Janine Kitson

About Janine Kitson

BA, Dip Ed, M Ed, Dip TEFL, MA, M Ed (Hons), University of Sydney

Janine believes it is time for her to stand as an Independent  for the seat of Bradfield in the upcoming Federal election (sometime between August 2021 and May 2022) - on the issues of climate action, integrity in politics and restoring the cuts to the ABC.

Janine is a former Ku-ring-gai Councillor, National Trust (NSW) Director, Colong Foundation for Wilderness Deputy Chair, Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE) Vice President and Northern Suburbs of Sydney Branch of ABC Friends Convenor.

Professionally Janine has worked as a teacher and consultant for the NSW Department of Education and as the English Adviser for an Australian Government overseas education project in Samoa.

More about Janine Kitson

Serving children and parents

Janine is a proud teacher and educator.

Within the Bradfield electorate Janine has taught at:

  • Normanhurst Boys High School, teaching English and History
  • Killara High School, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and HSC English 
  • Beaumont Road Public School, West Lindfield, teaching Japanese and Science    

As well Janine has also taught in a wide range of schools across Sydney including the Conservatorium High School, Whalan High School, Elderslie High School, Eagle Vale High School, Ryde Public School, North Sydney Demonstration School and West Ryde Public School.   

Janine also worked as a consultant for the NSW Department of Education's Learning Materials Production Centre that produced distance and school learning materials.  Her HSC resource ‘Aboriginal Experience’ was recognised for an Excellence in Educational Publishing award in 1994.  

Janine also taught English for the Nagoya Department of Education, as one of the first participants on the Japan Exchange Teaching Program. 

Janine again worked overseas in Samoa as the English Advisor on the  AusAid education project - the Samoa Primary Education Materials Project (1996-2000).  There she was privileged to work with Samoan educator  Faaea Mulitalo and together they wrote fifteen student workbooks and radio broadcasts for Samoan students in Years 4-8.   

From 2010-2020 Janine was a regular columnist for the NSW Teachers Federation journal Education writing children's book reviews. 

Serving Bradfield's Community 

From 2000-2004 Janine was elected as an Independent local government councillor on Ku-ring-gai Councillor where she championed Ku-ring-gai's built and natural heritage.  She worked with local community groups to successfully achieve the public acquisition of environmentally sensitive land in the St Ives Blue Gum High Forest.  Her other major campaign was protecting the heritage of Gordon Railway Station.   

Defending Heritage and the Environment

Janine served as a Director of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) from 2004-2012 where she worked to promote and protect heritage properties and conservation areas across NSW. 

She proudly served the National Trust by taking on the role as President of the David G. Stead Memorial Wild Life Research Foundation of Australia that managed the National Trust property ‘Wirrimbirra’ at Bargo. This State Heritage listed property was gifted by the Stead Foundation to the National Trust in 1965.  Environmental educator Thistle Y. Harris (1902–1990) established the Stead Foundation to commemorate the memory of her environmental pioneer husband David G. Stead (1877–1957)

Janine has led many heritage walks celebrating Bradfield's natural, built and cultural heritage including guided tours of Gordon railway station and garden precinct, Turramurra's Sheldon Forest, and St Ives Blue Gum High Forest.  These walks have been in partnership with community groups including Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment, Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, National Trust, STEP, and Friends of Tulkiyan and Eryldene. 

Janine worked closely with the Bradfield community to protect the State Heritage listed values of Gordon Railway Station that was under threat in 2004 from inappropriately located lifts.  With the expertise of the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society she led a delegation to the NSW Heritage Council that successfully put the case that the lifts needed to be relocated.

Then again in 2018 Janine led a campaign to protect Gordon railway station when State Rail wanted to expand platform 1.  This proposal threatened a heritage camellia hedge planted by the renowned gardener Professor Waterhouse of Eryldene.

Again this led to the successful replanting of Professor Waterhouse’s camellia hedge with even some being retained.  State Rail also agreed to plant a ‘green wall’ to cover a recently constructed large concrete wall on the western side of Gordon Station. 

As Vice President of the National Parks Association of NSW and Deputy Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness Janine developed her ecological understanding, so necessary in the advocacy of NSW's forests, rivers, rainforests, and woodlands across NSW. including Lithgow's Gardens of Stone.   

Fundraising for Stewart House

As president of the NSWTF’s Ryde-Macquarie Teachers Association (2011-2017), Janine worked with teachers to organise seven public education dinners starting with Jack Mundey, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first Green Bans that saved so much of Sydney’s built and natural heritage.  These dinners raised $15,000 for Stewart House - NSWTF’s official charity that provides short term holiday respite for NSW public school students in need. 

Working for ‘Jobs and the Environment’

From 2017-2019 Janine collaborated with the Combined Retired Union Members Association (CRUMA) and Retired CFMEU to organise delegations of retired unionists to visit Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone - a landscape of spectacularly beautiful and rare ironstone pagoda rock formations and rare biodiverse upland swamps.   This helped begin conversations about how just transition and environmental protection is a win-win for workers and the environment.  A short segment of one of these union visits can be seen on the Tom Zubrycki documentary Gardens of Stone, Living Landscape (https://www.gardensofstone.org.au/

Janine is a member of Unions NSW’s Retired Unionists and has chaired its meetings.  She also attends Unions NSW's Women's Committee meetings that seeks economic equality and justice for women.  Janine has been privileged to work with Unions NSW's First Nations Committee to commemorate First Nations WWI veteran George Bennett who tragically died in police custody in Mungindi in 1950 and was buried in an unmarked grave. 

Since 2020 Janine has been a member of the ACTU’s Retired Unionists Network (RUN), a national network of retired union members, who seek to ensure Australia remains a fair and equitable nation based on decent wages and conditions (sick leave, carers leave, maternity leave, annual leave) as well as safe workplaces, good superannuation, secure work and the minimum wage.  RUN believes a compassionate and prosperous Australia depends on access to social services like Medicare, the aged pension, the disability pension, unemployment benefits, youth allowance and public housing.  RUN also argues for strong and well funded quality public services including those for aged care, health care, childcare, school education, TAFE, universities, the arts, the national broadcasters - the ABC and SBS.  RUN is currently campaigning to implement the finding of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Life Long Learning

On retiring as a teacher, Janine worked as a tutor for the Workers Educational Association (WEA, Sydney) writing and presenting over 50 courses on Australian environmental history.  Adults across NSW also enrolled in Janine's distance education discussion group WEA courses 'Possums, Power, People, Passion and the Protection of the Australian Environment' and 'Wombats, Wattle, Wilderness, World Heritage and Wellbeing'.  

Janine has also taught and presented environmental history courses at the University of Third Age (U3A), university history conferences as well as to Probus and Rotary Clubs. 

In 2019 Janine was invited to be the guest speaker for the National Council of Women’s Australia Day Scholarship luncheon, held at the Strangers Dining Room, NSW Parliament House where she spoke about the founder of the modern environment movement US marine biologist Rachel Carson.

Standing up for the ABC

Janine was the founding convenor of Northern Suburbs of Sydney (NSoS) Branch of ABC Friends NSW & ACT. formed in 2019.  In October 2020 she led a delegation to Parliament House, Canberra, calling for the budget cuts to the ABC be reversed. 

Honoured by the Community

Janine has been honoured with the following awards:

  • Allen and Beryl Strom Award, National Parks Association of NSW, 2016
  • NSW Teachers Federation Life Member, 2016
  • Service to Students Medal, NSW Department of Education, 2015
  • Ryde-Macquarie Teachers Association Life Member, 2014
  • North Shore Times Community Medal for Conservation & the Environment, 2010.

Growing up in Bradfield 

Janine has lived most of her life in Gordon and attended Gordon Public School and Killara High School, as well as Yokohama International School and Nepean High School.  

Born in Hamilton, New Zealand in 1960, Janine has renounced her New Zealander citizenship in order to stand for the upcoming Federal election.   

 

Testimonials:

ABC Friends NSW & ACT

Janine Kitson, who has led the Northern Suburbs of Sydney branch of Friends since its establishment with both energy and inspiration, is stepping down from her role as President to prepare as a candidate in the next Federal election. This branch happens to cover the electorate of Minister Fletcher, and branch members have devoted much time and energy to demonstrating their support for the ABC outside the Minister’s office (see coverage of a rally in this Update). We thank Janine for her leadership, and wish her well in her forthcoming campaign  

Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society

Janine Kitson has been a member of KBCS for decades.  She was a Councillor on Ku-ring-gai Council for four years and strongly supported a campaign to prevent development/destruction of Blue Gum High Forest from 2003 - 2007.  This critically endangered ecological community supports diet species of grey-headed flying-foxes.  Now Janine has decided to stand as a Candidate at the next federal election . . . for Bradfield which covers much of Ku-ring-gai including  Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve.