Josh Burns is Labor’s Federal Member for Macnamara in the inner south-eastern and bayside suburbs of Melbourne.
First elected in 2019, he serves in key parliamentary roles including as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
These positions reflect his commitment to ensuring Australia pursues a proactive and inclusive foreign policy, acting as a leader and partner in our region and beyond, and to the development and promotion of human rights. He recognises the importance of Australia being a nation in good standing internationally.
Josh’s values are grounded in the experience of his family. As the grandson of migrants who left Europe and settled in Melbourne in search of a safe place to raise their families, he knows the importance of upholding a multicultural and multifaith Australia – and the profound role education can play in changing lives.
He has been a strong advocate for progressive change – addressing housing affordability, tackling the homelessness crisis and ensuring Australia takes meaningful action on climate change – and is deeply committed to reconciliation with our First Australians in line with the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He is acutely aware of the need for local action to reflect the best of Australia’s aspirations as a country.
Before representing his community in the Australian Parliament, he previously worked as a teacher’s aide and a factory hand, and served as an adviser in state and federal governments, including to the Premier of Victoria.
The electorate of Macnamara has existed since Federation in 1901, although it was called Melbourne Ports until 2019. It takes in South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, Southbank, St Kilda, Ripponlea, Balaclava, Elwood and Caulfield, and parts of Glen Huntly, South Yarra and Elsternwick.
Macnamara is a very diverse electorate, including people from a wide range of national, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Macnamara is home to the nation’s first Pride Centre and a significant LGBTIQA+ presence, the largest Jewish community of any Victorian electorate, long-established Greek and Russian communities, and new, fast-growing Chinese and Indian communities.
Macnamara is the cultural capital of Melbourne, with a cluster of major institutions in Southbank and along St Kilda Rd, including the National Gallery and the Victorian Arts Centre. St Kilda has its own cultural focus, including at historic venues such as the Espy, the Palais and Luna Park.
A high proportion of Macnamara locals work in the arts, media and entertainment industries. Other major economic activities in Macnamara include tourism, hospitality, education and hi-tech. The area also boasts major sporting venues such as the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Albert Park Grand Prix and Caulfield Racecourse.
Macnamara is home to one of the highest proportions of university graduates of any electorate, supported by excellent local schools and the Caulfield campus of Monash University. The world-class healthcare at Alfred Hospital consistently ranks as one of Australia’s best hospitals.
Macnamara encompasses all of the City of Port Phillip and parts of the City of Glen Eira and the City of Melbourne. It takes in all of the state electorate of Albert Park and parts of the seats of Brighton, Caulfield and Prahran.
About Dame Jean Macnamara
Our electorate was renamed in 2019 in honour of Dame Jean Macnamara (1899-1968), a medical researcher who worked extensively with children suffering from poliomyelitis, training doctors and physiotherapists in the management of the disease. She was also a pioneer in the usage of myxomatosis to combat wild rabbit plagues. Jean Macnamara was a pioneer for medical services for women and children across the country.