Senator Helen Coonan was a Liberal member of the Australian Senate representing New South Wales from July 1996 to August 2011.
Helen Coonan attended a Catholic boarding school before gaining a law degree and working as a barrister and solicitor. She was elected to the federal Senate as a Liberal senator for New South Wales in 1996. She was Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer from 2001 to 2004 and Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts from 2004 to 2007. She was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate in 2006 and 2007.
In opposition, Helen Coonan was, in turn, Shadow Minister for Human Services, Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation. She retired from federal politics in August 2011.