Senator for New South Wales
In 1991 Australian Democrat Karin Sowada was selected by the Governor of New South Wales to represent that state in the Senate. At the time she was the youngest woman to have entered the Senate.
Senator Sowada entered Parliament wanting to see Australia become a socially just, compassionate and economically competitive country. She had a great interest in the areas of youth unemployment, education, training and science and spoke often of her concerns regarding youth suicide and youth homelessness.
A member of the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, she said she felt that some of her most important work was with the committee’s inquiry into youth unemployment which reported on the implications of high levels of unemployment among young people and recommended changes to income support, job creation and training. She also campaigned strongly against the re-introduction of fees for university students and the underfunding and overcrowding of universities and post-secondary education and training facilities.
Sowada opposed the controversial Political Broadcasts and Political Disclosures Bill and in the interests of free speech voted with the Opposition Liberal Party against banning paid political advertising during elections.
After leaving the Senate in 1993 she returned to work as an archaeologist.