Penny Wong was born in Malaysia and moved to Australia when she was eight.
Before entering Parliament, she was a barrister and solicitor in Adelaide, and worked as an adviser to the Carr Government in New South Wales. She was elected as a Labor Senator for South Australia in November 2001 and began her term in July 2002.
In Opposition, Penny held the portfolios of Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility and Public Administration and Accountability.
In December 2007 Penny was appointed to the Federal Cabinet in the Rudd Labor Government as the Minister for Climate Change and Water, and in March 2010 the Prime Minister added the Energy Efficiency portfolio to her responsibilities.
In September 2010 Penny was appointed as Minister for Finance and Deregulation in the Gillard Labor Government.
After the 2013 election, Penny was appointed as Opposition Leader in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment.