- Member for Ashford
Prior to entering Parliament, Steph worked in a diverse range of employment. Having left home and school at a very young age, she worked mainly as a clerk and took on part-time jobs and study. Consequently she worked as a waitress, kitchen hand, cook, cleaner and shop assistant.
Later on, Steph worked as the General Secretary of the Flinders University Students Association, Director of the Working Women’s Centre, Senior Industrial Officer- Advocate for the Transport Workers Union, the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) and the UTLC (United Trades and Labor Council).
She has served on a number of national and state boards, including a period of 12 years as a member of the Board of Directors for the South Australian Housing Trust.
Steph was educated at Largs Bay Primary School, Port Adelaide Girls Technical High School, TAFE, Marryatville Adult Matriculation High School, SA Institute of Technology and Flinders University.
Steph was first elected to Parliament in October 1997 to represent the State Seat of Hanson. Upon her election, she was appointed as a shadow minister and served on a number of parliamentary committees.
The 2002 state election saw Steph re-elected to the Parliament as the Labor member for the new seat of Ashford.
With the advent of the new Labor Government in 2002, Steph served as the Minister responsible for Social Justice (inc. Ageing, Disability and Community Welfare portfolios), Housing, Youth and the Status of Women until 2004, and then as Minister responsible for Employment, Training and Further Education, Youth and the Status of Women until March 2006.
At the 2006 state election she was elected again to represent the seat of Ashford. In this period, as a ‘backbencher’, she saw her work over many years result in .changes in the area of Equal Opportunity, some rights for same sex couples and improvements in the process and laws surrounding rape, sexual assault, child protection and domestic violence.
After re-election in the 2010 state election Steph was confirmed as the Presiding Member of the Natural Resources and the Occupational, Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation parliamentary committees.
Her legislative agenda has continued and concentrated on reforms in the areas of Advance Care Directives, recognition of Carers, Voluntary Euthanasia, Workers’ Rights, Retirement Villages and the Sex Work Industry. Working as an advocate with constituents on locally based projects is the work Steph really loves.
Steph is working with local groups and artists to develop various art, local history and ‘green’ projects in the electorate.
She has always been a community activist particularly in the areas of the environment, worker rights and social justice.
Steph is a founding member of the notorious ‘Suffrajets’ basketball team, the Trade Union Choir SA, EMILY’s list and more recently the Muriel Matters Society Inc.
In her rare spare time, Steph enjoys gardening and cooking in addition to going to art galleries and movie theatres.
Charles J Everard arrived in South Australia in 1836 and settled on his property 'Ashford' in 1838 that was known to have the best orchard in the colony. The name was adopted as a suburb name in 1944.