Jaala was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council as Member for Western Victoria in November 2006.
Jaala is currently Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development in the Andrews Labor Government. Jaala also serves as Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
In 2007 she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial Relations, then Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Development, Industry and Trade, in January 2010. Between December 2010 and November 2014, she served as the Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Regional & Rural Development and Agriculture.
Jaala joined the Castlemaine Branch of the ALP at the age of 16. Her ALP involvement includes being an ALP State and National Conference Delegate and National Labor Women’s Network Secretary. Jaala is a past Vice-President of the ALP Victorian Branch and past President of the ALP Women’s Policy Committee. She is a member of the Emily’s List National Committee and sits on the Victorian ALP’s GLBTI policy committee.
Before entering Parliament, Jaala was a union official with the National Union of Workers for over a decade.
Having grown up in Castlemaine until moving to Melbourne for study and work after leaving school, Jaala understands the issues faced by regional Victorians. She is a proud advocate for first-rate health and education services and job opportunities for regional Victorians, no matter where they live.
Jaala studied at Bendigo Secondary College and currently holds a Bachelor of Applied Management from Federation University (also known as the University of Ballarat) and a Masters of Public Policy from Deakin University.
In her spare time, Jaala enjoys travel, camping, music, baking but not cooking, reading, the occasional run and spending time with her family.