Danielle has represented Melbourne’s north for more than 15 years, having been MP for Yan Yean since 2002. She has also held numerous portfolio roles and is currently Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria. Danielle is a Yan Yean local, she raised her family here and lives in Diamond Creek.
Growing up in regional Victoria then moving to Melbourne’s north in the 80s, Danielle understands the issues facing people in small towns, on farms, and in the growing suburbs. Danielle is the eldest of four sisters from a community-minded family, with a strong belief in the importance of social justice. Her grandparents strongly influenced her saying “if you see something’s wrong in your community don’t sit back and complain about it – get in and work to fix it.”
Danielle chose a career in public sector policy and program management undertaking roles in housing, transport, consumer affairs, ethnic affairs and the Rural Women’s Network.
During this time, Danielle became active in the Community and Public Sector Union, being elected State Vice-President in 1993, during the turbulent Kennett era, when she fought hard against cuts to essential services like health and education. Like many women, she’s juggled career with parenting two sons – Blake and Carlo, undertook an Arts Degree as a mature age student, and been an active member of many community organizations.
Danielle has held positions in government including Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services (2006-2010), and Parliamentary Secretary, Police and Emergency Services (2010). In Opposition, Danielle was Labor’s Spokesperson on Health Promotion, Emergency Services, Volunteers, Women, Disability Services, Child Safety and Australia’s first Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence.
In February 2009, all of Danielle’s worlds collided when she found herself fighting the Black Saturday fires in her own electorate and as close as three kilometres from her own home. After two exhausting days of fighting the fires, while grieving the loss of many friends, Danielle began the gruelling work of leading her community through the recovery process both locally and as a Member of the Expert Reference Group of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) 2009-2011.
What sustained her through this difficult period was the support of her extended family and still close group of school friends.
At the 2014 election, Danielle’s Yan Yean electorate had its boundaries massively altered due to huge population growth – having been redistributed by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. It was then the most marginal seat in Victoria and had become -.1% notionally Liberal. Danielle, with the help of more local volunteers than ever before, campaigned strongly to record a 4% swing to her which was twice the state-wide swing which took Labor back into government, after only one term in Opposition.
Danielle secured a number of significant 2014 election commitments including the extension of the rail line from South Morang to Mernda, the duplication of Yan Yean Road, numerous school upgrades including at Wallan and Doreen, along with new schools Mernda Central P to 12 and Mernda South PS.
Since the election Danielle was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria.
The Yan Yean electorate one of the most populous and fastest growing constituencies in Victoria so this keeps Danielle busier than ever advocating for jobs, infrastructure and services like hospitals and schools along with her Parliamentary Secretary responsibilities. She’s taking a close interest in the rollout of all Yan Yean election commitments and is proud to have never, ever, broken an election promise.
Danielle holds many community memberships including; Nillumbik Community Health Centre; Nillumbik Women’s Network; Women’s Health in the North; YWCA; Australian Workers Union; Emily’s List; Essendon Football Club Women’s Network; Patron, Panton Hill Football Club; Bicycle Victoria; Victorian Women’s Trust; Greensborough Hockey Club, Hurstbridge Bowling Club and sponsors every football club in her electorate. Danielle is particularly pleased to see the growth of women’s participation in all sports but especially football.
In her spare time, Danielle likes to hit the slopes at Victoria’s ski-fields and enjoys a wide range of sports, including swimming, netball, and football – given the misfortune that’s hit Essendon, she’ll be enthusiastically following her favourite teams in the Northern and Riddell Football Leagues. Family is very important to Danielle, and she loves to take up the microphone at karaoke or a good old community sing along.