One year in Parliament
I firmly believe you are never too old to learn new things.
I have tried to stick to this philosophy my whole life, both during my first year in parliament and before, taking every opportunity I can to learn more about our country and how we can improve it.
Given the Albanese Government’s first year has been focused on delivering a better future for Australians with policies like cheaper childcare, energy bill relief and making medicines cheaper, so far, I have found this outlook to be helpful in my role.
Restoring integrity to politics was a key election commitment of the Albanese Government. I was privileged to lead the parliamentary committee into the new National-Anti Corruption Commission (NACC), playing my role in bringing all sides of the parliament together to agree to establish a powerful, independent integrity commission for Australia. The new NACC started work on July 1.
As the government’s representative on the Council of the National Library of Australia, I was lucky enough to take part in establishing Australia’s first National Cultural Policy in a decade, including securing ongoing funding for Trove. This is because promoting Australian art and culture is something the Albanese Government takes seriously.
I was also proud to be part of the parliamentary inquiry into the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. I learned that the Voice is a modest and practical way to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, and the referendum later this year to change the Constitution to enshrine a Voice is an opportunity we should grab with both hands.
The Senate isn’t all about Parliament House.
Recently, I have been travelling Australia inquiring into regional banking services, hearing stories of banks abandoning our regional communities through branch closures.
In the last year I have also crisscrossed Victoria – from Wodonga and Kilsyth to Catani and Tatura – visiting schools, factories, farms, and festivals, meeting the people who make up our great state and listening to what is important to them.
I love that every day in this job is different. Each day I learn new things and meet new people and get to contribute to making Australia a better place. It is truly a privilege to be your representative in the Australian Senate.
If you want to learn more about my role and how parliament works my office is happy to provide a free information booklet on government, the Senate and democracy in Australia. Just give us a call on 03 9639 2798. •