Alumni Career Snapshot – Jenny Lindell

Meet Jenny Lindell who graduated from Killester College in 1970. Jenny had an interesting career by starting her life as a Medical Imaging Technologist and then shifted across into Politics. She began her political career as an Electorate Officer, then became a Member of Parliament and finally ended up as Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

Pure Mathematics, Calculus and Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English

What are some of the roles you have held in your career?

Medical Imaging Technologist, Electorate Officer, Member of Parliament, Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly

What path did you take to get to where you are now?

I loved my 20-year career as a MIT but I became more politically active after my children were born. In 1990 an opportunity presented itself to work in a local MPs office which gave me more time for politics. I was elected in 1999, re-elected in 2002 and 2006, lost my seat in the 2010 election and am now happily retired.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

My parents were determined that their daughters would be given the educational opportunities that their mother was denied and they made many sacrifices to ensure that happened. In return, I made the fullest use of those opportunities.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love being retired and pleasing myself as to how I spend my time. My working life was centred around helping people – within the health sector originally and then through advocacy and legislative change through the political system. 

What are you most proud of in your career?

My four years as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. I was the 35th person to hold that position and only the second woman.

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

I chose a career that doesn’t have much down. Learning to balance my time between work and family was an immense challenge.

What have been some career highlights?

Being a member of the Bracks/Brumby Government and the reform of the Victorian Legislative Council.

Leading the campaign for and delivering the Aspendale Gardens Primary School.

Being a member of the Alpine Grazing task force which recommended the removal of cattle grazing licences in the Alpine National Park. 

Do you have anything special that you remember about your time at Killester College?

I have especially fond memories of times when I was in trouble with Mother Dorothy!  I have always remembered her kindness in the face of my belligerence and have tried to emulate her behaviour.

Do you have any words of wisdom/advice for our Killester Girls?

Sister Bernadine wrote some words for me as I left Killester in 1970 –

 ‘ the high soul takes the high road, the low soul takes the low road and in between on the misty plains the rest rock to and fro‘

I have always interpreted this to mean that it’s a choice to be made – high, low, in between – nothing is set in stone, your future is in your hands.