Helen Sham-Ho MLC
Member, NSW Legislative Council and Former Scout

Sham ho

Serving the Community
One of the Principles of Scouting encourages young people to " develop and use their abilities to the betterment of themselves and their families and the community in which they live". Scouts are often involved in programs that provide help to community organisations and improve community facilities.

Many Scouts have found that serving in government or in organisations that provide services to the public are ways that help them follow these principles as adults.

Helen Sham-Ho has been a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 1988, the first Chinese-born parliamentarian in Australia. She was born in Hong Kong but completed her high school education in Australia. She received a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Social Work from the University of Sydney, where she won the University Prize in Social Work. She received a degree in law from Macquarie University and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar, later becoming a practising solicitor.

While studying law, Helen Sham-Ho worked as Chief Social Worker at Ryde Hospital and taught a welfare course at North Sydney TAFE. Before her election to Parliament she served as Commissioner of the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission. In 1991 she was appointed to the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and in 1992 she became Special Adviser to the Premier of NSW on the Asian Community.

She has been Temporary Chairman of the Legislative Council and Deputy Chairman on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and justice.

"I have had a long and happy association with the Scouting Movement. I first became involved in primary school and continued my active involvement throughout high school, starting as a Girl Guide and progressively moving up to become a Cub Mistress, extending my involvement to the Scout Movement."

"Many of the things I learned during my involvement with Scouting include leadership skills, the ability to work well in a team and a sense of comradeship. These have been of great benefit to me in both my professional career and personal development."

"'These qualities are essential for my work and are part of my everyday life as a Member of Parliament. In addition to developing many of these qualities, I made many lifelong friends that I am still in touch with today through the Scout Movement. "