Our Alumni

Here are just some of the women who have inspired us and whose political journeys we are very proud to have been a part of.

Dr. Andrea Leong, Candidate and Leader of the Science Party, NSW Legislative Council

“I ran as the Science Party candidate for the seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2016 federal election.

At the 2018 Women in the House event I saw the cross-party support that women in politics are prepared to give each other. This experience gave me a confidence boost and I put my hand up for the Wentworth by-election immediately, when the opportunity arose. I’ve since moved into the leadership of the Science Party and I hope that what I do will help other women see third-party politics as a viable option.

Interestingly in 2016, I was the only woman in a field of five candidates, running for Kingsford Smith. In the 2018 Wentworth by-election, 7 of 16 candidates were women. The by-election was won by an independent woman, in a seat that had only ever held by a Liberal Party man before! There was a point, during the Wentworth campaign, where I realised that gender didn’t feel like a factor that anyone was paying attention to and that was truly liberating.”


Pallavi Sinha, Candidate, Liberal Party, NSW Legislative Council

“As an Australian from a diverse background, it is helpful to attend events where there is a welcoming environment and insightful speakers to learn from.”


Jess Miller, Candidate, Keep Sydney Open, NSW State Legislative Assembly

“The decision to go out and run in the State Election for Keep Sydney Open was not an easy one. In effect it is like throwing a bomb into your life – your work, family, friendships and sense of self is blown apart for a period of time, and when you’re in it, you can’t possibly know the outcome. While the experience is invaluable, the friendships made long-lasting and the learning curve steep – it’s also terrifying. That’s why WFEA is so important, knowing that there a group of incredibly supportive and kick-arse women on the end of the phone, who want you to succeed is a tremendous comfort and source of motivation to keep going.”


Jenny Leong, Member for Newtown, Greens Party, NSW State Parliament, Legislative Assembly.

“As a woman and a feminist, it’s always great to be part of WEFA events – to bring elected women, and women running for election together in the NSW Parliament.”


Amanda Keeling, Labor Candidate for Ku-ring-gai, Lower House, NSW State Election

“I attended the WEFA masterclass in 2017 because I was interested in standing for office and I was looking for more background information, especially from other women. I picked up practical knowledge and insights, advice on how to present as a candidate (dress, speech, values), and tips about campaigning on issues that I am passionate about. I also gained confidence and encouragement from women already in politics to just go for it! As a result, I am standing as a candidate in the 2019 NSW State Election.”


Suzanne Daley: Candidate, Sustainable Australia Party, NSW State Election, Lower House

“I attended your seminar with my daughter in2017. We were interested in running for office as independents. She got involved in other things, but I have stayed interested. All the politicians I spoke to, advised being in a party. I have now been endorsed by a new party, Sustainable Australia and I am fighting for my community, alas in a blue-ribbon seat, so I don’ t expect to win but I want to put sustainable policies out there.”

So, thank you WFEA I would not have had the courage to do this without your advice!


Shayne Higson: Convenor and Lead Candidate, Voluntary Euthanasia Party (NSW)

I had contested three elections before attending the ‘Women in the House’ event in August 2018. Previously, I had been compelled to speak up and contest elections at a state and federal level because of a single issue – the need for voluntary assisted dying legislation.

After attending the Women for Election forum, I became even more motivated and inspired. I realised that we need to have more woman in our parliaments and although, as woman, we often feel we are not ready or not qualified enough, we have to overcome that hesitation and trust that we can achieve so much, as long as we participate. This means we really do need to ‘step up, speak up and stand’.