THE Yeerongpilly Greens announced this week that they have preselected Elissa Jenkins as the Greens Federal Candidate for Moreton.
A Moorooka resident, Elissa is a senior manager for a prominent Queensland community services organisation, Board Director of the Green Institute, Master of Arts student at Griffith University and volunteer for a range of local and global organisations.
Elissa said she was an ambitious entrepreneur until she discovered she could make a greater difference to the world with a career in the community sector while volunteering in the area of political advocacy.
â€œI have been an active member of non-profit professional organisations since the age of 19 and have been networking with business leaders, community groups and government representatives since then.
â€œWhile I enjoy my role in the non-profit sector and aspire to one day work for the United Nations, I believe all my experiences to date – entrepreneurial, academic, media and community – are ideal qualities for a parliamentarian and representative of Queenslanders,â€? she said.
A graduate of Corinda State High School, located in the Moreton electorate, Elissa holds two degrees and is now completing her Master of Arts through Griffith University for which she received a Griffith Award for Academic Excellence in 2009.
â€œThis year, for my dissertation, I will be researching the area of social enterprise from a social science perspective.
â€œThe inspiration for this work comes from Tim Jacksonâ€™s outstanding book Prosperity Without Growth which outlines how economies and communities can best move forward after the disastrous Global Financial Crisis and within the framework of a Green New Deal.
â€œI suppose I identify as an â€˜eco-social entrepreneurâ€™ and want to encourage others locally and globally to consider that perspective,â€? she said.
As a graduate of the public school system, Elissa respects the broad grounding Corinda State High provided her as a teenager and believes it has certainly influenced her values.
â€œThe concept of social inclusion was a philosophy of the school before the word even became popular.
â€œWe had wheelchair ramps to cater to disabled people; girls were actively encouraged into science and maths; we had social justice days to highlight the magic of social and cultural diversity; an environment club for planting trees; a biology camp to research Heron Islandâ€™s biodiversity; and arts events to show off our creative spirit.
â€œI was honoured to be selected to give the ANZAC Day speech each year, so I learned the values of respect for our war veterans, the horrors of war and the importance of striving for peace across nations.
â€œThese are all values I still hold dear today â€“ clearly seen by looking at what I bring to the people in the Moreton electorate as they consider me as their parliamentary representative.
Not only is Elissa a proponent of quality public education for all, but is a passionate advocate for:
â€¢ Increasing the funding of community care for the disabled and elderly.
â€¢ Providing women with opportunities to self determine their employment and health preferences and to be free from violence.
â€¢ Embracing multiculturalism and upholding indigenous and refugee rights globally.
â€¢ Ceasing logging of old growth forests across the world.
â€¢ Conserving Moreton Bay and the Great Barrier Reef.
â€¢ Funding that encourages research into and use of renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.
â€¢ Upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter and Declaration of Human Rights.
â€¢ Rethinking the acceptance of unfettered economic growth and the idea that happiness is inexorably linked to increased consumption patterns.
On April 28, Elissa is heading to Taiwan to attend the Asia Pacific Greens Network Congress as a delegate of the Australian Greens.
â€œI am particularly looking forward to hearing from the Prime Minister of Tuvalu who is coming along to share with us the very real threats his country is experiencing due to climate change.
â€œDespite all the post-Copenhagen controversy on the matter, I am adamant that leadership from developed nations is essential to bring about global change, particularly in the area of climate change.
â€œThe belief that â€˜Thereâ€™s no point us doing anything if China and India are not going to do anythingâ€™ is a failure of the imagination and of our responsibilities.
â€œWealthy nations, which have achieved their prosperity on the back of cheap fossil fuels, largely before the problem of global warming became so prominent in our political consciousness, have a responsibility to take the lead in order to demonstrate that rich, rewarding lives in sustainable communities can be achieved with a much lower carbon footprint,â€? she said.
Elissaâ€™s volunteer work with the Global Greens and Global Young Greens has taken her to Kenya, Brazil and Austria where she has become passionate about the value of global networking and the importance of supporting individuals, movements and political parties across the world who share the ideals outlined in the Global Greens Charter.
â€œAlthough a global citizen, I also identify as a first generation Australian of Italian and British decent.
â€œI am fortunate to be in a position to have made many friendships across the globe including places such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Uganda, Nigeria and even the slums of Kibera in Kenya â€“ all of which have changed my perspective on life,â€? she said.
Moreton residents can email Elissa at email@example.com or follow her election blog at www.elissa.info.
Media enquiries and photo opportunities: Call Elissa Jenkins 0418 786 986, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Greens Moreton Campaign Manager Ian Stewart on 0439 660 273. Elissa returns to Australia on May 6 and will be speaking at the Make Poverty History Public Forum on May 6.
N.B. Moreton covers an area of approximately 111 sq km from Fairfield in the north, Chelmer, Corinda and Oxley in the west, Eight Mile Plains and Kuraby in the east to Sunnyank Hills in the South. The main suburbs include Acacia Ridge, Archerfield, Chelmer, Coopers Plains, Corinda, Fairfield, Graceville, Kuraby, Macgregor, Moorooka, Nathan, Oxley, Robertson, Rocklea, Runcorn, Salisbury, Sherwood, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Tennyson, Willawong, Yeerongpilly and Yeronga and parts of Algester, Annerley, Eight Mile Plains and Tarragindi.