Candidate for North Metropolitan
Samantha Jenkinson is The Greens (WA) 2nd Upper House Candidate for the North Metropolitan region in the 2017 WA election.
I am a passionate believer in social justice, environmental sustainability, and people actively participating in decision making. I have a commitment to seeing these ideals work together to address inequality for people who are most disadvantaged.
I grew up in a WA mining town as the daughter of a staunch unionist and member of a family who were involved in local community groups, that didn’t question helping out when needed. I saw how community could work together and support each other, but I also saw racism and exclusion that was ingrained.
In Year 12 I spent a year as an exchange student in the USA which highlighted for me the beautiful and unique landscapes and ecosystems of WA and our country's values of helping out and a fair go for all. These are values I see in the Greens.
On return from my exchange I attended Curtin University and in my second year I was in a car accident which resulted in a spinal cord injury. This completely changed my life experience. For four years I was living in an institution while waiting for housing and funding for support to live in the community. This experience gave me an understanding of the effects of segregation and isolation on people when real choices are taken away. Having a lifelong disability also means I am continually confronted with the ‘othering’ that happens systematically and socially to people who are different and disadvantaged.
My degree in Social Work has meant I could put that experience into action to change systems so that everyone can be a part of their local community. To do that I have worked for community organisations, service providers and state government in a variety of roles from case management to CEO, and as a volunteer on numerous Boards and advisory groups. My current role is Executive Director of People with Disabilities WA.
Over the last 5 years I have channeled my passion for building strong inclusive communities to my role as a Local Government Councillor where I have been a key supporter of increasing our tree canopy cover. This experience in local government has again emphasised for me the need to have urban and regional planning which is developed in line with an understanding of our environment, our diversity, and our social needs.
The Greens vision for the future in WA2.0 brings the vision together with my reality and a way forward.