She attended Street Saviour"s College, prior to studying at both the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland.
She has been a Senator for Queensland since 2001. Prior to entering Parliament, Moore was the Branch Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union for seven years. Moore worked as a public servant in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Department of Social Security (now Centrelink) between 1980 and 1994.
Moore was elected Branch Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) in 1994: a position she held until her election to the Senate in 2001.
From 1996 to 2001, Moore was Vice-President, Chair of the Women"s Committee and Chair of the Arts Committee of the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU). She is also a keen member and supporter of APHEDA: the trade union overseas aid program
Moore was elected Senator for Queensland at the Federal Election held on 10 November 2001, representing the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Her first six-year term began on 1 July 2002.
She was re-elected to a second term at the Federal Election held on 24 November 2007.
And to a third term (due to commence on 1 July 2014) at the Federal Election held on 7 September 2013. In the Senate, she has served as Chair or Deputy Chair of the Community Affairs Committee since July 2005, including both Chair of the Community Affairs (Legislation) Committee and Deputy Chair of the Community Affairs (References) Committee. The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (the Caucus) elected a new Shadow Cabinet on Monday 14 October 2013.
On Friday 18 October 2013, The Honorary Bill Shorten Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, announced the allocation of portfolios in which Moore was appointed for Women, for Carers, for Communities, and Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate.
Moore has been involved in many community organisations, including Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR), the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), Friends of the American Broadcasting Company, EMILY"s List, and the Australian Workers" Heritage Centre, the last two of which she was a founding member. According to her ALP profile page, Moore"s personal interests are women"s history (particularly trade unions and the ALP), cricket, Australian and Irish folk music, detective fiction, Paul Keating, and art galleries.
Moore has also served as a Member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. As a Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. And as the Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development.