Federal Liberal backbencher Andrew Laming hit the front pages recently with this memorable contribution to the RU486 debate.

His prodigious medical performance prompted a Crikey reader to check out the 39-year-old Laming’s chock-a-block CV.
“From what I can see,” wrote the reader, “he is either a genius, an
over-stater of his academic achievement, or an out-and-out fraud. And
whatever the outcome he seems to have been a very busy boy…”

Indeed. A quick look at Laming’s CV reveals considerable energy. As Misha Schubert noted in The Age, Dr
Laming has had “stints as a landmine clearer, gymnasium manager,
Aboriginal health researcher, World Bank consultant, travel writer,
management consultant and ophthalmologist. He has worked and lived in
Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan … London and the US.” He’s also spent
time as a ministerial adviser – to former health minister Kay Patterson
– a rigger and a health planning specialist in East Timor.

Along
the way, Laming’s racked up an enviable list of qualifications:
Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of
Queensland, a specialisation in opthamology, a Masters of Public Policy
from Northern Territory University and a Masters in Public Affairs at
Harvard where he established The Kennedy School Review.

“Every
part of my occupational history is correct,” Laming told Crikey. So
what’s the secret to his success? “As any part-time student would know,
you can work and study at the same time.” The Member for Bowman is coy
about his ultimate political aspirations, but says he’s “never had so
much fun” even if it “sounds a bit saccharine.”

Laming’s friend and Harvard classmate, Andrew Leigh, backs up his CV on the blog, Imagining Australia: “It’s all true. The bloke is the Zelig of Australian politics.”

Peter Fray

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