Penny is the Greens' spokesperson for legal affairs, schools and education, mental health and veterans' affairs. She is passionate about creating a fair and inclusive Australia where all people can participate fully in their community and realise their potential.
In her former roles as a solicitor, university lecturer and deputy president of the Guardianship Board, Penny focused on areas like tenancy law, mental health, social security, refugees and violence against women. These experiences all helped prepare her for her work in parliament.
As a lawyer, she often worked in the 'little end' of town, with those who live on the margins of society - people on low incomes, people with mental illnesses and those who have been dealt a tough hand by life.
Penny is the chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee and a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Penny has always been active in promoting and protecting public institutions for the public good.
She has worked and advocated for public education - as a parent and Governing Council chair, public transport (as an environmental and social justice issue) and public broadcasting - successfully heading up Friends of the ABC in SA from 1996 to 1999 to fight cuts to the ABC budget at the time which threatened the loss of Radio National, Classic FM and Triple J.
Along with her family - three great children, 18, 21 and 23, and her husband, she also loves reading, whipping up delicious desserts and cycling. A bike accident in May 2010 saw her conduct her election campaign mostly from a wheelchair, giving her a fresh gratitude for everyday things and a greater insight into the challenges faced by those who navigate life in a wheelchair.
Penny is now back on her bike but is no longer allowed to run. This doesn't slow her down in the corridors of Parliament House where her staff are forced to trot beside her to keep up!
Keeping up with Penny on Facebook and Twitter is much easier! Why not take a look?