A letter from Jenny McAllister

From Jenny McAllister

To All ALP Members

At this year’s National Conference, members will face significant choices about the future of our Party.

We can allow Labor’s membership to continue to decline, and accept our transformation into a parliamentary party dominated by a professional political leadership.

Or we can act to revitalise ourselves; to grow our party through adopting reforms to strengthen democracy, renew our values, and enhance member participation.

I am standing again for National President because I believe strongly that our future lies in a rebuilding ourselves, not just as a party, but as a movement for justice and equality. Labor should have the courage to pursue its convictions in government, backed by a strong progressive party to advocate for our cause on the ground.

As Labor’s current National President, I have argued strongly for a serious response to the Faulkner-Bracks- Carr Review, drawing on the following principles:

  • A party true to its social-democratic values
  • A large and democratic party
  • An electorally successful party built on members not money
  • A party that campaigns in the community
  • A party that embraces new ideas

We can’t afford to ignore this agenda. In meetings across the country rank and file members tell me of their pride in our achievements in government, but their frustration that their own role in Labor’s story is withering away.

As National President I seek to form strong partnerships with the groups and organisations from which our party draws strength. Our historical relationship with the union movement should be a source of pride, not embarrassment. Organisations such as LEAN, which I helped found in 2003, Rainbow Labor and Labor for Refugees give practical effect to Labor’s ideals and should be given support and encouragement I’ve worked hard since commencing my term in July as National President to be a genuine voice for members’ interests. After our National Conference in December, the serious task of implementing reform will begin. I want to be your voice in that process, and I ask for your support in the ballot for National President.

Yours Sincerely
Jenny McAllister
PS You might like to follow me on Twitter? @jennymcallister
Jenny McAllister
Candidate for ALP National President 2011
PO Box 3038
Redfern, NSW, 2013
jennymcallister@bigpond.com

BIOGRAPHY

Jenny McAllister is Labor’s current National President, having commenced her term at the end of July 2011. As the National Conference is being held early, her term is a short one and will expire after four months in December 2011.

Jenny joined the Labor Party in Queensland in 1992 and has been an active participant in Labor politics ever since.

She is passionate about creating opportunities for community participation in politics:

  • In 2003, she founded the Labor Environment Activist Network, and served as one of its inaugural convenors until 2007.
  • In 2002, she worked to connect Labor members to the Walk Against the War Coalition in NSW.

Jenny served on the National Policy Committee in 2006-7, and her interests include economics, indigenous culture and welfare, the environment and Australia’s relationship with the Pacific.

In 2001, she was Labor’s candidate for Richmond in the “Tampa” election, losing narrowly to the National Party candidate in her home town in the far north of NSW.

She was also campaign director for the federal seats of Sydney (1998) and Page (2004).

She currently works in the private sector, as an environmental and policy consultant. She has previously held senior roles in the NSW public sector, developing climate change and environmental policy. She also served as an environment advisor to NSW Minister for the Environment, where she was primarily focussed on water policy.

In 2009, Jenny was selected as Australia’s Eisenhower Fellow, undertaking research in the United States on leading edge approaches to drive innovation in the low carbon sector.

She has two small children, and lives in Redfern with her husband, John.

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