Daniel grew up in a small business family in regional Victoria, and completed secondary school in Wangaratta. He moved to Melbourne in 1990 to attend Monash University. While studying, he drove trucks and worked in a bottle shop, and he met his wife Catherine on campus.
Daniel joined the Labor Party in 1993. He worked for his local Member of Parliament. In 2000, he became a campaign director for the Victorian Labor Party, and was elected as its Assistant State Secretary.
Daniel entered the State Parliament in 2002 as the Member for Mulgrave, representing families in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs. Daniel used his inaugural speech to describe the real difference governments can make in the lives of these families by improving the vital services they need.
As a Member of Parliament, Daniel secured funding to rebuild local schools and helped establish the Mulgrave Community Centre. He was appointed to the Cabinet in 2006, as Minister for Consumer Affairs and Gaming, and he became Minister for Health in 2007.
As Health Minister, Daniel devised the landmark Victorian Cancer Action Plan and funded the state’s first Comprehensive Cancer Centre. A photograph of the new Royal Children’s Hospital still hangs on his wall – a $1 billion world class facility and a proud achievement of his time in office.
Daniel was elected the Leader of the Victorian Labor Party by his colleagues in December 2010.
Today, Daniel is busy outlining his vision for Victoria and campaigning against the Government’s cuts to health, education and jobs.
While a family man first, he is also interested in history and biography, and is a self-described golf tragic.
Daniel and Catherine have been married for 12 years. They live in Mulgrave with their three young children, Noah, Grace and Joseph.