Senator for Victoria
A former Director of Employment for the Victorian state government, Karen Synon was chosen by the Parliament of Victoria to be a senator for the state of Victoria in 1997. Although only serving until 1999 she spent a great deal of her parliamentary career voicing the concerns of young people and urging reform of the welfare system.
She spoke frequently on the issue of unemployment and her concern that welfare was providing a disincentive for people to work. She was also concerned about the escalating rate of youth suicide and expressed a great deal of support for community programs that sought to address this issue.
After returning from duties as an observer of the Indonesian elections in 1999, Senator Synon saw a need for Australians to value their democratic traditions and became a great supporter of the development of school civics education. She argued that democratic movements and effective advocacy were driven by the vitality, vision and potential of young people and spoke at length on her belief that compulsory student unionism and compulsory voting was not needed in order to achieve democratic freedoms.
After leaving Parliament she was appointed to the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal.