Cheryl is the Director of Social Business at the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW.

She was Leader of the Australian Democrats from 1993-1997 and the Member for Dickson and a Labor Shadow Minister from 1998-2001. Her political portfolios included, amongst many, Indigenous Affairs, Treasury, Employment, and Women's Policy.

She played a major parliamentary role in the introduction of compulsory superannuation and in the introduction of Native Title. Her policy interests have been in social justice and social structural reform and in 1994 she introduced legislation to legitimise parental leave; in 1998 she introduced trial social inclusion projects to the Labor Party's employment platform. She was a member of the Council for Reconciliation from 1992-1997.

Following her distinguished political career, Cheryl spent the five years working in the UK as a Programme Director at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurs at the Said Business School at Oxford University and as the Director of Learning at the School for Social Entrepreneurs in London. Her specialist role at the Skoll Centre was to assist and mentor start-up social businesses particularly in the delivery of innovative health services.

Since returning to Australia she has been elected Chair of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and NZ for the past 2 years, and for 4 years was an honorary board member of Foresters Community Finance which is pioneering social investment in social enterprises. She was also on the founding committee of a UK charity which works to provide shelter and education for street children in Kampala, Uganda.

Cheryl is one of the National Trust's 100 National Living Treasures. She was patron of the Australian Women's Cricket Team from 1994-2000, successfully working to address the disparities in funding for women's cricket and she was also one of Australia's first female qualified cricket umpires.