First elected in November 2007, Scott trained as a graphic designer and worked in small studios for eight years as a designer, illustrator and web developer. Inspired by the powerful leadership of Aboriginal Traditional Owners in their opposition to the Jabiluka uranium mine, Scott joined Australia’s tenacious anti-nuclear movement and found his political home in the Australian Greens. He worked four years in state politics for Robin Chapple MLC and two years for Western Australian Senator Rachel Siewert before throwing his hat over the wall in 2007 to win a place as the fifth Greens Senator to represent Western Australia.
As part of the economic stimulus package Scott helped secure $60 million for heritage conservation, $40 million for cycling infrastructure, and ensured that all new social housing properties were built to six star standards. In the 2013 election, Scott introduced a 9-part national housing plan designed to tackle homelessness, rental affordability and renter’s rights. In 2014, Scott's work on his WA 2.0 project won the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) National Planning Champion award, which recognises innovation and excellence in Australia’s urban landscape.
As communications spokesperson, Scott became a leading voice against the Federal Government's attempt to introduce a mandatory net filter, followed by a six year campaign against mandatory data retention. He won amendments to better secure public ownership of the National Broadband Network and has been a strong advocate for a diverse, accessible communications sector that doesn’t involve real-time mass surveillance of users. As Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues, Scott led opposition in Canberra against attempts to impose a radioactive waste dump on an unwilling community at Muckaty in the Northern Territory, and more recent efforts to target communities across the country for a dump. He has spent nearly two decades working to phase out uranium mining, work given greater urgency following a visit to areas evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
In March 2014 Scott gave a speech welcoming then Prime Minister Tony Abbott to WA for the unprecedented Senate by-election, which struck a nerve amongst many people repelled by the hard-line approach of the Abbott Government. In 2015 Scott was elected deputy leader of the Australian Greens, alongside Larissa Waters. After being re-elected at the 2016 election, Scott resigned from the Senate in 2017, sparking the Section 44 Constitutional Crisis.
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Bob Brown was elected to the Senate in 1996, after 10 years as an MHA in Tasmania's state parliament. Bob was re-elected to the Senate in 2001. Following the election of 4 Greens senators in 2004, Bob became parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens in 2005. The 2007 election saw Bob re-elected to the Senate for a third term along with two new Greens Senators in WA and SA. Bob received the highest personal Senate vote in Tasmania and was elected with more than a quota in his own right.
In 2010 Bob led the Australian Greens to a historic result with more than 1.6 million Australians voting for the Greens and the election of 9 Senators and 1 House of Representatives member. As a result of this election the Greens gained balance of power in the Senate and signed an agreement with the ALP which allowed Prime Minister Julia Gillard to form government. A key part of this agreement was the Greens requirement that a price on carbon be introduced, which led to legislation being passed at the end of 2011.
Bob stepped down as Leader of the Australian Greens, and then retired from the Senate in June 2012.
Christine is one of Australia's most experienced and respected environmental and community activists, with a career spanning 30 years.
After leading a highly successful alliance of farmers, fishers, scientists, environmentalists and concerned community members from Wesley Vale to prevent the construction of a polluting pulp mill, Christine was elected to the Tasmanian parliament in 1989, and became the first woman to lead a political party in Tasmania in 1993. She was elected to the Senate in 2004, elected Deputy Leader of the Greens in 2008 and Leader in April 2012.
After taking over from Bob Brown in 2012, Christine lead the Australian Greens through the reminder of the minority parliament, continuing to achieve wins including the significant progression of Denticare.
In her ten years in the Australian Senate, Christine has further developed her national and international reputation for expertise and passion in policy to address global warming. As lead negotiator for the Greens on climate policy, Christine achieved through the multi-party climate panel an emissions trading scheme, the biodiversity fund and $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Christine Milne stepped down from the Leadership of the Australian Greens on May 6, 2015.
Robert Simms was endorsed by the South Australian Parliament in September 2015 as a Senator for South Australia and is the first out gay man to represent SA in the Federal Parliament. He was the Australian Greens' spokesperson for Higher Education, Sexuality and Marriage Equality, and Water and the Murray Darling Basin.
Robert's belief in the power of politics to change lives for the better first inspired him to become politically active at University. As State Education Officer for the National Union of Students, he coordinated the state-wide response to the Howard's Government's deregulation of university fees. Later, as Flinders' University's Student Council President, he led the fight against further attacks to student services and representation on his campus. In 2014 he was elected to Adelaide City Councillor and was a strong voice for progressive values, promoting: greener streets, better cycling infrastructure, ethical investment and improved access for people with disabilities.
Robert's term finished following the 2016 election.
Senator Penny Wright was elected to the Senate at the 2010 Federal election and took her seat on July 1, 2011 before stepping down in 2015.
During her time in the Senate, Penny took on the role as the Greens' spokesperson for legal affairs, schools and education, mental health and veterans' affairs. She is passionate about creating a fair and inclusive Australia where all people can participate fully in their community and realise their potential. Penny also chaired the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee and a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
In her former roles as a solicitor, university lecturer and deputy president of the Guardianship Board, Penny focused on areas like tenancy law, mental health, social security, refugees and violence against women. These experiences all helped prepare her for her work in parliament. As a lawyer, she often worked in the 'little end' of town, with those who live on the margins of society - people on low incomes, people with mental illnesses and those who have been dealt a tough hand by life.
Penny has always been active in promoting and protecting public institutions for the public good. She has worked and advocated for public education - as a parent and Governing Council chair, public transport (as an environmental and social justice issue) and public broadcasting - successfully heading up Friends of the ABC in SA from 1996 to 1999 to fight cuts to the ABC budget at the time which threatened the loss of Radio National, Classic FM and Triple J.
Kerry was elected as an Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales in 2001, serving until June 2008. On behalf of the Greens, Kerry held the shadow portfolios of Attorney-General, education, refugees, women, young people, aged care and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Kerry served on the Senate Community Affairs committee and the Senate Select Committee on Administration of Indigenous Affairs.
Kerry commanded the respect of her fellow senators for her conscientious hard work and good humour. She was a tireless advocate for refugees and against mandatory detention, the forced deportation of asylum seekers and the so-called Pacific solution, which marks a shameful episode in Australia's history.
Kerry, along with Bob Brown, made international news in 2003 when they made a stand in Parliament during a speech by US President George W Bush, opposing the war in Iraq and the detention of David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib. Kerry has been a strong voice for public education and a fierce opponent of voluntary student unionism. She campaigned for justice in East Timor and West Papua. Kerry has made a fabulous contribution to the Australian Senate. This contribution will be remembered with great pride by Greens all over Australia.
Jo entered the Senate on 1 July 1985 after election as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party, sitting as an independent and then as a member of the Greens Western Australia from 1 July 1990 until her resignation in January 1992. Jo is a long term peace and anti nuclear advocate and continued her activism in Parliament. She marched on the "Joint Facilities" base Pine Gap near Alice Springs. She was arrested. She also marched on the American Clark Air Base in The Philippines in 1989.
Senator Jo Vallentine not only ‘took heart’, but also had a ‘feisty turn of phrase and willingness to challenge cant and custom’. She grew up in Beverley, in Western Australia’s conservative Wheatbelt. She was a member of the Quakers and involved in the opposition to the war in Vietnam. During her time in Parliament Jo continued her activism, for example marching on the Pine Gap Joint Facilities base near Alice Springs where she was arrested. After she resigned from Parliament Jo has maintained an active engagement in community issues.
In an historical survey of the state in November 2006, the conservative West Australian newspaper named Jo Vallentine as one of the state's 100 most influential people. She has recently been one of a number of women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Australian Government's intentions to further mine uranium, and possibly build 25 nuclear power stations around Australia's cities in 2006 has stepped up Vallentine's role as a spokesperson.
Christabel replaced Jo Vallentine in 1992. During her time in the Senate she held a challenging role in the balance of power. She refused deals which traded issues or values for unrelated outcomes.
In 1995, she proposed an Export Control Amendment Bill that would ban woodchip exports from old-growth forests. She delayed the Mabo legislation by demanding the inclusion of mineral rights in the compensation package for native title holders. In 1993 Christabel was joined in the Senate by Dee Margetts. Christabel and Dee opposed the two stages of Telstra's privatisation and proposed significant amendments to minimise the impact on rural communities.
Both Greens (WA) Senators worked actively with Indigenous groups on Native Title and other issues during their time in the Senate. They delayed the Mabo legislation by demanding the inclusion of mineral rights in the compensation package for native title holders. Christabel was a member of several parliamentary delegations: to the Republic of Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia in 1992; to the Chemical Weapons Convention in Paris in 1993; and to the 41st CPA Conference in Colombo, and bilateral visit to Sri Lanka, in 1995. She was defeated at the 1996 general election. After leaving politics, Christabel was Clinical Director of SafeCare, formerly the Sexual Assault in Families Program, from 1997 to 2008.
Dee was elected to the Senate in 1993, holding balance of power with Christabel Chamarette until 1996. Dee continued the work of Jo Vallentine by providing strong representation on peace and nuclear disarmament issues in parliament. She provided consistent, solid and dependable representation on social justice, health, education, the workplace and issues of regional importance such as East Timor and Bougainville. Dee provided a voice of good sense on budget and economic policy. Her electorate office undertook wide-ranging support of community groups and individuals.
Dee opposed the original legislation on National Competition Policy in 1995. Both Christabel and Dee opposed the two stages of Telstra's privatisation and proposed significant amendments to minimise the impact on rural communities. Dee was a member of two Senate Committees inquiring into the privatisation of Telstra and wrote minority reports outlining concerns about the sale. Both Greens (WA) Senators worked actively with Indigenous groups on Native Title and other issues during their time in the Senate. She was a member of an official delegation to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana in July 1994.
Dee lost her Senate seat at the 1998 federal election. In 2001 Dee was elected to the West Australian Legislative Council for the Agricultural region. While in the Council she was a member of the Standing Committee on Public Administration and Finance. She lost her seat at the 2005 state election.
Michael was elected as the Member for Cunningham following a by-election in 2002, serving from 19 October 2002 to 8 October 2004. He was born in Bulli, NSW in 1956.
Michael's election win was driven by a strong community campaign opposing development at Sandon Point, which was a threat to Aboriginal cultural heritage, wetlands and natural bushland.
During his time in Parliament, Michael condemned the war in Iraq, supporting a move towards free tertiary education, opposed privitisation of public assets and worked to support self-determination for Tibet. Michael served on the House of Respresentatives Select Committee investigating bushfires in Australia.