Karen Grogan entered Federal Parliament as a Senator for South Australia in October 2021.
Born in south-west London and having grown up on the Worlds End public housing estate, Karen migrated to Australia at age 22. Since then, she has a had a wide and varied career, across the social and community services sectors, the environment, mental health, Aboriginal affairs, and education.
Karen spent six years as the CEO of the South Australian Council of Social Service, championing a range of social justice issues. She has also worked in the university sector developing pathways for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and worked for the Central Land Council in Alice Springs fighting for the rights of First Nations people.
Karen also spent time as the head of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists tackling climate change and protecting the River Murray, she worked as chief of staff to then-Federal Minister Mark Butler and served as deputy chief of staff to South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
Most recently, Karen worked at the United Workers Union, fighting for some of the most vulnerable and low-paid workers in the country.
Karen spends her time in the Senate fighting for well-paid and secure jobs, universal access to health care and an equitable education system. She believes in a social safety net that gives people a hand up when they need it the most and is a passionate advocate for the environment and the River Murray.
Karen laid out her values in her first speech to the Senate, saying:
“I am a feminist.
I am a unionist.
I am a community activist.
I am an environmentalist.
I am an immigrant.
I am a proud South Australian.
I believe in Truth, Treaty and Voice for First Nations people.
And I believe in the value of each and every South Australian”.