Linda Jean Burney is an Australian politician and the first Aboriginal person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament. She is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and has represented the south western Sydney region of Canterbury for the Australian Labor Party since 2003. She was re-elected in the March 2015 election.
Ms Burney is currently Deputy Leader and also Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Shadow Minister for Community and Family Services, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Disability and Shadow Minister for the Hunter.
From 2007 to 2011 she served as a Minister in the Labor government in a range of portfolios, including Fair Trading and Community Services. During 2008 and 2009 Ms Burney served as National President of the Australian Labor Party.
She obtained a Diploma of Teaching and was the first Aboriginal graduate from the then Mitchell College of Advanced Education.
She began her career teaching at a public school in western Sydney in 1979. She has been involved in the New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group since the mid-1980s and has participated in the development and implementation of the first Aboriginal education policy in Australia.
She has held senior positions in the non-government sector, serving on a number of boards including Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and the NSW Board of Studies. Ms Burney was an executive member of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, President of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and is a former Director-General of the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs