Petrina Harley is a mother of two, an activist and a teacher who grew up in the suburbs of Perth. After studying at Curtin University, she worked in the UK where she gained her post-graduate Teaching Diploma. She returned to Perth in 2005, when her first child was young. “I wanted my children to have a similar childhood to my own. To grow up in a society which, for the most part, was a fairly free and tolerant one. However, when I returned, it seemed Australia had changed.”
Petrina joined Socialist Alliance out of increasing concern at the state of Australia’s democracy, “I don’t feel that we live in a genuinely democratic society. The amount of influence exerted over the major parties by corporations means that profit margins dictate policy, rather than what is good for improving the quality of people’s lives and protecting our planet.”
A fierce advocate for human rights, Petrina has been at the forefront of several grass-roots movements and it is on the front-line that she feels most productive. Her main passions are for the LGBTIQA community, asylum seekers illegally detained in offshore detention and the Aboriginal community.
Petrina also took aim at the state government’s failure to properly assist women and children fleeing family and domestic violence, “Every election we get hype about law and order, and yet they sit on their hands in the face of the biggest crime of violence in our society. Services are stretched to the limit and every night people seeking safety are turned away. We are a rich country and there is no excuse for this situation.”
She concluded, “I am running for Socialist Alliance to give a voice to people who aren’t part of the government’s business plan. People want a say on how their money is spent unlike the billionaires who don’t pay their taxes but still get all the government hand-outs”.