Steve Bracks

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Stephen Philip Bracks AC (born 15 October 1954) is a former Australian politician and the 44th Premier of Victoria. He first won the electoral district of Williamstown in 1994 for the Australian Labor Party, and was party leader and Premier from 1999 to 2007.

Bracks led Labor in Victoria to minority government at the 1999 election, defeating the incumbent Jeff Kennett Liberal/National coalition government. Labor was returned with a majority government after a landslide win at the 2002 election. Labor was elected for a third term at the 2006 election with a substantial but reduced majority. Treasurer John Brumby became Labor leader and Premier in 2007 when Bracks retired from politics.

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Early life

Steve Bracks was born in Ballarat, where his family owns a fashion business. He is a Lebanese Australian; his paternal grandfather, whose family name was Barakat, came to Australia as a child from Zahlé in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon in the 1890s.[2]

He was educated at St Patrick's College and Ballarat College of Advanced Education (now the University of Ballarat), where he graduated in business studies and education. He became a keen follower of Australian rules football, supporting the Geelong Football Club.

Before politics

From 1976 to 1981 Bracks was a school commerce teacher. During the 1980s he worked in local government in Ballarat and then as Executive Director of the Ballarat Education Centre. While in these positions he twice (1985 and 1988) contested the seat of Ballarat North in the Victorian Legislative Assembly for the Australian Labor Party.[3]

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