Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins is a member for the Western Metropolitan Region in the upper house of the Victorian Parliament.
Prior to parliament, Rachel worked in the welfare sector for around 20 years and holds a PhD in social sciences, where she studied social movements supporting people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians and women in Australia. She has presented throughout the world, contributing to these fields at international conferences, and published her first book in 2014.
Upon being elected to parliament in the 2014 election, Rachel stated the following in her first speech:
“I am no William Wilberforce, but he inspires me to value conviction over comfort, tenacity over temporary gain and devotion over indifference… Like Wilberforce, I am a non-conformist. I am not a bystander; I refuse to be a bystander. Under my watch there will not be silence... And so I stand here today and for the next four years as a voice for the vulnerable, a voice for the enslaved and a voice for the voiceless.”
Rachel is passionate about seeing cultural change in the way women are valued in society. During her time in Parliament, Rachel presented a bill aimed at winding back Victoria’s extreme abortion laws, with a focus on providing holistic care for pregnant women. Unfortunately, it did not pass and she continues to fight for the lives of the unborn, for more care for women during crisis pregnancies, and for a valuing of the roles of motherhood and fatherhood. The current Victorian Inquiry into Perinatal Services is a result of her advocacy in Parliament to provide the best possible support for women and their babies. Rachel is also committed to combatting the sexual exploitation of women found in practices such as prostitution and sex trafficking, through advocating for the Nordic Model and exit programs for women who wish to leave the sex industry.
Rachel values family and the rights of parents to make decisions that they believe are best for their children. She moved a motion in Parliament to defend the rights of parents to choose the education they want for their children without interference by the State, in light of the radical ideologies found in the Safe Schools program.
Rachel’s background and experience in the welfare sector has led her to be a vocal advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, their carers and families.
She is a firm believer that every life has value – value that is worth fighting for.