About Helen

Helen has lived and worked as a nurse, midwife, health administrator and rural health researcher in Victoria’s North East for more than 32 years. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Colac in Western Victoria and attended Eurack state primary school, a tiny one-room, one-teacher school where enrolments rarely exceeded 12 students. After completing year 12 in Colac, Helen followed in the footsteps of her aunts and trained as a registered nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital and later as a midwife at Melbourne’s Mercy Maternity Hospital. She obtained her PhD in Medical Science from Uppsala University in Sweden and undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute.

Helen lives with her husband, Phil, on a small beef farm by the King River outside Wangaratta, where they raised their three children, and for many years also ran a farm-stay accommodation business. Before contesting the federal election in 2019 Helen worked as a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health and as the Director of Education and Research at Northeast Health Wangaratta.

Pushing for stronger action on climate change, particularly from the perspective of regional Australia, is central to Helen’s platform. On October 14, 2019, she called on the government in the House of Representatives to develop a national strategy for agriculture and climate change.


The Border Mail front page on August 2, 2019 – the edition following Helen’s first speech. Story: Shana Morgan. Image: Mark Jesser

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