Penny Wong Parents: Meet Jane Chapman, Francis Wong
Penelope Ying-Yen Wong born 5 November 1968 is an Australian politician and diplomat serving as the current Minister for Foreign Affairs and leader of the government in the Senate since 2022.
She is a member of the Australian Labor Party ALP and has been a Senator for South Australia since 2002.
Wong previously served in various portfolios within the governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard from 2007 until 2013.
Wong has been described by her biographer as “principled, intellectual, private, restrained and sane”.
In 2008, she became the first Asian-born member of an Australian Cabinet.
She was also the first female openly-LGBTI Australian federal parliamentarian, and was an instrumental figure in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia in 2017, reversing her previous endorsement of Labor Party policy that had opposed it.
Meet Jane Chapman, Francis Wong
Wong was born on 5 November 1968 in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, which had become part of the Federation of Malaysia five years earlier.
Her parents were Jane Chapman, an English Australian whose forebears first reached South Australia on Cygnet in 1836, and Francis Wong, a Malaysian Chinese man of Hakka origin who lived in Sandakan during the Japanese occupation of British Borneo.
Penny Wong’s parents had met in the early 1960s, when Francis Wong was studying architecture at the University of Adelaide under the Colombo Plan.
Wong grew up speaking dialects of Malay Bahasa Melayu, Chinese likely Hakka Chinese, and English.
At five years old, she began attending Kinabalu International School.
After her parents separated, she moved to Adelaide, South Australia, at the age of eight with her mother and younger brother.