Jennifer’s legislative and policy experience, combined with her love of working with communities, make her an excellent SocDems Candidate for Wicklow.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is the Social Democrat Councillor for the Greystones Municipal District in County Wicklow.

She lives in Delgany, Co. Wicklow with her four young children and husband, Tony. Originally from Wexford Town, Jennifer moved to Australia in 2001 and lived there for 10 years.

In 2015, Jennifer set up the Social Democrats with Roisin Shortall TD, Catherine Murphy TD and others. To Jennifer, social democracy is all about building strong communities that are underpinned by a thriving economy. Their values are ones of transparency and fairness.

She believes that the leaders of the Social Democrats, Roisin Shorthall TD and Catherine Murphy TD, have espoused these principles and values during their time in the Dail and she is very proud to be able to call herself a member of the team.

Professional Background

Jennifer has been a Wicklow County Councillor for nearly 5 years, following her election in 2014. She has worked as a full-time Cllr., working with communities to ensure they have the services and facilities that they need. 

Jennifer is also the Social Democrats Spokesperson on Children and has been heavily involved in the SocDems bill that will see families receive additional unpaid parental leave to enable a better work/life balance.   

Prior to becoming a Cllr.,  Jennifer spent years in Australia, where she worked alongside government Ministers developing environmental law, water management and energy policy. “This is where I got my first insight into political life. Its also where I learned how important it is to involve the people about whom you are making decisions, into that decision making process.”

Before she moved to Australia, she worked extensively in fisheries and aquaculture in Ireland at both a national and European level. As a fishery scientist with the Marine Institute, she studied cod and Dublin Bay prawn populations and fishing techniques. She also spent a number of years prior to this working on fish farms in Wicklow, Wexford and in Norway.

Jennifer believes that her combination of legislative and policy experience, combined with her love of working with communities, makes her an excellent candidate for Wicklow.

 

Why she got involved in politics

“Simply put, I became involved in politics to effect change. I believe that our governance systems have failed us – that we need to completely review how we engage with communities, how & where we direct our resources, how we govern. That is why I ran in the local elections, why I became involved with the setting up of the Social Democrats, and why I am now running for the Dáil.

Ireland’s future is a bright one and our potential is great. The time to make that change is now.”

Education

EDUCATION

Environmental Law, Diploma (University of Sydney)

Biological Science (BSC Ecology) (University of Ulster)

Applied Aquatic Science, Diploma (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology)

Aquaculture, Certificate in Science (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology)

International Experience

Principal Policy Officer, Industry & Investment NSW, Sydney (2010): Coordinated the development of a draft NSW Clean Energy Policy

Manager, Strategic Policy Group, NSW Department of Natural Resources, Sydney (2006-2009): Directed and controlled the provision of high quality and strategic policy advice across a broad range of governmental, legislative, policy, operational and managerial matters to the Minister, Director-General and Executive.

Principal Policy Consultant, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney (2008): Developed options paper for the management of NSW’s commercial fisheries.

Principal Policy Officer, The Greenhouse Office, NSW Cabinet Office, Sydney (2006): Responsible for a research funding budget of $2.5 million into the impacts of climate change on NSW communities.

Senior Natural Resource Policy Officer, Department of Natural Resources, NSW, Sydney (2003-2006): Developed policy / operational procedures with regard to the implementation of the Water Management Act 2000, including water metering and trading rules.

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