The Victorian Greens Senator has since played a main role in the formation of the Greens in her home state.
She was a founding member of Australian Greens Victoria in 1992 and took a seat on the City of Maribyrnong as a Greens councillor between 2003 and 2008.
Though she acknowledged the two experiences are very different, she told SBS her time in local government will help her adjust to the Senate,
“I think the experience is very relevant,” she said.
“If you’re open to be working collaboratively and find other people that are also in that case, you can make some really good progress.”
Listen: Stephanie Anderson speaks with Janet Rice.
As a life member of the Greens, Rice said she would be sticking to party lines when to came to legislation, working against cuts to welfare and voting to retain the carbon tax .
“We are passionate about taking very serious action on addressing global warming,” she said.
“We’re very open to be working with any people who are interested in pursuing similar agendas … If there is the opportunity to be working with the crossbenchers, we’ll be pursuing them.”
In addition to environmental issues, Ms Rice said she would be joining Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in campaigning against the “warped priorities” in the Abbott Government’s immigration policy.
“For me, it’s something that I’m passionate about,” he said.
“We as Australians, we can afford to be putting out a helping hand and providing a caring approach to refugees… It’s cheaper to be treating people well and fairly rather than locking them up.”
Senator Rice has since taken to Twitter to celebrate her first day in the job.
Here I am! Day 1 being Senator Rice 苏州半永久网,苏州半永久网,/mjH5NzVYj7
— Janet Rice (@janet_rice) July 1, 2014