Celebrity Families

Tanya Plibersek famously chose family over career, and we adore her for it

Meet Tanya Pilbersek's family

By Rebel Wylie
Until recently, Tanya Plibersek was widely considered to be a future leader of the Labor Party, as her role as Deputy Leader of the Opposition saw her at the pointy-end of political sparring during the 2019 election.
However, when Bill Shorten stepped down from the role following the party's loss at the polls, Plibersek famously declined to run for the leadership role, prioritising her family instead.
"I am very grateful for the support I have received from my colleagues, from party members and others, urging me to run for the Labor leadership," the mum-of-three said in a statement.
"But now is not my time.
"At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership."
Plibersek shares children, Anna, 17, Joseph, 14, and Louis, 8 with husband, Michael Coutts-Trotter. The family are proud Sydneysiders.
In fact, Plibersek grew up in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney. The daughter of migrants from Slovenia, 49-year-old Plibersek speaks often of how grateful she is that her family moved to Australia a decision which afforded her so many great opportunities.
And it seems politics was one such opportunity Plibersek was keen to take advantage of from an early age, joining the Labor Party at just 15 years old.
Tanya Plibersek shares children, Anna, Joseph and Louis with husband, Michael Coutts-Trotter. Instagram/TanyaPlibersek

Tanya Plibersek's husband's drug past

Right from their very first date back in 1991 Michael Coutts-Trotter confessed his dark past.
Plibersek was told that her date had served almost three years of a nine-year prison sentence on a drugs charge. Coutts-Trotter openly and honestly told his date that he'd done time in maximum-security jails like Long Bay, Bathurst and Parramatta before ending up in Silverwater and work release.
Impressed that he was "so honest about it and so disappointed in his life" Plibersek has said that she never feared that he might revert to his old ways, and nine years later the couple were wed.

In Parliament in 2015, Plibersek spoke of her senior NSW public servant husband's past in a heartfelt plea, opposing capital punishment for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle heroin from Bali in 2005.
"In 1988, my husband left prison after being charged and convicted of a similar crime to these young men," Plibersek said.
"I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of in Australia where that crime was committed, where he was coming back to Australia. I think about - I didn't know him at the time, this is 30 years ago - what would the world have missed out on?" Plibersek said.
"They would have missed out on the three beautiful children we have had together. They would have missed out on a man who spent the rest of his life making amends for the crime that he committed."
Tanya Plibersek famously declined to run for the leadership role, prioritising her family instead. Instagram/TanyaPlibersek

The tragic murder of Tanya Plibersek's brother

In 1997, Plibersek's family were left heartbroken at the horrific news that her brother, Phillip had lost his life.
Phillip, was murdered in Port Moresby. He had been stabbed to death in his fourth-floor apartment as he fought to defend his wife from an intruder.
"It was Phillip who first said to me that I was smart, and that came with a responsibility to do something useful," Plibersek told a local publication.
Just 12 months after her brother was murdered, Plibersek was elected to Parliament.
WATCH: Tanya Plibersek loves embarrassing her kids in the car. Continues after video ...

Tanya Plibersek's healthy mix of motherhood and politics

A quick scroll through Tanya Plibersek's social media accounts shows a woman equally dedicated to her family and her job. Images of slime creation at home with little Louis sit alongside photos of the beloved pollie hard at work in role as the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Shadow Minister for Women and Federal Member for Sydney.
Perhaps the most notorious mix of motherhood and politics came in 2010 when little Louis was just 15 days old
It was a fragile, minority government at the time, meaning Plibersek's vote held a lot of weight. Little Louis and his needs could make the difference between legislation getting passed or rejected.
At the time the Opposition granted her a "pair", allowing an absent MP's vote to be neutralised by sidelining a politician from the other side.
In fact it was thanks to the family-friendly facilities at Parliament house, that Plibersek was able to breastfeed her three children for their first twelve months.
While grateful for the inclusive workplace that has allowed her to flourish in both roles, Plibersek has confessed, "Like all parents, it's a bit of a juggle."