I have been an ALP member for nearly 38 years and a member of the NSW Left for 37 years. I have served both the Left and the Party in a number of capacities, including as a Member of the House of Representatives and as a local Councillor.
I was first drawn to politics during the rise of Gough Whitlam in the 1970’s, with his progressive agenda of equality and reform. I eventually joined the ALP in 1979 after becoming an active trade unionist in the Federal public sector.
I became a union delegate in the ACOA in 1978. I was extremely active at the workplace level from then until my election to Parliament in 1993.
I am proud of my record as a rank and file unionist. In my key delegate role, I frequently assisted members with industrial or personal grievance issues. I regularly made a difference to the working lives of members I represented.
This experience was valuable for me in my later roles as a Councillor and MP representing constituents. It will continue to form the basis of my approach as a Labor Senator, should I have the privilege of being elected.
Public office and Party service
I was elected to Campbelltown Council in 1987, and again in 1991. I was also elected to the NSW Local Government Association Executive in 1991, and won a rank and file preselection for the marginal Federal seat of Macarthur, which I won in the famous 1993 election.
In 2011, after a long period of unemployment, I returned to active roles in the Party. I had just started my own tutoring business. I became FEC President and an Annual Conference Delegate. I have attended Administrative Committee meetings since 2014, and am a member of the NSW Left Executive. I am now the Secretary of Hornsby Branch and a Left candidate for the Administrative Committee at this month’s Annual Conference.