Barnaby is one of a family of eight from a cattle and sheep business in southern New England. After graduating with a degree in accountancy, Barnaby spent three years with a chartered accountancy firm then a short period with an American multinational in cost accounting before completing five years with a major regional bank.
With a choice between a senior role in banking or starting his own business Barnaby chose the latter and owned and operated Barnaby Joyce and Co for ten years. His role in the National Party had concurrently taken him to Acting Treasurer of the Queensland Nationals. In 2004 he was elected to head of the National Senate team and won back the previously lost Senate seat.
Barnaby believed in a more classic role of the Senate as an independent house of review than the executive. His so-called “crossing the floor’ made him both hero and villain, but overwhelmingly respected by his constituency as a conviction politician.
In the Senate he was a voting member of the Senate Economics Committee and was author of “The Birdsville Amendment” to protect small business. Barnaby is unashamedly pro small business and is derided by many because of his pro small business views.
Barnaby has become one of the most quoted politicians in Australia. In 2009 he was elected to the role of Nationals Leader in the Senate.
He has led the Coalition’s concerns over the government’s handling of the Murray-Darling Basin plan, in particular highlighting the failure of the government to fully consider the economic and social impact on the 2.1 million people who live in the Basin.
Barnaby is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, former serving member of the Australian Defense Force Reserves and long term member of St Vincent De Paul. He represented central North NSW in Rugby, has three times been the subject for the Archibald Prize and most importantly is married to Natalie with four daughters, no son and is a great shot.
In April 2013 Joyce was preselected by the National Party to contest the House of Representatives seat of New England in New South Wales at the September 2013 election. He resigned from the Senate on 8 August 2013. He easily won New England for the Nationals and is now on a margin of 21.1% and was then elected deputy leader of the Nationals.