About Phil Donato

Philip Donato has served as a member of the New South Wales Parliament since 2016, having first secured the seat of Orange at the November 2016 by-election. To win the seat he broke the National Party hold, which had lasted for nearly 70 years. Phil was convincingly re-elected at the 2019 election and after running as an independent for the first time he won the March 2023 election with a 6.7% swing in his favour.

As an independent Phil enjoys a good relationship with both sides of parliament but ultimately his goal is to ensure the communities of the Orange electorate are well represented.

Prior to pursuing politics, Phil served in the NSW police force for 22 years. His career in the police force started in 1995 working around South-West Sydney and the Illawarra. In 1997 Phil was seconded to Operation Puccini to control the gang and heroin trade in Cabramatta following the political assassination of local MP John Newman.

In 2001 Phil joined to the Police Prosecutions branch and in 2005 he transferred to Orange. Phil’s journey has been shaped by opportunities and a dedication to service. After a 22-year career in the Force, he embraced a new chapter when invited to run for the seat of Orange.

Embracing this challenge, Phil saw it as a chance to offer better representation for regional communities. His diverse background equips him with a broad knowledge base and a deep understanding of the people he serves.

Phil Donato's 5 sons

A firm believer in the power of community and individual responsibility, Phil has always been committed to helping others. This desire to contribute to his community unexpectedly steered him toward a political path. His experience has honed his ability to look beyond conflicts, engage in meaningful debates, and foster collaborative engagement. Politics, for Phil, is not just about discussing what matters; it’s about being actively involved in shaping it.

A real family man, Phil and his wife Nadia have five adult sons and enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation, sport, and good food. Phil’s family migrated from Italy nearly a century ago and he grew up in Western Sydney where his parents were market gardeners and ran Donato’s Fruit Market. Phil credits his love of community and food to his Italian heritage.