- Local Champion
Rae Kingsbury’s commitment to community engagement, good governance and democracy has made an exceptional contribution to the Victorian community and those in neighbouring countries.
Following a career as a nurse, midwife, Oxfam campaigner and union organiser, Rae was an elected councillor with the City of Darebin and a former mayor of Darebin in 2004.
Rae’s work with Darebin’s Indigenous community led to the establishment of the Darebin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Council and a dedicated Aboriginal Liaison Officer. The leadership Rae demonstrated led to her appointment to the Board of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation.
Rae’s commitment to community politics saw her serve on the boards of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), the Municipal Association of Australia and the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA). In 2004, Rae was the first woman elected as national president of the ALGA. Following her role as councillor, Rae worked as a policy officer for the VLGA and was appointed CEO in January 2007.
It was during her tenure as CEO that Rae developed best practice governance and community politics training for mayors and councillors in Australia and Asia. In 1999, in conjunction with the then head of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid Human Rights Office, Rae coordinated the Australian observer mission to Timor-Leste’s vote for independence.
Following the destruction and violence that accompanied the ballot and in cooperation with Timor-Leste Ambassador, Abel Guterres, Rae co-founded the community-based Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Groups in December 1999 (now Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network). In December 2012, Rae was appointed Honorary Consul for Timor-Leste Victoria.