Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith


I am presently a self-employed consultant, investor and company director with an interest in international trade and investment, defence and space industries, entrepreneurship and science and technology linked to artificial intelligence, cyber and big data.

Appointed as Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence Industries, and Veterans’ Affairs in May 2014 and as Minister for Small Business, Space Industries and Health Industries in the Weatherill Government 2014/18. Represented the seat of Waite for 21 years as a Liberal and as an Independent. Served as Minister for Tourism and Innovation in the Kerin Government 2001/02 and as Leader of the Opposition and as Shadow Minister in a wide range of portfolios including Treasury.

I am a graduate of the Royal Military College and completed a Bachelor and Master of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Adelaide winning the Baron Partner’s Prize in Strategic Management.

Before entering Parliament, Martin spent 24 years in the Army, serving in the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), commanding the 1st Commando Regiment, and as commanding officer of the Australian multi-national Peacekeepers (MFO) in Egypt. After leaving the Army, he built up a property development and private child care centre business that employed 125 people across two states.

South Australian Parliament

  • 2016- 2018 Minister for Small Business, Health Industries and Space Industries, Weatherill Government. Responsible for International Students and State Sponsored Immigration.
  • 2014-2018 Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence Industries and Veterans’ Affairs.
  • 2013 Shadow Minister for Economic & Regional Development, Manufacturing, Industry & Trade, Defence Industries, Economic Development and Mineral Resources and Energy.
  • 2011 Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Mental Health & Substance Abuse.
  • 2010 Shadow Minister for Industry and Trade, Science & Information Economies, Defence Industries.
  • 2009 Shadow Minister for Economic Development, Industry and Trade, Defence Industry Development, Science and Information Economy, Substance Abuse – Liberal Opposition.
  • 2007-2009 Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister Multicultural Affairs, Shadow Minister for Economic Development, Social Inclusion, Infrastructure; Multicultural Affairs; Sustainability and Climate Change.
  • 2006 Shadow Minister for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure, Multicultural Affairs & Federal/State Relations – Liberal Opposition.
  • 2005 Shadow Minister for Economic Development & Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for the Arts, Science and Information Economy, Shadow Minister for Small Business, Shadow Minister for Veterans (resigned 14th October 2005).
  • 2004 Shadow Minister for Economic Development, Science & Information Economy, Small Business and the Arts – Liberal Opposition.
  • 2003 Shadow Minister for Innovation & Information Economy, Tourism and the Arts – Liberal Opposition.
  • 2001/2002 Minister for Tourism and Innovation – Kerin Liberal Government.
  • 2001 Cabinet Secretary – Olsen Liberal Government.
  • 1997-2001 Deputy Government Whip, Member Economic and Finance Committee, Member Industry Development Committee.

Business Proprietor 1989 – 2000

  • Before entering Parliament in October 1997, I was an entrepreneur/ investor and proprietor of a group of companies engaged in commercial and residential property investment and the construction and operation of private child care centres and kindergartens in two states. Based in the electorate of Waite this business at its peak in 1996 employed 120 young Australians.

Hon Martin Hamilton-SmithSenior Officer in the Australian Defence Force 1972- 1994

  • Graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon 1975.
  • Served in the Infantry 6th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment,
  • Overseas service in Malaysia, Great Britain, Thailand and the Middle East.
  • Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) 1978-82. Parachute Instructor, Troop Commander and Squadron Operations Officer.
  • Commander of Australia’s first counter terrorist force in the SAS in 1980 preceded by attachment to 22 SAS Hereford, UK in 1979.
  • Command and headquarters staff appointments in Canberra and Sydney.
  • Commanding Officer of the 1st Commando Regiment of 540 soldiers based in Sydney 1991/92.
  • Peace keeping command as the senior Australian and Commander of the 1st Australian Contingent to the 11 nation, Multinational Force and Observers MFO 1993/94. Assistant Chief of Staff of the 3000-man force. This force kept the peace between Israel and Egypt from Gaza to the Gulf of Aquaba and the Suez Canal. Duties involved representation at an international and national level and close liaison with our Ambassadors in Cairo, Rome and Tel Aviv.
  • Completed full time service in 1994 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Defence Analyst 1996-97

  • From 1996 until entering Parliament I was engaged in work with the print and television media as a Defence Analyst.
  • Master of Business Administration MBA – University of Adelaide Graduate School of Management.
  • Bachelor of Arts – University of NSW at the faculty of the Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT.
  • Master of Arts – University of NSW, Sydney, by course work and thesis. History with a focus on Australia’s relationships with South East Asia in particular, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Graduate Diploma in Management Studies – Command and General Staff College, Fort Queenscliff Victoria.

Public and Professional Activities

  • Elected as president of a peak State Industry Association, the Child Care Centres Association of SA Private and Professional. Represented the industry in the Industrial Commission in Union Award claims and participation in a range of government advisory committees and Reference Groups.
  • Elected as National Secretary of the peak Industry National Body the Australian Confederation of Child Care (ACCC), from 1994 to 1996. Served as an Executive Officer as well as editor of the national industry magazine “The ACCC Journal”. Responsibilities included written and personal representations to Federal and State Governments on a range of issues on behalf of a major employer association with over 60,000 workers.
  • Involved in supporting Scouts SA