EMILY's List Australia endorsed candidates for the NSW state election on the 23rd of March 2019:
Elly Howse for Balmain
Elly Howse is the Labor candidate for Balmain in the 2019 NSW state election. Elly grew up in the inner city and lives locally. She knows first-hand the pressures facing Balmain's growing community – from schools and childcare to health services, public transport, local libraries and public spaces. As a public health researcher and active union member at the University of Sydney, Elly works and campaigns every day for a fairer, healthier and more equal society.
" When more women are involved as Labor members, our politics becomes better. We become a more inclusive, progressive movement, focused on addressing the policy issues that matter most for the women in our communities, like abortion law reform, domestic violence leave and support for childcare. Having more women run for office demonstrates what a fair and just society should look like – one in which women are valued for their intellectual contributions, not their physical appearance or their deference to men."
Charishma Kaliyanda for Holsworthy
Charishma Kaliyanda is the Labor candidate for Holsworthy in the 2019 NSW state election. She grew up, lives and works locally. As a Councillor on Liverpool City Council and a long time advocate for our community, Charishma has seen first-hand the impact of the Liberals cuts on Holsworthy. Charishma works in health and speaks up about mental health issues and the need for accessible, affordable and appropriate reproductive health services.
"As a youth support worker who has always lived and worked locally I know Labor will invest in our schools and hospitals. I'll put our community first."
Darriea Turley for Barwon
Darriea Turley is the Labor candidate for for Barwon in the 2019 NSW state election. She was born and raised in Western NSW, and lives in Broken Hill City with her family. Darriea has worked in regional health and the community sector for the past thirty years. She is currently a community engagement worker with the Far West Local Health District. Darriea was elected Mayor of Broken Hill by city residents in 2016. As part of her work and life she has spent decades travelling throughout Western New South Wales, seeing first-hand the inequity between health services in the city and in the regions. Darriea is against coal seam gas fracking on our prime agricultural land, she supports a full judicial inquiry into alleged water theft, and is against prioritising $2 Billion for Sydney’s stadiums ahead of investment in Western NSW jobs, schools and hospitals.
"I’m determined to wage a grassroots campaign that touches every community. It’s the only way we’ll get the honest representation we deserve."
Sabrin Farooqui for the Upper House
Sabrin Farooqui is a Labor candidate for the Upper House in the 2019 NSW state election. Born and brought up in Bangladesh, Sabrin studied at the University of Dhaka before coming to Sydney as an international student in 2004. She completed a Masters degree at the University of New South Wales and PhD at the University of Sydney in the area of Education. Sabrin worked as an academic in University of Sydney before moving on to the Australian Public Service including the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Fair Work Commission.
Sabrin also volunteered extensively in addition to her work and raising a family. Sabrin has been involved in refugee settlement programs, working to empower vulnerable women, and in her Bangladeshi cultural community promoting young and potential artists. For her social works she was awarded "Local Woman of the Year" in 2018 for the Bankstown electorate in Sydney, Australia.
"Fair opportunity is everyone's right. We'll have a stronger and fairer policy discourse if gender equity and diversity is reflected in the parliament."
Marjorie O'Neill for Coogee
Marjorie O'Neill is the Labor candidate for Coogee in the 2019 NSW state election. Marjorie is a fifth generation Eastern Suburbs local. She works as a lecturer and holds a PhD in management economics. Marjorie is serving her community as a surf lifesaver at Clovelly Surf Club and as a volunteer women’s sport coach at UNSW. She is passionate about making Coogee a better place to live, work and raise a family. Marjorie is already standing up for our area as a Waverley Councillor and as a founding member of Save Bronte. She is currently on the front line campaigning to save Waverley Bowling Club, Bondi Pavillion and local bus routes. Marjorie knows firsthand what it takes to protect our area’s liveability and precious green spaces.
"I’m not the kind of person who woke up and said ‘I’m going to be a politician’ but activism is something my parents valued highly. Working hard and fighting against injustice.”
Leanne Atkinson for Bega
Leanne Atkinson is the Labor candidate for Bega in the 2019 NSW state election. Leanne is a local businesswoman and mother of five. She is a former Board member of Regional Development Australia and former Shire Councillor. Leanne knows what it takes to make Bega and the Far South Coast an even better place to live, work and raise a family. In her 25 years working in tourism and regional development, Leanne has brought people together in the community by working with local business, community organisations and government on a range of projects and creating pathways for young people into work and further study. She has seen the current government take our area for granted and will fight to restore and improve vital local health services cut by the Liberal National Government, boost funding for TAFE and local schools to make sure kids gain the skills they need for full-time employment, and ease the cost of living by putting downward pressure on electricity and housing prices.
"It is time that people who work in areas such as family support, disability, aged care and respite were paid appropriately for what they do. Many of these people are women and many of them have families to raise. They deserve better and it is time we close the gender pay gap."
Katie Gompertz for Hornsby
Katie Gompertz is the Labor candidate for Hornsby in the 2019 NSW state election. Katie is a proud feminist voice and writer of the South Sydney Herald's Domestic Violence column. She believes that one person can make a difference. Three years ago she was concerned at the severe lack of media attention on violence against women and approached the SSH to be a volunteer journalist. The column focuses on issues such as women's rights, financial abuse, the way society and the media treat women among many others. Katie has released a debut novel None So Blind which explores the ramifications of a hard right conversative government in Australia.
She has three young children and she feels they deserve to be left with a better world than we currently offer them. She is proudly pro choice and feels passionately about de-stigmatising women's rights, abortion rights, mental health and violence against women and feels the best way to do that is to engage in meaningful debate and by putting up good policy at every level of government. She supports quotas across the spectrum from business/corporate to government and within the NFP sector: what society either intentionally or unintentionally excludes we must intentionally and purposefully include. As part of her work with Labor for the Arts she engages across the arts sector for better art policy and with a special interest in education and diversity.
"In order to tackle violence against women we have to stop rewarding men for surface behaviour. Like having morning teas or men only panels only International Women’s Day to talk about how to stop violence. Men shouldn’t be rewarded for a) turning up and b) just doing the right thing. We need more than tokenism and piecemeal help."
Karen McKeown for Penrith
Karen McKeown is the Labor candidate for Penrith in the 2019 NSW state election. Karen has been a member of the ALP and her local Emu Plains Branch for over 20 years. During that time she has held many positions within the Party, including Penrith SEC Secretary, FEC delegate and Conference delegate. She serves on the Administrative Committee and Women's Forum. Karen was elected as a Labor Councillor to Penrith Council in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and served as Deputy Mayor in 2006-07 and Mayor in 2015-2016. She has been active locally on many community organisations and committees including President of Australian Local Government Women's Association NSW, Board of State Records, Board member on Nepean/Blue Mountains Health, and a Director of Penrith Performing & Visual Arts.
Karen's commitment to preserving the environment saw her appointed in 2005 as a Sustainability Champion representing Council and the City on environmental topics. She is also passionate about mentoring women and has participated on the task force to end homelessness and chaired a working party to provide a voice for our growing multicultural community.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Western Sydney University, majoring in Management with double sub-majors in Law and Employee Relations. She also holds a Labour Law certificate from Sydney University, and the Executive Certificate for Elected Members from UTS.
"We all have a role to play in making our society better and safer for women, and that includes making our workplaces safe."
Amanda Keeling for Ku-ring-gai
Amanda Keeling is the Labor candidate for Ku-ring-gai in the 2019 NSW state election. Amanda grew up in Ku-ring-gai and now lives there with her family. She owes much of her feminism and 'can do' spirit to her mother who raised her to believe that women can do anything. Amanda has worked in the advocacy and rights space for approximately 10 years previously working in the LGBTIQ rights space and now working to advance women's rights. Amanda's career and volunteer work have given her an excellent background in advocacy, campaigning for change, working with community, and an understanding of the workings of policy and government. Amanda is aware of issues that face everyday people in Ku-ring-gai, as well as State-wide concerns. She vows to be strong, progressive voice in parliament.
"I believe that representation matters. My aim is to raise the voices of a more diverse cross-section of people living in my electorate. When women are involved in drafting legislation and formulating policy, we see better outcomes for society as a whole. I want to be part of a Parliament that speaks to the values of our diverse demographic."
Jo Haylen for Summer Hill
Jo Haylen is the Labor candidate for Summer Hill in the 2019 NSW state election. Jo has been the Member for Summer Hill since 2015 and is committed to being a principled and progressive voice in the NSW Parliament. She is a proud feminist, fighting for social justice and equal opportunity for women. She is passionate about ending sexual assault on our university campuses, fighting for affordable and quality child-care, and advancing women’s reproductive rights.
“I have and will always fight for a women’s right to choose. It is unacceptable that NSW is the only state or territory where abortion remains in the crimes act. I was proud of the leadership shown by the women of Queensland Labor on this long overdue reform. Only a NSW Labor government will decriminalise abortion in NSW. It’s time to strike this archaic law off the books.”
Trish Doyle for the Blue Mountains
Trish Doyle is the Labor candidate for the Blue Mountains in the 2019 NSW state election. Trish grew up in country NSW, trained as a school teacher, then worked in schools throughout Sydney's west. Always an activist, Trish moved onto working in women's services and advocated strongly for changes to domestic violence and sexual assault laws. She was the founding Co-ordinator of the NSW Women’s Information & Referral Service.
She travelled and taught overseas in Ireland, then had two children; sons Patrick and Tom. In 1999 she joined the staff of Tanya Plibersek, Federal Member for Sydney. Trish moved to the Blue Mountains as a sole parent of her two boys in 2004. She taught locally until 2007 when she joined the staff of local State Member Phil Koperberg, where she continued her community advocacy role on issues such as social equity, affordable housing & homelessness, environment protection, and education.
Between 2011 and 2015, Trish worked as a casual teacher and community advocate across a range of issues. She is a Member of the NSW Teachers Federation and the Australian Services Union. Trish has been involved in many local community organisations such as the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, the Blue Mountains Unions Council and the Winmalee High P&C. Since her election in 2015, Trish has campaigned for improved public transport services, the protection of our World Heritage listed local environment, and better public health and education services and infrastructure.
“I am a woman who grew up working class, in poverty and has seen some horrors in life: domestic violence, a mental health system in crisis and the difficulty of sole parenting whilst contending with a stereotyped denigration of ‘single mums’, as if it’s something we wanted! My strong belief is that our parliaments need to better reflect our communities so they can be truly representative. That’s why I stand for election: as a woman who’s done it tough, as a proud Emily’s List member, and particularly in the name of equity and diversity.”
Jodie Harrison for Charlestown
Jodie Harrison is the Labor candidate for Charlestown in the 2019 NSW state election. Up until her election as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City Council, Jodie worked as an organiser for United Voice on the Big Steps in Early Childhood Education and Care campaign to have early childhood educators receive proper recognition and wages for the very important work they do. She was elected as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City Council in September 2012. Due to legislative requirements, she had to retire from the Mayoral position in September 2016.
Jodie was elected as the State Member for Charlestown in a by-election held in October 2014 and re-elected in March 2015. In April 2015, she was appointed as the Shadow Minister for the Hunter, Women, Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Early Childhood Education, portfolios she held until early 2016. Jodie is a member of the Joint Committee on Children and Young People.
“Every person - no matter how they identify - should be striving for equity, for without it, we are not the society we can be.”
Penny Sharpe for the Upper House
Penny Sharpe is a Labor candidate for the Upper House in the 2019 state election. Penny has been a Member of the NSW Legislative Council since October 2005. She is currently the Deputy Leader, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage, and Shadow Minister for Trade. Previously Penny has been the Shadow Minister for Planning, Shadow Minister for Transport and Shadow Minister for Tourism & Major Events. In the previous Labor Government she was Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Roads and Parliamentary Secretary for Mining and Energy.
From 2004-2008, Penny was a councillor on Marrickville Council. She has been on the management committees of several childcare centres and a neighbourhood centre. In 2000 Penny co-edited a book called Party Girls - Labor Women Now. In the Labor Party she has held a variety of positions in local branches; been a delegate to state and national conferences, convened women's networks and coordinated policy development. She is a member of Rainbow Labor, the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), EMILY's List, Labor for Refugees, and Labor for Innovation.
She lives with her partner, three children and a variety of pets in Sydney's inner west. She has also been a foster carer for young homeless women. In her spare time she reads crime fiction, cooks for friends and family, swims in the ocean, walks in the forests and rides her bike.
“I became an MP because I want to make lives better for women and girls. Making decision about how, when and if women will have children is fundamental to being able to live our lives. Reproductive rights has always been and will always be a priority for me.”
Julia Finn for Granville
Julia Finn is the Labor candidate for Granville. Julia was elected to the NSW Parliament in March 2015 when she defeated Liberal Tony Issa. She is the first ever woman to represent the electorate of Granville and in March 2016 she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Labor's Shadow Cabinet. Previously, Julia served on Parramatta City Council from 1999 until it was abolished by the NSW Government in 2016. She was only the second woman to serve as Lord Mayor of Parramatta and the first and only female Labor Lord Mayor of Parramatta. As a Councillor she fought to retain important local services such as Council-run childcare centres. Julia is a strong supporter of increasing Labor women's representation at all levels of Government.
"The communities in Western Sydney I represent are growing quickly and families deserve childcare that is accessible and affordable."
Jenny Aitchison for Maitland
Jenny Aitchison is the Labor candidate for Maitland in the 2019 state election. Jenny has been the Member for Maitland since 2015, and is currently the Shadow Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Acting Shadow Minister for Women. She convenes Parliament’s Country Labor, Chairs the NSW branch of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and is Deputy Chair of the National Steering Committee.
Jenny is a long-time champion of equality, rejecting racism, discrimination and abuse. In her public service career Jenny worked for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Social Justice Coordination Section, where she assisted in drafting and consulting on the Department’s Agenda for Women. In 1997 she coordinated a meeting of church and community leaders to affirm their commitment to multiculturalism, and established the ACT Labor Social Justice Committee. During her business career Jenny received numerous awards at the local, state and national level and co-founded Emily’s List in its first year of establishment.
“I’m always inspired by the incredible women in our communities who make immense and valuable contributions each and every day.”
Sophie Cotsis for Canterbury
Sophie Cotsis is the Labor candidate for Canterbury in the 2019 NSW State Election. Sophie was born at Canterbury Hospital and attended Canterbury South Public, Kingsgrove Public and Kingsgrove High Schools. She graduated from Macquarie University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts and the University of Technology, Sydney in 2001 with a Master of Legal Studies. Sophie has a range of employment experience in both the public and private sectors, including working at Sydney Airport while a student at university and as an adviser in Australia’s infrastructure sector.
While at university, Sophie held an active role in the Macquarie University Greek Association and the establishment of the Modern Greek Department and Greek studies. She has been an active part of the many diverse multicultural communities that are found throughout NSW for many years and has a proud history of being involved in many community campaigns and causes.
Sophie first entered NSW Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council in September 2010, and has been a member of the Shadow Cabinet since 2011. She was elected as the Member for Canterbury in 2016 and is the first Greek-Australian woman to sit in both the NSW Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly. Sophie is currently the NSW Shadow Minister for Women, Disability Services, Multiculturalism and Ageing. She has played key roles in the establishment of the Inquiry into Affordable, Social and Public Housing and the Inquiry into Elder Abuse.
"Only Labor is in a position to form an alternative Government that will ensure we move forward on core issues affecting women and NSW Labor has a comprehensive policy for women. This must include the empowerment of women, both societal and economic, from a diverse range of backgrounds with the aim of achieving a truly equitable society."
Ms Cotsis has asked that no donations be made to her campaign by supporters, but instead money be donated to female ALP candidates in marginal seats (see above for candidates to donate to).
Debra O'Brien for Northern Tablelands
Debra O’Brien is the Country Labor candidate for Northern Tablelands in the 2019 NSW state election. Debra was born and raised in Moree and has lived in New England for more than 40 years. As a local mother and former High School teacher, Debra can’t believe that the Nationals would spend $2.2 billion on Sydney Stadiums instead of Schools and Hospitals. Recently elected to Armidale Regional Council, Debra O’Brien understands her local community and the pressures many local families face. Debra has the experience and skills we need to make sure this region gets its fair share.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and fighting for those less likely to be heard. When there are a lot of strong women some of the blokes have a problem with that, but we’re here to stay and they need to get used to it.”
Jodi McKay for Strathfield
Jodi McKay is the current member and Labor candidate for Strathfield in the 2019 NSW state election. Jodi was the was the Member for Newcastle who narrowly lost her seat in 2011 when her opponents sought to secretly influence the outcome of the election. Jodi refused political bribes from developers. Her refusal to play their game came at a huge price for Jodi personally and professionally. Jodi thought she had left public life behind until the sensational ICAC inquiry. She realised that the only way to achieve change in politics is to stand up and be counted. This passion for real change has convinced her to stand again for her community as the Labor Party candidate for Strathfield.
The Strathfield area is Jodi’s home. After leaving Newcastle, she settled in the Inner West where her husband has lived for 16 years. During that time she worked for a local not-for-profit health service. Jodi is now the Shadow Minister for Transport and the Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.
Kate Washington for Port Stephens
Kate Washington is the Labor candidate for Port Stephens in the 2019 NSW state election. Kate is a health lawyer and mother of three children. She is running for parliament because she believes everyone deserves a fair go and that the Liberal State Government is attacking the most marginalised members of our community. She has a track record for standing up for the most vulnerable members of our community such as people living with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and low-income families. Kate is determined to see her community represented by someone they can trust, who genuinely cares.
"Access to high quality early education is critical to the wellbeing of our kids and the economic wellbeing of our nation."
...with more to be announced soon