Evans was born in Cuckfield, England. He was educated at the University of Western Australia, where he graduated in Arts and was President of the University Labor Club. Evans was an industrial officer with the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union during 1982–87 and State Secretary of the Fire Brigade Union of Western Australia during 1987–90. He was Western Australian State Secretary of the Labor Party during 1991–93.
Evans was elected to the Senate at the 1993 election and was re-elected in 1998, 2004 and 2010.
He was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry October 1998 until December 2007 when Labor won the election. In that period he held various Shadow Ministries including Shadow Minister for Family Services and the Aged (October 2008 – December 2001); Defence (November 2001 to August 2004); Reconciliation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (December 2002 to February 2003); Defence Procurement, Science and Personnel (August 2004 – Ocxtober 2004); Social Security (October 2004 – June 2005); Indigenous Affairs (June 2005 – December 2006); Family and Community Services (June 2005 – December 2006) and National Development, Resources and Energy (December 2006 to December... Read More