Rachel Stephen-Smith

Rachel Stephen-Smith Main Image

Member for Kurrajong

Minister for Health, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

I love Canberra and I want our fantastic city to be the best it can be. I grew up in O'connor, walking and riding my bike to local public schools - O'Connor Coop, Turner Primary, Lyneham High and Dickson College. The sense of community surrounding our public schools is something I'm reminded of all the time as a local representative for the heart of Canberra. 

Before entering the Assembly, I'd worked as a policy advisor and senior executive in the Federal and ACT Governments and with non-government organisations. I've also been a waitress and a diplomat; a horse riding coach and a Cabinet Minister's Chief of Staff. 

ACT Government services make a real difference in people's lives whether it's in the day-to-day things like maintaining parks and footpaths, big projects like building light rail, critical services like schools and hospitals, or the complex work of supporting children and families who are doing it tough. After more than 20 years in public policy, I know that good government is driven by clear values, sound evidence and strong community engagement. 

I've been an active member of Canberra's equestrian community since I was a teenager, volunteering with local organisations, running major events and helping develop and manage the equestrian park in Yarralumla. 

While living in Washington DC a few years ago, I volunteered with one of the most disadvantaged communities in the city. That experience inspired me to take the next step in standing up for my own community. 

I'm passionate about seeing Canberra continue to grow as a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive city.