Carole said her introduction to politics was prompted by her mother telling her she could meet nice boys if she went to Young Liberals meetings. But Carole said after one visit, she got the impression that all they did was drink and play around.
As a new teacher Carole described becoming concerned about class sizes of 50 children and not receiving the same pay as new male teachers. Carole joined the Victorian Teachers' Union and soon found most of her friends belonged to the Australian Labor Party and she joined too.
In due course Carole’s father died and her mother decided to cut up the family farm on the Goomalibee Road. Carole had by then become quite involved in the ALP.
Carole and her husband Godfrey decided to move to Melbourne, where Godfrey had a job in the wool industry, after Carole was appointed to the Noxious Weeds Board by Joan Kirner. While at the Noxious Weeds Board Carole was instrumental in the development of the Land Care Program.
Finding herself living in the new seat of Altona, Carole decided to fight for the position of ALP candidate. She took it on and won.
Eventually Leader of the Opposition John Brumby asked Carole to be shadow minister for agriculture and in that role Carole travelled round the state, largely to Victorian Farmers Federation meetings. Partly because the minister in power was not happy about it and partly because she left her handbag behind, she remembers opening an agricultural show in the Mallee. Not a lot of those though.
Carole was the first female in the shadow agriculture role and while the ALP was not hugely popular in country areas, some farmers, probably more inclined towards the coalition, “were supporting me because I was a woman having a go”. Quite often farmers said they seldom saw Carole in the countryside but Carole said “the reason was they never asked me”.
Representing the country side as a woman in the Labor party gave Carole great satisfaction. Carole said the aspect of being a politician she really liked was making speeches in parliament. "I loved the to and fro of it," she said.
After Carole lost the seat of Altona, largely because of factional fighting, she left the ALP for a while in disgust. But because many of her Benalla friends were in it, she later rejoined.
The next Stock and Land speaker, on Tuesday August 7, will be Devenish farmer and silo art visionary, Kevin Mitchell.