Janelle has made Lismore her home for more than 40 years, and over this time she has worked tirelessly to serve her community, becoming a passionate and active community advocate.
As an early school leaver, she worked in a variety of jobs across a diversity of workplaces from factory floors and apprenticeships to frontline community services, including coordinating women’s shelters and teaching community college courses.
She quickly realised the value of lifetime learning and went on to pursue her teaching qualifications from Lismore Teachers College before undertaking her law degree from Macquarie University.
Janelle’s legal career has spanned over 30 years, from local solicitor to international human rights activism, and taken her to Timor-Leste, Burma, London and The Hague.
While in Timor-Leste, Janelle was Special Advisor to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste and Senior Political Advisor to His Excellency D. Jose Ramos-Horta while the Nobel Laureate served as Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Prime Minister and President.
In recognition for her voluntary work in Timor-Leste, she was a recent recipient of the Order of Timor Leste. She also received a special Prime Ministerial award from The Honourable John Howard in recognition of her international activism.
Janelle's advocacy has always supported her belief that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged should be protected and that democracy should be free and fair for all.
As a community advocate, Janelle has continued to champion the Australian values of fairness, integrity, tolerance and understanding.
As a long-standing member of the Labor Party, she has continued to defend these values in public service, firstly as a member of the NSW Legislative Council, which was followed by two terms as the Federal Member for Page.
Over the past two years, Janelle has been disappointed by the ineffectual representation from Kevin Hogan. She is standing for the Federal seat of Page again because she knows the community deserves better.