10 TOP FACTS ABOUT CHRISTINE MILNE
She was a country kid who can catch rabbits, loves a passionfruit sponge and has nerves of steel. Ten things you may not have known about the new Greens leader Christine Milne.
The old and the new… Christine Milne with former Greens leader Bob Brown.
Senator Christine Anne Milne was born on May 14, 1953 in Latrobe, Tasmania. She has two sons – Thomas and James – with Neville Milne.
She was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1989 in the seat of Lyons, and to the Senate in 2004.
1. She was a country kid.
A fifth-generation Tasmanian and daughter of Tom and June Morris, small-scale dairy farmers in the picturesque Wesley Vale district. As for the charge that the Greens are urban latte drinkers?
“It confounds me when people say, ‘What have the Greens got to do with rural Australia?’. Primary industry is all about sustainability issues. Biosecurity, quarantine, trade: all of those things are part of the Greens’ agenda.”
2. She can catch rabbits.
When she was a girl, she and her sister liked to go rabbiting. She knows one end of a draught horse from the other and is a fair hand at milking cows.
3. She attended a convent boarding school.
At the age of 10, Christine was sent to St. Mary’s in Hobart. Her sister did not survive the strict regime there and returned home, but she stayed. This gave her a good understanding of how institutions work and how to negotiate the “in” and “out” groups.
“You see that bullies eventually get their comeuppance and negotiated outcomes have to work for everyone or the system slides into greater and greater stress.”
4. She’s been to jail.
It was when she was in her late 20s studying for an honours degree in Australian history at the University of Tasmania that she joined the Franklin River blockade. She was arrested and jailed for three days.
“I thought, if that’s the worst they can do to you in Tasmania, then I’m up for it. From that time on there was no looking back for me as an activist.”
5. She was a teacher.
Prior to entering politics, Christine taught English, History and Social Science in high schools in Burnie and Devonport.
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