My studies at Curtin led me to focus on justice

I grew up in the south-west of Western Australia on my parent’s apple farm in Donnybrook. I attended public schools in Donnybrook and Bunbury, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Curtin University), a Bachelor of Laws (UNSW) and a Master of Laws in Public International Law (Murdoch).

Curtin University was a fantastic place to learn, giving me the knowledge and the confidence to pursue further learning and expanded career opportunities.

I went on to work as a lawyer for the United Nations for 8 years and to be elected as the federal member for Fremantle in 2007, 2010 and 2013, retiring in 2016 after serving 3 terms of parliament. It was an incredible honour to represent the creative, forward-thinking and compassionate people of the Fremantle electorate.

The causes I championed throughout my parliamentary career included more humane treatment of refugees, universal abolition of the death penalty, support for human rights & animal welfare, action on climate change, protection of the environment, nuclear disarmament, more Australian Aid and good governance.

I also had the opportunity to serve as Minister for International Development, as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Homelessness and Social Housing.

In 2013 I was awarded the Alan Missen award for parliamentary integrity.

Before entering parliament, I worked as a senior lawyer in the United Nations for 8 years, serving in Kosovo, Gaza, New York and Lebanon.

Prior to joining the UN, I lectured in law and worked as a solicitor in private practice in Sydney and WA, and at the Bunbury Community Legal Centre.

My studies at Curtin University led me to focus on justice, and this has shaped the direction and substance of my professional life.

Thank you Curtin!

Melissa Parke