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Jeanene Williams.
Transgender woman Jeanene Williams is running as an independent candidate for Hasluck. Photo: Tamara Whittle.

Hasluck candidate’s eye on inclusion

By Morgan de Smidt 

THE need for proper diversity in federal parliament underpins transgender woman Jeanene Williams’ motivation to run as an independent candidate for Hasluck in the upcoming election.

“I looked at the community around me and really wanted to give back, I knew if I was ever going to run for politics, it was now or never,” she said.

“I believe that we have lost our way at the highest levels, and we need to address this now.

“One of my main reasons for running was the discrimination and problems that are coming out of the current federal parliament including issues with women and corruption.

“There is some effort into getting women into parliament, but it is tokenism at best.”

Mrs Williams lives in Lower Chittering, slightly out of the district but previously lived in Midland for 10 years.

She comes from an information technology background and with 30 years of experience in WA, is an award-winning software development manager.

Similarly, she has run her own small business and is the vice chair of the Australian Computer Societies’ National Diversity and Inclusion council.

“I am not a career politician; I have always been involved in small business and I have been involved in a number of start-ups within the community.

“One of the big areas that I am passionate about is small business and in Hasluck it is a really important aspect.

“The lack of support they get, particularly through the pandemic, is one of the things I am quite passionate about as well as family and mental health.

“Particularly in Ellenbrook we have a very young population coming up and there is very little mental health support in the area.”

Mrs Williams said her dream is to have a parliament that reflects the entire society, and she is taking steps to be part of a political system that represents everyone.

“Normal people from all walks of life need to stand up for election and also in community groups,” she continued.

“Just by literally showing up and being prepared to be counted we are making a huge step to increasing that diversity.”

Mrs Williams came out as transgender when she was 49 and is supported by her partner of more than 25 years and her daughter.

Other candidates to have so far announced their intent to run are Greens candidate Brendan Sturcke, Labor’s Tania Lawrence and current Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt of the Liberal party.   

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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