Trish was born in Woodville, South Australia, the daughter of German migrants who came to Australia after W.W.2. During her teens she was a member of the Girl Guides and the RSPCA, her interests ranging from playing and umpiring Netball to reading, fishing, sailing and Aussie Rules Football. Her early ambition was to become a High School Teacher, specialising in Economics and History Studies.
However, influenced by her mother’s chosen career of Nursing, at the age of 19, Trish decided to follow in her footsteps. Her fourteen year career within the Health Profession was grounded in one of Australia’s largest Public Institutions, The Royal Australian Navy. (WRANS) She trained in the areas of Administration, as well as Surgical and Theatre Nursing. Trish’s successful management of a team of professionals in the medical departments of Outpatients, Casualty and Medicals Section demonstrated a high level of practical and responsible leadership in a highly demanding role, which was to stand her in good stead for her future career in politics.
After leaving the Navy, she moved into the area of Aged Care Nursing, while completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of South Australia. In 1993and 1994 Trish was elected as a Student Representative for the Salisbury Campus and Coordinator of the Save Salisbury Campus Campaign.
Trish’s interest in politics, concern for struggling families and community and social justice issues encouraged her to join the Liberal Party and subsequently stand for pre-selection for the Federal seat of Makin in November 1994. After 14 hardworking months on the campaign trail, with the help of the campaign team, family, friends and her three young sons, against all the odds, Trish won the seat of Makin at the 1996 Federal Election.
As a Federal Member of Parliament Trish saw her role as voicing the concerns and representing the aspirations of her electorate to the Parliament in Canberra, which she accomplished with distinction and conviction. Trish went on to win the former Labor seat over four consecutive elections from 1996, to 1998, 2001 and 2004 holding her 1% margin in the 1998 GST election again, against the odds. Her hard work and outstanding record of service to her constituents, many volunteer community organisations, sporting clubs, church groups and service clubs ensured her reputation as one of the best marginal seat members and campaigners in Australia for the Liberal Party.
Trish also served on number of Committees ranging from Health and Aged Care to Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In June 2006, after the death of long serving staff member who had lost an 18 month battle against myeloid leukaemia and sudden serious illness of her husband, Trish decided she needed to spend more time with her family and assist her husband with his recovery back to good health. Although Prime Minister John Howard encouraged her to stay, Trish announced her intention to retire from Federal politics at the 2007 election on the 26th July 2006.