I am a socialist activist, unionist, university worker and parent. I am best known as co-founder of the Safe Schools Coalition, an initiative to promote gender and sexual diversity inclusion in schools. As a result of this work, I was attacked by the Murdoch media as part of a sustained conservative backlash against Safe Schools, becoming a personal target of the far right. These experiences have made me even more determined to fight homophobia, transphobia and all forms of oppression and discrimination. At a time when the far right is growing in confidence, Victorian Socialists offer a much needed political alternative based on the values of solidarity, equality, decency and social justice.
My early political education took place in Thatcher’s Britain, where my parents were both government school teachers and unionists. I first became active as a high-school student organising opposition to the introduction of university tuition fees, and have continued to campaign politically since then. I have lived and worked in Melbourne since moving to Australia in 2008, and was proud to be part of the successful mass protest campaign for equal marriage rights in 2017. In 2020 I played an active role rebuilding rank-and-file trade unionism in the university sector as part of NTEU Fightback, rallying members to reject the union’s sell-out deal with management to cut hundreds of jobs and slash wages.
Working at Deakin University as a teacher educator, I have first-hand experience of the crisis in education and the concerns young people have for their future. There is so much more that could be done to support the people in our community who need it the most. We live in a rich state, in a rich country – we can and should stand up for the Victorian Socialists’ message of putting people before profit.
Right now, it’s more urgent than ever to organise a real alternative, to campaign for a shake-up of politics as we know it, to get active, and to vote #1 Victorian Socialists this November. You can count on me to fight for social and economic justice.