Wanted: The female political touch

As an accidental politician, KATY GALLAGHER, BA '91 is championing the cause for women to enter political life.

It was disheartening to see the results of a recent survey by Plan International that showed only one per cent of girls aspire to a career in public office.

While these results came as no great surprise, they are a stark reminder that we all have to do more to encourage young girls and women to what a life in politics can present.

I never consciously set out to be a politician. I graduated from year 12 without a particularly clear sense of future direction.

Luckily I had done well enough in school to get into ANU where I spent three years studying politics and sociology. 

Without really knowing it, my studies at ANU and my early career choices positioned me well for a career as a politician.

University had strengthened my beliefs in social justice, in fairness, and in equality for all citizens.

I spent 10 years in the not-for-profit sector in various roles - working with children, adults with a disability, in advocacy and finally as a union organiser.

The decision to seek pre-selection really came as a consequence of affirmative action in the Australian Labor Party.