Lisa Singh remembers her days at the University of Tasmania as some of the best of her life and a great grounding for the challenging years ahead.
“Studying humanities opened my eyes to a deeper understanding about the world. It also taught me how to argue and how to think. It certainly helped me work out which side of politics I believed in. Little did I know then I would pursue a career in politics and follow in my grandfather’s footsteps. My degree really helped shape my thinking and understanding. I thank UTAS for that. I also thank UTAS for supporting me to be able to continue studying full time as well as starting a family.”
Lisa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree from UTAS in 1996, studying Geography, French, Sociology and Philosophy. She has since worked in the union movement, the non-government sector, the public service and in the State and Federal Parliaments. From a young age her interest has been in making the world a better place for Tasmanians. She has always been a strong advocate for working people and been actively involved in many community groups including the United Nations Association, Australian Republican Movement, and the women’s movement as the former Director of the Tasmanian Working Women’s Centre.
Lisa was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament as Labor member for Denison in 2006 in her first attempt. She served on several parliamentary committees and was committed to doing all she could in the areas of housing, public transport, cultural diversity and improving the Hobart waterfront.
As a Cabinet Minister from 2008 she became responsible for Workplace Relations, Corrections and Consumer Protection, and assisting the Premier on Climate Change. She reformed workers’ compensation laws in Tasmania, established a world-class whole of government asbestos policy, introduced reforms in the private rental market and energy efficiency standards for residential properties. Lisa also began a 10 year reform plan for the Tasmanian corrections system, I.
After she was not returned to office in the 2010 election Lisa established a support organisation for asbestos sufferers in Tasmania and was the first CEO of Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation.
Lisa was elected to the Australian Senate, beginning her term in July 2011. She serves on six parliamentary committees – the Senate Environment & Communications Legislation Committee, Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library, Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, Joint Standing Committee on Migration and the Joint Select Committee on the Constitutional Recognition of Local Government.
In the lead-up to the release of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, Lisa worked with the Member for Fraser, Dr Andrew Leigh MP, in the role of caucus liaison to facilitate Federal Parliamentary Labor Party engagement in the Paper.
Lisa has continued her anti-asbestos advocacy by creating a Parliamentary Group on Asbestos Related Disease. She has established a reputation as a tireless worker internationally to have asbestos banned and to help sufferers of asbestos related diseases. She is also acclaimed nationally as an advocate for Australian multiculturalism and recently participated in the Lowy Institute Australia-India roundtable.
Lisa is a strong supporter of UTAS and is particularly interested in higher education and the arts. She is also convenor of Labor Friends of Tourism and chair of the Parliamentary Group for UNICEF.