Born in Tasmania, and having lived there for most of her life Catryna Bilyk was elected as a Labor Senator for Tasmania in November 2007 taking her seat in the Senate on 1 July 2008. She was re-elected in September 2013 and again in the double dissolution election of 2016 for a further three-year term.
Catryna’s previous work experience included a variety of positions and roles including medical administration, research and early childhood education. While working with the Australian Services Union she set up the first Union Jobskills Program and represented the Union on many Industry Training Advisory Boards. She was the ASU delegate to Unions Tasmania and held the position of Senior Vice President of Unions Tasmania.
In the few years immediately prior to her election to the Senate Catryna was employed by the Tasmanian Government as an Advisor/Electorate Officer with Tasmanian Government Ministers David Crean, David Llewellyn and Ken Bacon.
In addition to her core duties as a Senator Catryna has campaigned for greater community awareness of online safety for children at home and in schools. She has also been a strong advocate for protection of children from abuse and neglect, for better access to palliative care, and for the rights of public service employees with long-term workplace injuries.
Catryna has campaigned for improved research into brain cancer treatment to increase survival rates and organised events which have so far raised over $100,000 for brain cancer research.
In late 2016 Catryna pursued the establishment of a new Senate select committee to investigate funding for cancers with low survival rates, including brain cancer. The committee has since been established with Catryna appointed Chair.