Jo Vallentine

Senator for Western Australia

NDP; IND; GWA, 1985–1992

Jo Vallentine was elected in 1984 to represent Western Australia in the Senate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, running with the slogan ‘Take Heart—Vote Vallentine’. She commenced her term in July 1985 as an Independent Senator for Nuclear Disarmament, claiming in her first speech that she was the first member of any parliament in the world to be elected on this platform. When she stood for election again in 1990, she was elected as a senator for The Greens (Western Australia), and was the first Green in the Australian Senate.

Prior to entering Parliament Senator Vallentine was a teacher. Her experiences as a Quaker, protester in the Vietnam Moratorium marches and parent—as well as the possibility of her state building Australia’s first nuclear power station—were motivating factors which led to her running for the Senate.

During her seven years in Parliament, Vallentine was a persistent voice for peace, nuclear disarmament, Aboriginal land rights, social justice and the environment.

Jo Vallentine offering a message of peace to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson as the ship anchored in Fremantle in 1986.

Image courtesy of the West Australian.