Ben grew up at Barham on the Murray River, where his parents were teachers. At school he was a keen debater, and won a scholarship to complete his Higher School Certificate in Sydney. Prior to joining The Nationals as State Director, he held the role of Communications Director for UNICEF Australia.
Serving as the Party’s State Director from 2008 to 2015, he presided over one of the most successful periods in our history and helped usher a new generation into our ranks.
In that role of State Director Ben oversaw all aspects of the Party’s procedure including election campaigning, strategic direction, membership, fundraising, and publications. His work took him across the state and introduced him to many hundreds of grassroots members.
In 2010 he instigated and ran the first community preselection in Australian political history – in the state seat of Tamworth. Over 4,000 people voted in the primary and the winner, Kevin Anderson, went on to win the seat back for the National Party.
Ben was elected to the Legislative Council in 2015 as the lead candidate on The Nationals’ ticket. In January 2017, Ben was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW. In May 2019, Ben was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts.
In December 2021 Ben was appointed Minister Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Regional Youth.
Ben is a passionate advocate for non-metropolitan communities and his skills serve the people of regional NSW well as their representative in the Legislative Council.