Rose is a 25 year old campaign manager for a national workers' union as well as a councilor on Waverly Council. She graduated from the University of Sydney with first class Honours in a combined Bachelor of Economics/Law.

Rose Jackson


What Degree did you do?
Bachelor of Laws (Honours I) and Bachelor of Economics (Social Science)

Which University did you attend?
University of Sydney

Did you do any post graduate study?
Not yet – after 7 long years only just finished my undergraduate study; I need a break!

In one or two paragraphs, please describe your university experience on the whole?
My university experiences will stay with me forever – they fundamentally shaped who I am and how I relate to the world. Whilst I wouldn’t describe my childhood as sheltered, I only had limited exposure to the massive breadth of people, perspectives, passions and points of view in our community. Through my university studies I was able to learn new ways of understanding the world and have a more open mind to different experiences – my legal studies in particular gave me a passion for justice and a solutions-focussed way of addressing problems. Through the friends I made at university I found life-long companions – including my now fiancé! Through my involvement with university politics I came to understand the power of decision-makers and representative voices, which fuelled my interest in politics more broadly. My university experience wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops – there were lots of tears, all-nighters and high stress moments, but the experience really was life-changing and on the whole was overwhelmingly positive.

What is your current position and company/organisation you work for, and the info of your previous role also.
After university I was a Policy Advisor for Minister Verity Firth, NSW Minister for Education. I then moved in a role with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union – a trade union representing low paid workers in Australia. My role is Political Campaign Coordinator in the National Office – this role involves organising to build and exercise political power on behalf of these workers, who are often marginalised and disempowered by political processes. I am also a Councillor on Waverley Council, representing residents in the Bondi Junction, Queens Park and Bronte areas.

What is the worst job you have had?
Definitely a part-time uni job selling designer children’s clothes – it wasn’t working with kids that was the problem, it was the over-bearing parents that made it unbearable!

What aspects of uni have you taken with you throughout your career?
I have taken three essential lessons from university throughout my career and whole life:
There are many different ways of seeing and analysing the world we live in – you have to have an open mind to alternative points of view if you are going to build lasting a consensus around the challenges we face.
Having recognised that there are multiple points of view on any problem, there is also a fundamental core of justice and decency that we cannot shift or minimise – you can talk, explain, spin and challenge as much as you like, but at the end of the day you need to have something you believe in or something you will not move away from (a moral compass? That’s such a cliché!) if you are going to be able to make a decision.
Things will only happen if people are prepared to do something about what they believe in – and ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they take action together. At university you can be overwhelmed by problems and issues, it’s easy to be disillusioned and cynical, but through my involvement in the students’ council and National Union of Students I saw that we can change things if we are passionate about what we are doing and work together to take action.

Would you do the same thing at university if you went back now?
Absolutely – even though I am not an economist or a lawyer my studies were incredibly enjoyable and interesting – university does not just need to be about studying specific skills for a specific vocation, it can also just be about learning and developing your understanding of the world. Sure this might not be as useful in getting a job after uni, but it will set you up for the rest of your life.

Some things about you!
Favourite holiday destination/adventure: Although I am a Sydney-girl, I love Melbourne as a holiday destination – I lived there for a year and have a real affection for the city and it’s also where my fiancé and I got engaged. It has the most wonderful cafes, bars, restaurants, gardens, art galleries, architecture and shopping. The only problem is the weather – too hot in summer and too cold in winter!
Cooking Specialty: Cakes, slices and all types of desserts –I’m not so good on the main meals, but I make a mean dessert – in fact I would eat desserts and drink dessert wine as the main meal if it was socially acceptable!
Summer or Winter? Summer! You can’t be on Waverley Council and not endorse the beach in summer as the quintessential Sydney experience.