Tony was born in Collie and moved to Armadale when he was nine years of age. His mum (Mimma) was born in Roelands and raised in Yarloop and his dad (Andrea) emigrated from Italy as a 21 year old in the early 1950s. Tony has one older brother (Robert) and two older sisters (Jenny and Josie).
In Primary School Tony attended St Brigid’s Convent and Kingsley Primary School in Armadale.
Tony graduated from Kelmscott Senior High School in 1978 and entered the University of Western Australia to study for a Physical Education Degree. He has completed further studies at UWA, Australian National University, Oxford University, and Yale University, obtaining a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Laws, Masters of Industrial Relations and a Doctorate in Law.
Tony has worked as a high school teacher, lawyer, AFL player agent, and legal academic.
On 2 October 2010, Tony was elected as the Member for Armadale in the Parliament of Western Australia.
Tony has authored a number of WA Labor discussion papers in the area of education and domestic violence and drafted a number of private members bills.
He is Chairman of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee, and while in opposition, he was Deputy Chair of the Community Development & Justice Standing Committee.
Tony has written books, articles and other publications on the stolen generations, British child migrants, human rights, disability discrimination, sports law, and the Mickelberg saga. His biography of Sir Ronald Wilson, A Matter of Conscience, won the 2007 Premier’s Book Award. His latest book A Stolen Life – The Bruce Trevorrow case – was published in July 2019.
Tony is married to Mandy and they are the parents of three children, Alkira, Paris, and Tennessee. The family dog is called Sophia.
Tony is a passionate supporter of South Fremantle, Fremantle Dockers, and Chelsea Football Club.