Group work.
Before migrating to Perth, Mathias graduated in law at the Flemish university of Louvain (Leuven). Between 2003 and 2007 Mathias worked for major Western Australian health insurer HBF in a range of senior management roles, including as General Manager HealthGuard and as General Manager of HBF Health Insurance.