ROSE JACKSON

PRESIDENT OF THE EVATT FOUNDATION

'I am a feminist, unionist, Labor member of over 15 years, community activist, daughter, wife and mother. I’m a Labor Member of the NSW Legislative Council. I believe that people of my generation: young women, working parents, people with energy and ideas about the future, should have a seat at the table and a voice in Parliament. My values are a deep and life-long commitment to social justice, equality and democracy. I don’t just talk about these values, I live them.

My parents were lifelong union members – delegates in their workplaces and leaders of industrial campaigns. My father was the lead delegate at SBS when it introduced in-program advertising in 2006, his workplace activism had him marginalised and ultimately terminated. This experience – both his disgraceful treatment by management and the steadfast support from his union MEAA – were hugely formative experiences in my life. My first political action was as a high school student in the late 1990s, participating in walk-outs and protests over the appalling racism of Pauline Hanson. I became a dedicated activist as a student passionate about women’s issues and feminist organising. I was the Women’s Officer of the University of Sydney SRC and led campaigns calling out sexism and sexual harassment on campus – forcing the shut down of the infamous ‘mini-skirt party’ at the university bar. I was an official with the United Workers’ Union (formerly United Voice) for over four years. Working for a union and building power for working people was a privilege and something of which I am immensely proud. I cut my teeth working in sectors such as childcare, aged care and cleaning with low-paid mainly women workers. The work was challenging and precarious, but the resilience of these members and their determination to organise together for a better life was inspiring.

I have two kids – Charlotte and Oscar – who are the light of my life. My husband Sam and I are raising them in North Strathfield. I can’t talk about why I want to serve in NSW Parliament without talking about my kids, because they drive me every day to be active in creating a better world.I want to be a politician who challenges cynicism and apathy. I want to build trust and engagement in our political systems.'

Rose was elected President of the Evatt Foundation in 2019.

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