Jann McFarlane
Women in Federal Parliament

Jann McFarlane

Member for Stirling (WA)

ALP, 1998–2004

Jann McFarlane entered the House of Representatives as the Australian Labor Party member for Stirling (WA) in 1998 with a firm sense of social justice.

In her first speech, McFarlane apologised to the indigenous peoples of Australia, calling for a bipartisan response to aid their self-determination. Drawing from her family’s experiences, she also spoke about the need for government funding to combat child abuse, both institutionalised and domestic. She attributed her politicisation to growing up in a family with sporadic income, spending periods of time in orphanages and living in rural areas that were located far from social services. This shaped her desire to ensure services are provided to those who are often forgotten in public policy decisions.

McFarlane spoke about what she saw as the human victims of economic rationalism where the market, the economy and profits are prioritised ahead of society and social services. She defended Australia Post against deregulation plans, speaking about a community service obligation over profit. She left Parliament in 2004.

Jann McFarlane with her grandson.

Image courtesy of Jann McFarlane.