|Senator for Tasmania|
1 July 2008
|Born||Catryna Louise Goninon
7 February 1959
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Spouse(s)||Robert Bilyk (m. 1981)|
Bilyk was elected to serve a six-year term in the Senate at the 2007 federal election, after being placed in the third position on the Australian Labor Party's Tasmanian ticket. She was elected to the sixth Senate seat for Tasmania, on preferences distributed from Andrew Wilkie, the Australian Greens' second candidate for the Senate in Tasmania in the 2007 election. It was second time lucky for Bilyk, who had also been preselected in third spot on the Labor Senate ticket in Tasmania at the 2001 federal election, but failed to win a seat.
Bilyk was born in Hobart. She worked as an industrial officer for the Australian Services Union, a researcher for psychiatric pioneer Eric Cunningham Dax, an early childhood educator, and an advisor to Tasmanian Labor Ministers David Crean, Ken Bacon (politician) and David Llewellyn (Australian politician). She has been ALP National Vice-President. She is married with two adult children.
Brain Cancer Advocacy
In March 2008, as a Senator-elect, Catryna was diagnosed with two benign brain tumours, which were surgically removed. Her experience with brain tumours motivated her to raise funds for research to improve the survival rate for cancer. To date, events she has organised have raised over $120,000 for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
On 6 December 2016, Senator Bilyk was appointed chair of a newly-formed Senate Select Committee into funding for research into cancers with low survival rates. The Committee has been tasked with inquiring into and reporting on “the impact of health research funding models on the availability of funding for research into cancers with low survival rates.”
- Australian Electoral Commission, Tasmanian preference count, 2007 election, retrieved January 2008
- "2001 Federal Election Results". Australian Electoral Commission.
- Australian Services Union, ASU official appointed ALP Vice-President, retrieved January 2008
- The Mercury, On reflection I have changed my mind about same-sex marriage, retrieved December 2016
- Australian Labor Party, Ms Catryna Bilyk – Senator Elect for Tasmania, retrieved January 2008
- ABC News Online, Brain tumour survivor to lead rare cancers inquiry, retrieved December 2016