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Who's Tammy Tyrrell?

She’s more than just the person on the other end of a contact form.

Tammy Tyrrell is Tasmania’s only independent Senator. As an independent, she doesn’t have to worry about party politics and factional games. She’s the only Senator who can be 100%, full-time, focused on you. 

Picture in your head what a politician is like. 

That’s not Tammy. She’s the opposite.

She’s worked in paddocks, factories, offices, and now, she works in the Commonwealth Parliament. But she’s never forgotten where she came from. 

In the Senate, Tammy has already secured wins for Tasmania, such as securing a guaranteed 1,200 affordable homes and delivering funding for homelessness services. She’s working on delivering more victories for people who are needing help the most: people working their way through Family Law Court, people taking time out of work to care for sick relatives, people trying to get ahead in life, but just need a little help. 

Tam isn’t like other politicians. She’s a normal person who sees what needs fixing, who needs helping, and gets to work on getting it done. That’s why we like her. Get to know her; you will too.

Where she’s from

Tammy Tyrrell was born and raised on Tasmania’s north-west coast. She spent her childhood swimming at Gunns Plains, rugging up in knitted jumpers, and collecting firewood for winter. She was lousy at maths and great at reading and writing. That’s how she’d learn about the world outside of her pocket of Tasmania.

After finishing school, Tammy worked on a farm to pay off the debt against her beloved XD Falcon. She didn’t grow up with much money, so she learned early the value of a dollar: both how hard they can be to come by, and how easy they are to lose. If you wanted to save, you had to sacrifice.

Tammy was too young when her mum’s heart stopped. Her mum was too young too.

Losing a parent like that teaches you lessons you can’t learn any other way. 

It teaches you that life’s short — and for some, it’s too short. But it’s also up to you what you do with it. Help those who need help. Be kind. Be generous. Don’t take life for granted, but don’t take it too seriously either. 

Tammy’s career spans roles in paddocks, factories, and offices. She spent 15 years in employment services, helping the long-term unemployed find work. During this time, she saw how unemployment breaks people.

Those years in employment services shaped Tammy’s values and drive. She understands the dignity that comes with work and the despair that follows when it’s taken away. 

It’s these values that drive Tammy’s work today. She understands that most people just want the ability to earn a decent living doing decent work with dignity, and give their kids the kind of future they deserve. That’s what she wants to help with.

Tammy Tyrrell has secured wins for Tasmanians since joining the Senate. She negotiated a guarantee for 1,200 affordable Tasmanian homes over five years in the Housing Australia Future Fund. Without her efforts, zero homes were guaranteed.

Homelessness in Tasmania has been growing faster than any other state. The 1,200 homes Tammy won are enough to shelter every Tasmanian sleeping rough tonight — twice over. It’s enough to bring our homelessness rate down, rather than see it grow. It’s the first time in modern history we can say that.

Tammy pushed through the Senate a motion which axed an $18 million slush fund for the Governor-General. She helped keep the Australian Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grants program, which supports Tassie’s wine industry. She’s delivered funding for homelessness service providers and has worked with her colleagues in the Senate voting to make it easier for people to get decent jobs, at decent pay, and get off the treadmill of permanent contracting via labour hire loopholes. 

At home, Tammy has two adult sons, a cat named Cookie, and a dog named Charlie. She and her partner Tim have been together 25 years – the “longest short-term relationship ever,” she jokes.

Tammy’s wins show she can get results for Tasmania. She works to find practical solutions. Tasmanians can rely on her to fight for them.

Tammy’s life experiences and values drive her current campaigns in the Senate. She’s focusing on issues that directly impact the lives of everyday Tasmanians, drawing from her own journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

Vaping — block the ban!

Tammy has seen firsthand how vaping can help people quit smoking, with three members of her own family successfully using it to kick the habit. She refuses to be a hypocrite, supporting vaping for her loved ones while denying others the same opportunity. Instead of an outright ban — which will only push people towards legal nicotine from cigarettes — Tammy advocates for sensible regulation that prevents children from accessing vaping products while allowing adults to use them as a tool to quit smoking.

Carers should retire with dignity

Young carers who leave the workforce for a year or two, to support a loved one who needs caring, are losing out on superannuation and are never closing the gap. Paying superannuation on carers payments for people under 40 will not only result in people retiring with more money, but it’ll also save the budget millions of dollars by reducing pension outlays. It’s good for families, good for dignity in retirement, and good for the budget. Nobody should have to retire in poverty for the crime of caring for their dying mum.

Tammy’s campaigns reflect her commitment to creating a fairer, more compassionate Tasmania. She’s working on the things she’s always believed in: sometimes the ones who need the most help are the ones who get the least attention. They’re the ones who struggle day to day, paycheck to paycheck, who want a fairer society that looks after its most vulnerable, while respecting that every dollar of taxpayer money that’s spent is a dollar someone worked hard to earn.

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