Standing up for Canberra



Enhancing Online Safety

Labor first put forward its private members' bill on the issue of non-consensual sharing of intimate images or revenge porn in 2015. It's now 2018. It's now three years later, and we're still discussing the form that this legislation should take.

Read more

We are in a Skills Shortage Crisis

Canberra has a serious skills shortage crisis. Under the Abbott-Turnbull government the number of trainees and apprentices in Canberra has plummeted by 49 per cent—a cut in apprenticeships and traineeships of nearly 50 per cent. 

Read more

Hong Kong Business Chamber: Education

I come from a working class matriarchy.


Three generations of women who left school before they were 15. 


Three generations of women who brought up their children on their own.

Read more

Changes to Student HELP Debt

What is it with conservative governments, education and access to opportunity and education for all—no matter what your postcode, no matter what your gender, no matter how much your parents earn, no matter what your race and no matter what your religion is?

What is it with conservative governments?


Read more

Norfolk Island's rebate battle

Last week, on my second visit to Norfolk Island, my final for this year, I met with the Banyan Park Playcentre management committee to discuss the challenges they are facing on the road to a regulated facility, accredited educators and also, most importantly, child-care rebates. 

Read more

The Transformative Powers of a Quality Public Education

My sisters and I are living proof of the transformative powers of a quality public education and the transformative powers of a tertiary education. Like so many Australians, and so many in this chamber, I am the first in my family to go to university. It was thanks to the changes that the Whitlam government introduced in the seventies that I was allowed that transformative opportunity. 

Read more

Cuts will devastate Canberra universities

Just prior to question time I had the opportunity to go to my alma mater, the Australian National University. I was there to take part in the national day of protest that is taking place in every campus right across Australia to protest the attacks that this government has made on the higher education sector.

Read more

Cuts to education will hurt Canberra schools

There are a lot of facts around school funding that are flying around at the moment.

Today, I want to use the opportunity of my 90-second statement to actually deliver the facts. The fact: under Labor's school funding plan, 80 per cent of the extra money went to public schools. That is because public schools teach the vast majority of Australia's poorest kids, Indigenous kids and kids with a disability.


Read more

National Day of Action on Fair Funding for Schools

Today is the National Day of Action on fair funding for schools. As part of that campaign, I want to share extracts from a letter I was copied into last Friday from the ACT's Barnardos Mother of the Year, Selina Walker. The letter was sent to the Minister for Education and Training, Minister Birmingham. She writes:



Read more

Vocational Education and Training

Today I had the great pleasure of joining the Leader of the Opposition at the ACTION Tuggeranong bus depot to discuss Labor's plans for apprentices and building the trade skills of the future. It was the second time that the opposition leader and I had been to the depot. The first was in 2015 with my dear friend and colleague the former shadow minister for vocational education, the member for Cunningham. Back then we discussed how Labor's trade training centres were providing a pathway to apprenticeships.

Read more