Rita’s parents migrated post-war to Australia from Calabria, Italy and moved to Roleystone in the Perth Hills to establish an orchard. Rita grew up on the family orchard and worked during the school holidays and weekends helping pack and sort the fruit.
After graduating from university, Rita worked as an economist in Canberra and in Perth before being elected to State Parliament in 2008.
In 2013 Rita was appointed to Mark McGowan's Shadow Cabinet team. Rita is the Shadow Minister for Transport; Planning; Infrastructure; and Finance.