Jacinta Mary Ann Collins is a former Australian politician who is the executive director of the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC). Jacinta served as a Labor Senator for Victoria from 1995 to 2005 and again from 2008 to 2019; a career of more than 20 years in the Australian Parliament.
During that time, Jacinta was honored to be the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing as well as Labor’s Deputy Leader in the Senate and Manager of Government Business in the Senate. A highlight was being Assistant Minister for School Education and Workplace Relations from 2010 to 2013, where Jacinta was proud to play a key role in the Gonski school education reforms.
In the Parliament Jacinta was a strong advocate for fair funding for all schools.
At the NCEC she sees her role to champion the needs of Catholic schools, teachers and students and firmly believes that all parents should have the choice about which school is best for their child.
The importance of early childhood education and ensuring access to quality schooling for children from disadvantaged families are other issues that Jacinta is passionate about.
Jacinta retired from politics before the 2019 federal election and took up her role with the NCEC on 18 February 2019.
Jacinta was educated at Monash University and La Trobe University, both in Melbourne. Before entering the Australian Parliament she was a social worker and union official and held several positions with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA), including as National Industrial Officer for five years.
Jacinta is married to Daryl. She is a mother of three children and has three grandchildren.