Emma was born on 30 July 1997. She lived in Ross-shire as a child, attending Bridgend Primary School and Alness Academy. In her late teens, she moved to Inverness for a temporary position at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), alongside working for Deliveroo on her bike.
When she was 19, she accepted a position with the Scottish Ambulance Service. Emma now lives in Merkinch, Inverness.
In 2019, Emma was elected as councillor for Inverness Central in the local by-election. In 2021 Emma was elected as MSP for the Highlands and Islands, she maintained her councillor role alongside her parliamentary position until the 2022 Local Authority Elections. She committed to donating her councillor’s salary to good causes in Inverness Central, which she did until standing down as a councillor.
In March 2023, she became the Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees.
Emma is passionate about social justice, disability rights, equality, and the LGBTQ+ community. She formerly sat on the Social Justice and Social Security Committee in the Scottish Parliament and was a member of the Cross-Party Group on Disability, as well as Cross-Party Groups covering women’s health, and LGBT+ issues.
Having personal experience of mental health issues, Emma champions the reform of mental health services. In 2020, following a successful and years-long petition, she succeeded in having an option for mental health emergencies added to Scotland’s NHS24 service.
In her spare time, she takes part in local art groups and comedy clubs, plays several instruments, and is a season ticket holder for her beloved Inverness Caledonian Thistle.