Marie Ficarra has served her community in elected office, corporate and philanthropic roles over more than 4 decades. Marie holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours. Following her graduation she became a Senior Tutor at the University in Histology and Physiology and worked in her early career as a scientist investigating children’s muscular dystrophy. She went on to have a successful corporate career including becoming NSW Manager for Hoechst Australia (Pharmaceuticals) & Behring Diagnostics.
Marie was elected to Hurstville City Council in 1979 and became Mayor serving with distinction for 16 years.
In 1995 Marie was elected to the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Assembly as the Member for Georges River and served until 1999, with promotion to Shadow Minister for the Environment.
Passionate about improving Women’s Cancer research and management, she become the General Manager of Cytyc Australia, the company that introduced the gold standard cytological screening test for Cervical Cancer.
in March 2007 Marie elected to the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament, making her the first woman in NSW to serve in the Legislative Assembly, then the Legislative Council. She is the first woman in the Liberal Party of NSW to ever serve in both Houses. In March 2011, Marie was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier.
Marie has participated in many Parliamentary Committees and inquiries, including the demanding role of Chair, General Purpose Standing Committee Number 2. This involved overseeing expenditure, performance and effectiveness of Government Departments and portfolios including Health and Medical Research, Education, Mental Health, Ageing, Aboriginal Affairs, Disability Services, Family and Community Services, Women, Citizenship and Communities, Western NSW, and Sports and Recreation.
Over the years, Marie has also served as
- Patron, Baden Powell Scouting Association of Australia, Bambara District Scouts, 1st Hurstville Scouts
- Patron, Australian Air League, Peakhurst Girls Squadron
- Patron, Sydney All Breeds Dog Training Club, South Hurstville
- Patron, Returned Serviceman's Leagues Youth Club,
- Patron, Peakhurst Amateur Swimming Club Inc.
- Patron, Kogarah Meals on Wheels
- Chair St George Emergency Services Committee
- President and Life Member of the Australian Local Government Women’s' Association
- President and Life Member of Georges River Community Service
- Ambassador for Life Education NSW
- Vice-President, Georges River Penshurst Cricket Association and St Georges Umpires League
Marie has championed many human rights causes and in November 2016, was awarded the “Medal of Gratitude” by the President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
Marie works tirelessly with her husband Dr Alan Carless to raise money and establish sound finances and governance for AGCF. Since joining the team, her efforts in organising successful fundraising events have outshone all others.