As a Senator, Colette has introduced key amendments to the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 to ensure that children with autism have access to the education that is their right.
Her Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill 2018, as outlined in the briefing paper, aims to ensure that Traveller Culture and History is part of schools’ curricula and is taught in early years, primary, junior and senior cycles.
As a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government and as chair of the Young Knocknaheeny Consortium Colette advocates for an end to child homelessness. She has supported legislation for votes for 16 year olds.
Colette campaigned for and secured an unprecedented investment in early years and childcare in the UK and was a Special Advisor to the Minister for Children, the Right Honorable. Margaret Hodge M.P. from 2000-2002.
- The Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill 2018 aims to “provide for the inclusion of traveller culture and history in the curriculum” as taught by recognised schools, and completed all stages in Seanad Eireann in October 2019.
- Colette’s work in the Seanad triggered the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA) 2019 ‘Traveller History and Culture in the Curriculum: A curriculum audit’. Colette secured an advisory group of Travellers to inform the process.
- Colette highlighted the adverse childhood experiences associated with the housing and homelessness crisis in the Seanad, in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government and in the foreword for the 2019 ‘Born and Raised into Homelessness’ Report by Young Knocknaheeny.
- Introduced to Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 to ensure that children with autism get access to the education that is their right.
- Supported initiatives to ensure Cork is a ‘trauma’ aware City including training by Dr Karen Triesman.
- CEO Daycare Trust and OBE for services to childcare in 2000.
- Member of OECD review team to Ireland in 2000.