My name is Glenn Sterle and I was elected in 2004 to represent Western Australia in the Federal Parliament. I was born in 1960 and grew up with my family in Langford, Western Australia. I became a Member of Parliament because I strongly believe I have something to offer and I feel that I can really make a difference, especially when it comes to enforcing the rights of workers in our legislation. As a Senator, I represent the interests of all West Australians. I often travel around Western Australia, especially to the Kimberley region to speak with residents, community groups, local Councils, businesses and industry groups.
A lot of my time is spent in the Federal Parliament in Canberra, mostly in the Senate Chamber. It is here that we debate and vote on matters that are before Parliament. However, work in the Senate Chamber is only the beginning. Some of my other duties include participating in the investigative work of Parliamentary committees and examining proposed new laws and regulations.
A key role that I play within the Parliamentary Committee system is serving as Chair of the Senate Rural Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee. I work with the committee secretariat to conduct inquiries regarding proposed legislation that may impact on regional Australia or on the Agriculture or Transport industries. Some committee inquiries and reports that I have presided over in the past include the Food Standards Amendment (Fish Labelling Bill) 2015, the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 and the inquiry into the ownership arrangements of grain handling in 2013.
I have always been passionate about jobs. Ensuring safety in the workplace, fair working conditions and secure wages for workers have been things that I have fought hard for throughout my entire career. My resolve for these most basic rights for workers was what motivated me as a union organiser with the Transport Workers Union and is what continues to motivate me as a representative in your parliament.
Outside of parliament, I am passionate about fostering the skills of our young people and providing them with opportunities that allow them to realise their full potential. As patron of a local high school in Perth’s eastern suburbs, I developed a leadership trekking program that took a number of students out of the their comfort zone to the rugged wilderness of the Kimberley region in Western Australia where they were challenged with completing a gruelling orienteering course as a team. Over three years, a number of students tackled this trek and came back more confident, more comfortable working with their peers and with an experience many others will never enjoy.
After a number of these successful treks, I decided to organise a different kind of trek that would challenge students in a different way. A number of years ago, I had the privilege to visit a number of battle sites and memorials dedicated to the First and Second World Wars on the Western Front. After reflecting upon my return, it dawned on me how much young Australians would benefit from travelling to these sites to see for themselves the many memorials that are dedicated to the Australian and Commonwealth servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. From then, the Senator Sterle Western Front Remembrance Tour was born and since 2013, over $100,000 has been raised to take more than 60 students to the Western Front on three separate tours. It is heart-warming to see that upon the return of each group of students, a new understanding of Australia’s war history and a deep appreciation for the sacrifice that many made for our freedom has been realised.