Nurse. Unionist. Grandma.
Since March 2018 I’ve had the absolute pleasure to represent the people of Cooper as the first women to hold the seat and the first Victorian nurse elected to the Federal Parliament.
On weekends I can be found cheering on the Richmond Tigers and spending time with my family. I have four children, two stepdaughters and six much loved grandchildren.
For my whole working life I’ve fought for the rights of others. I was a nurse for 20 years and worked at the Austin Hospital and in aged care. My time on the wards looking after people has informed my work as Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care and also means that I understand Labor’s reforms to aged care through to first hand experience.
From there, I became Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation. Fighting Jeff Kennett and his pursuit to privatise the healthcare sector is something I’m incredibly proud of today. I was also a founding member of the Climate and Health Alliance.
In 2010 I became the president of the ACTU – the peak body of Australia’s union movement. Fighting for worker and workplace safety was my absolute priority. And one of the things I fought for then, and still continue to fight for now, is paid domestic violence leave.
As a nurse, unionist and now a Member of Parliament, I have fought to save and strengthen Medicare.
I will continue to be a strong voice for social justice, workers’ rights and universal healthcare inside Labor and the Parliament. Strong action on climate change and protecting the environment is one of the defining challenges of our generation, and I was proud to successfully lead the push for Labor to declare a climate emergency. Throughout my career, I’ve been a loud voice about creating a more humane response to refugees, including the crucial medevac legislation.
Representing the people of Cooper is one of the greatest honours of my life – my door is always open and I would love to hear the views and concerns of people in our community.