Giz Watson

Giz Watson

Giz Watson (born 18 January 1957) is an English-Australian politician.


Watson was born in 1957 in Eastleigh, a town in Hampshire, England, and emigrated to Western Australia in September 1967, travelling extensively through the state. She studied environmental science at Murdoch University and, after leaving university to do voluntary work for a couple of years, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1980.cite web | title=Giz Watson MLC | work=The Greens (WA) | url= | accessdate=2006-04-02] Watson was involved in protests in Western Australia against the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. She also became involved in 1979 in the first forest blockades at Wagerup against clear felling of jarrah forests for bauxite mining.

She returned to the United Kingdom in the 1980s, where she was involved with training women to participate in the peace camp outside the Royal Air Force base RAF Greenham Common, which protested against the deployment of nuclear cruise missiles at the base. In 1985 she participated in the first encirclement by women protestors of Greenham Common. In 1984 Watson attained a trade certificate in carpentry from the City and Guilds of London Institute in London. It was soon after this that she joined the anarchist building collective in London, with everyone from architects to labourers getting the same pay, making decisions equally and subsidising worthy projects.

In 1985 she returned to Australia and ran a building and construction business in Western Australia. In 1992, Watson became one of only three women to be registered as builders in Western Australia. During this time Watson also worked as the coordinator for the Marine & Coastal Community Network in Western Australia.

Political life

Watson joined the Greens WA party in 1990, and in the federal election that year, stood for the House of Representatives seat of Forrest. Shortly afterwards, she became the co-convener of the Greens WA party. Watson was narrowly elected to the state's Legislative Council at the 1996 election, as a member for the North Metropolitan Region. She was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2008.

Watson has campaigned in parliament on a number of issues, including the banning of uranium mining and radioactive waste disposal in Western Australia.cite web | title=Giz Watson BSc MLC: About Giz | work=MP and Electorate Office Resource References | url= | accessdate=2006-04-02] She has also campaigned against female genital mutilation since at least 1998, and in 2004 successfully lobbied the Attorney-General of Western Australia, Jim McGinty, to introduce laws making the practice a crime. Watson, an open lesbian,cite web |title=We have to present an alternative vision |date=1997-04-16 |accessdate=2007-07-08 |work=Green Left Weekly |url= |last=Benbow |first=Anthony |coauthors=Harmon, Justin] has also served on the Ministerial Committee on Lesbian and Gay Law Reform, which proposed wide reforms in the area of gay and lesbian rights in Western Australia.



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