Terri with a koala

About Terri M. Butler

After working as a lawyer and a parliamentarian, Terri is now assisting individuals and organisations that are working to make a positive difference.

Terri was a federal MP based in Brisbane for three terms, holding a diverse portfolio of shadow ministerial responsibilities in the Albanese and Shorten Labor Oppositions, including:

  • environment and water, in the Albanese shadow cabinet;
  • employment services, workforce participation, and the future of work;
  • prevention of family violence;
  • youth affairs;
  • higher education; 
  • equality;
  • shadow parliamentary secretary to the Leader (a generalist role).

Prior to taking on executive responsibilities Terri was the deputy chair of the House employment, education and training committee, and served on a number of other committees including the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. The PJCCFS was a statutory committee which, among other responsibilities, oversaw ASIC. 

Before entering public life, Terri established and led a Queensland-based industrial and employment law practice for national law firm Maurice Blackburn, after serving as a partner in Queensland based industrial law firm Hall Payne.

Terri has a Graduate Diploma in Economics from UNE with a GPA of 6.9 and subject prizes in banking & finance, and economic history. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Journalism) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from QUT. She has also undertaken the Melbourne Business School's Leadership Development Program, an executive education course, and the Qld Law Society's practice management course before entering partnership.

Throughout her working life Terri has championed causes including:

  • dignity at work, and fair pay and conditions, as a Labor MP, an industrial lawyer and while working at the Australian Services Union;
  • equity in access to higher education, in parliament and as a student activist;
  • reproductive rights, including as the honorary secretary and a life member of Children by Choice, an all options pregnancy counselling body;
  • women's leadership, including by serving on the board of the YWCA Qld, a company limited by guarantee;
  • marriage equality, including as the seconder of a lower house private members' bill, and as the shadow assistant minister for equality, taking point with the then shadow attorney general on Labor's support for marriage equality laws passed in 2017;
  • support for the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including through convening a 2022 panel with Statement signatory Thomas Mayor;
  • conserving biodiversity and protecting natural and cultural heritage,  and sustainable management of natural resources, including as shadow environment & water minister;
  • nuclear disarmament & peace, including by supporting ICAN's work towards a new treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons and speaking at events in support of that work;
  • addressing economic inequality and supporting the existence of a strong social wage through public services.

Terri has a particular interest in encouraging others to get involved in politics, and standing for parliament. She wrote about the value of participating in her book Labor of Love.

Terri is married to Troy, a barrister. They are raising their two kids in Brisbane. In her downtime, Terri plays the oboe and reads.



Campaigns & issues