Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on women. As a Greens MP in the NSW Parliament for over a decade Lee held the women’s portfolio and campaigned on funding for an Office of Women, women's health, the working rights of women, better services and laws for women subject to domestic violence and abortion law reform.
In the federal sphere Lee is continuing to champion women’s rights, including work/life balance and women’s representation in politics. She is also working on reproductive health as part of her work in the foreign aid portfolio. Lee founded the annual Juanita Nielsen Memorial lecture in 2001. Juanita was a community activist who disappeared feared murdered for her stance against overdevelopment in Kings Cross.
19 Nov 2010
The Australian Greens have expressed disappointment with the Government's approach to much needed pay increases in the community services sector after they backed down on a union test case on pay equity for sector workers.
15 Nov 2010
Community Affairs References Committee Reference
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(3.34 pm)—I move:
(1) That the Senate: (a) acknowledges the recent apology given by the Western Australian Parliament to those mothers whose children were removed and given up for adoption from the late 1940s to the 1980s; and (b) notes that policies and practices resulting in forced adoptions were widespread throughout Australia during that time.
15 Jun 2010
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.59 pm)—I move: That the Senate—
(a) recognises the grief, pain and anguish suffered by thousands of mothers who were vic-tims of the forced adoption policies implemented by state governments for decades; and
16 Mar 2010
The Federal Government and Coalition have united to ensure that homebirth in Australia will be further marginalised by rejecting amendments to provide midwives with access to indemnity insurance irrespective of the location or venue of the births that they attend, the Australian Greens say.
In addition the government chose to reject Greens amendments that would have taken away the power of doctors to veto aspects of midwifery practice, such as homebirth, that they are philosophically opposed to, despite the near universal evidence that safe low risk homebirth has positive outcomes for mother and child.
"We have consistently said that the Government amendments to their Midwives legislation give doctors too much control over midwives practice," said Greens health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.
09 Nov 2009
The Australian Greens have put their support behind rallies being held around Australia today in support of the rights of Australian midwives.
The Greens support the rights of women to choose safe homebirths with the assistance of a midwife and have been working to strengthen the government's midwives legislation.
But the government's amendment to their bill, to be debated next week, requires midwives to work at all times in formal collaborative arrangements with doctors as a condition of insurance.
Doctors will be able to veto these arrangements effectively giving the medical profession the ability to control which midwives can be insured and register.
23 Sep 2009
The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to ensure that a successful men’s service in WA's east Kimberley that has been widely praised for tackling alcohol abuse and reducing domestic violence is not forced to close its doors next week.
“Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu, also known as Derby Men's Service, accommodates about 60 men a week – providing a place to eat, sleep and wash, while supporting them to turn their lives around,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.
07 Sep 2009
Senator Rachel Siewert speaks at the homebirths rally at Parliament House, Canberra.
31 Jul 2009
Plans by the Federal Government for national registration of all health professionals will result in midwives in private practice being unable to seek registration on the basis of their inability to obtain professional indemnity insurance.
The Greens believe women have the right to choose safe homebirths, and will amend this proposed legislation to ensure that mothers continue to have the option of a homebirth with the assistance of a registered midwife, without incurring huge financial penalties.