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Politics Done Differently

Author: Caterina Sullivan

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Politics Done Differently is a ‘no frills’ political podcast for the everyday voter where host Caterina Sullivan interviews federal, state / territory and local politicians across Australia. In these casual, fun and engaging conversations, Caterina talks to political figures about how to engage Australian voters in the political conversation.
23 Episodes
In this episode, we talk to Mr Graham Perrett MP, Federal Member for Moreton and Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The history of the electorate of Moreton - The development of policy since 2007 in Australia - The reason for such political instability in Australia - The work of the Human Rights Committee - The work of Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training - Work in the electorate - The threat of climate change - The use of social media - Our need for a plan for the future - The impact of a politician’s life on their children - How to engage children in politics - Our Australian school system - The integrity of our news outlets and ‘fake news’ About Mr Perrett: Graham was born in St George in Queensland in 1966, the seventh of ten children. He received a Diploma of Teaching in 1985 and taught high school English for eleven years in state and Catholic schools. Graham has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology. He was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1999 and worked in commercial and estate law. He later worked as an organiser with the Queensland Independent Education Union, before becoming a Senior Policy Advisor with the Queensland Government and then the Queensland Resources Council. Growing up in a small country town gave Graham a strong sense of community.  He joined the Labor Party because of the Party’s strong commitment to fairness, equality and an opportunity for all.    As a teacher and lawyer Graham has fought for the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our community and understands the importance of a top quality education for every Australian child. Graham was elected to parliament in 2007 and has been fighting for the Southside ever since. Graham is a keen musician, reader and the author of three books: The Twelfth Fish, The Big Fig and The Solid Rock. He lives in Moorooka with his wife Lea and two sons. Following his re-election at the 2019 Federal Election, Graham was appointed as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Anika Wells MP, Federal Member for Lilley, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How to represent a marginal seat - Constituents’ desire to see a problem fixed - whether it’s a federal, state or local issue - The concern of climate change - The need for better millennial representation in decision-making areas - What is intragenerational inequality - What inspires politicians to run - The transition from legal work to political work - How to fix services such as Centrelink, Medicare and NDIS - What it’s like to be a young mum in Parliament - The need for greater progress in gender equality for men and women - How to make a real impact in an increasingly slacktivist world - The need for childcare reform in Australia - Disengagement by millennials in the political space and how to rectify that - How politicians engage on social media About Ms Wells: Anika Wells is the daughter of Kent and Deborah Wells. Her parents met in London – Kent is from Melbourne, Deb is from Auckland, NZ – and eventually they decided to marry and settle down in Brisbane, somewhere between their two hometowns. Anika’s mother Deb worked in administration and training for a number of aged care facilities. While Anika was working her way through university, she worked at a nursing home too. Kent spent the last 20 years before his retirement working as an accountant at the Brisbane airport, within the electorate of Lilley. Growing up in suburban Brisbane with her two brothers, Anika’s parents taught her the importance of contributing and the value in earning your keep. As a child, Anika had a love for history and became a teenager active in public service and volunteering. On school holidays, Anika used to volunteer with an organisation that took kids with disabilities on trips away from home, to give them new experiences. It is a dedication to serving others that she has carried into her adult life and professional career.  Notably, Anika has spent the past five years working as a lawyer for people who have been injured at work, on the road or in public places. She spends her days fighting insurance companies to secure fair outcomes for her clients. She remains a volunteer at the Nundah Community Legal Clinic, located at the Nundah Community Centre down on Station Street. She also co-founded her local parkrun at Chermside, and more than 5,000 participants have completed the course since mid 2015, covering more than 150,000 km on the local footpaths throughout 7th Brigade Park. Anika was born and raised in Brisbane, where she graduated as a College Captain from Moreton Bay College, which she attended on academic scholarship. She earned a Bachelor’s degree with honours in Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University. Anika is married and lives her husband, young daughter and their rescue kelpie in Chermside.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP, Federal Member for Mayo, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - What inspires people to run for politics - What a successful campaign looks like - The need for political transparency, especially in transparency around political donations - What it means to be a member of the cross bench in the Lower House - The challenges facing South Australians, particularly Mayo constituents - Political engagement with young people - The need for access to affordable healthcare - The importance of local employment and its impact on community - The need to protect our natural environment - How to support politicians in their campaigns for their constituents - How social media can be used to engage people in politics About Ms Sharkie: Rebekha Sharkie believes there is no greater honour than representing the people of Mayo in the Federal Parliament. Rebekha has lived in the Mayo region for over 20 years and was honoured to be elected at the 2016 Federal Election and the 2018 Mayo by-election. She is a passionate student of history and loves spending time out and about (particularly fishing!) in the beautiful electorate of Mayo with her husband Nathan and her three children. Rebekha loves the area and is so proud of the resilience and sense of community. She is excited about the opportunity to make Mayo matter and be an advocate on the national stage. Her journey into politics was not straightforward. She began in conveyancing and office management, juggling hours with her responsibilities as a mum. She later worked in political offices where she saw a need for greater community engagement in national decision-making. After years of involvement in school, sports and other community organisations, Rebekha came to believe the electorate of Mayo was not being actively represented. She decided to put her name forward for the Nick Xenophon Team (now Centre Alliance) as the candidate for Mayo so the communities across the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island regions would have someone who would listen and act for them – not for big business or union donors. Rebekha is an advocate for local industries, protecting farming land, improving local health services and addressing youth unemployment. She wants to hear her constituents’ stories, work alongside voters and be their voice. “Together, we can make Mayo matter.”
In this episode, we talk to Mr Josh Burns MP, Federal Member for Macnamara, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The feeling on election night in May 2019 - What it means to be in opposition - Interactions with constituents - Being a young politician - The need for financial security - Concerns for environmental sustainability - The need to protect Australian values - The lifestyle of a politician, especially a politician with a young family - How young people can further progress on issues they are passionate about About Mr Burns: Josh Burns is Labor’s Federal MP for Macnamara, previously the seat of Melbourne Ports. Born and raised in Caulfield, Josh is the grandson of Jewish migrants who left Europe and settled in Melbourne in search of a safe place to raise their families. From their experiences, Josh has learnt the importance of upholding a multicultural and multifaith Australia, and the profound role education can play in changing lives. After attending Mount Scopus College, Josh graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Studies. Josh has previously worked as a teacher’s aide and a factory hand, and served as a Senior Adviser to the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews. Josh and his wife Zoe live locally, where they are raising their beautiful baby daughter, Tia. As a new parent, Josh wants to make sure that every child gets every opportunity in life. And as a local, he’s proud to serve and stand up for the needs of our community.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Julie Owens MP, Federal Member for Parramatta, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Life before politics - The division bells system in Parliament House - The toll Parliamentary work can take on politicians’ lives - What it means to join a political party - The benefits of political parties - What business can teach you about politics - What it is like to be a politician as an introvert - The importance of politicians being aware of constituents’ ‘ordinary days’ - A politician’s role as a community leader - The J-Curve and declining economic literacy - The need to think creatively about the future to start to ask the questions which may become issues in 2 to 10 years’ time - The future of data sector - The effects of the gig economy on our federal economy and our mental health - Business’ role in the development of our cities and communities - The impact of cities on local biodiversity - How to make constituents more receptive to policy change - Seeing rubbish as an opportunity rather than a problem - The history of government support of the arts industry - Our need to think about the bigger picture and preventative action in politics - What the future will look like as cars become driverless - The opportunity for multicultural Australia in the business sector - The power of high school children About Ms Owens: Julie was first elected to the House of Representatives for Parramatta in 2004. She was a small-business owner and head of the Association of Australian Independent Record Labels. The electorate of Parramatta is based in the western suburbs of Sydney. Besides Parramatta, it includes Constitution Hill, Dundas Valley, Granville, Harris Park, Holroyd, Mays Hill, North Parramatta, Oatlands, Old Toongabbie, Rosehill, Rydalmere, Telopea, Wentworthville, & Westmead and parts of Dundas, Guildford, Merrylands, North Rocks, Pendle Hill, South Granville, South Wentworthville and Toongabbie. Some of Julie’s policy areas that she is most passionate about are small business and employment, heritage and the NBN. Julie has run a small business and supports local jobs. Through her support of Shop Small and Parliamentary Friends of Fashion, Julie has been a vocal supporter of small businesses in the Parramatta area and beyond. Parramatta has some of the oldest colonial buildings in Australia and Julie has fought hard to maintain much of its heritage. While Parramatta is building as Sydney’s second CBD, Julie has fought to ensure the heritage is not destroyed in the development. Julie has been very vocal on the proposed development within the Cumberland Hospital precinct and the Female Factory site. Julie has fought hard for Parramatta, being a business and residence hub, to get a higher quality broadband network. Some parts of Parramatta have internet speeds as low as 0.14 megabits per second – far slower than the average speed of the Republic of the Congo, which is 1.75 Mbps.
*Warning* This episode contains mature and potentially emotionally disturbing topics for some listeners. In this episode, we talk to Ms Caroline Le Couteur MLA, ACT Member for Murrumbidgee, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The role of the Greens in the ACT Government - How ACT Legislative Assembly runs - The role of a spokesperson - ACT’s commitment to 100% renewables by 2020 - The Greens’ social policies - Fair fines in the ACT - The types of interactions with people on social media - The issues on the criminal act in the ACT around sexual consent - The effectiveness of the committee rooms compared to that of the chamber - How the media can assist in helping citizens engage in the political discourse - How people can become more involved in politics About Ms Le Couteur: Caroline is proud to be representing the Greens because she is committed to putting the community first. Caroline stood for Murrumbidgee because she wanted to build on the work she did in the Assembly from 2008-12. She is proud of her achievements as a Greens MLA – including helping deliver Canberra's pollution reduction target, improving consultation on local planning, and strengthening animal welfare. Throughout her life, Caroline has worked to make the Canberra community fairer and more sustainable. She was a founding director of Australian Ethical Investment, an ASX listed company that only invests in ethical and responsible companies. She is now the Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a not-for-profit organisation that fights to improve the sustainability of Australian businesses. She has lived in Canberra for most of her life, spending nearly 20 years in Woden where she now lives with her husband. She loves Canberra’s unique combination of small town and capital city in a bush setting. She is excited about building on her experience to make Canberra a fairer and more sustainable place.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Bob Katter MP, Federal Member for Kennedy, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The establishment of the Katter Australia Party - What made Queensland a leading Australian state in the 80s and 90s - The issues with how we are treating First Nations People in Australia - Gun laws in Australia - The impact of deregulation of industries - Foreign ownership and what it means for Australia - A brief history of mining in Australia and how it excludes young Australians - The accomplishments of Mr Katter and his team for the people of Kennedy - The priorities for First Nations people in Australia - The importance of market gardens in Australia’s far north - Indigenous land rights - How young Australians can draw inspiration from our military history About Mr Katter: Bob Katter has been the Federal Member for Kennedy since 1993, following a highly successful career in State politics where he held four Ministerial positions. He follows in his father's footsteps as the Member for Kennedy, with Hon. R.C. Katter Sr. holding the seat for 24 years. Originally a National Party member for most of his Parliamentary career, due to his disenchantment with economic rationality that he felt the National Party was adopting, he chose to stand as an Independent Member in the 2001 Federal election ... he won in a landslide! The vast majority of constituents know why Bob left the Coalition government, simply because the Federal Government seems unwilling to accept that policies of National Competition Policy and economic rationalism have had a devastating impact on the electorate and other areas of Australia. Bob is now free to vote in line with his conscience and the feelings and needs of the people of the electorate, without being restricted by party lines and politics. The people of Kennedy have always been independent minded and acutely aware that policies which suit heavily populated centres do not necessarily work for those living in Northern and Western Queensland. In his role as the Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob is a jack-of-all-trades and a representative for electorate industries and any issues involving his constituents. Bob Katter knows how to be controversial when the needs of his electorate demands it, and to bring local issue to the attention of the national media. Bob's duties on the national stage include being a spokesperson for local interests, a lawmaker, a debater and an ombudsman. The demands of being an elected representative of the public means each MP must decide their own priorities and Bob has an enormous task in doing the best possible job for Kennedy.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Jason Falinski, MP, Federal Member for Mackellar, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The power of words throughout history - The housing crisis - What is economics and why is it important - The decline in understanding of economics among young people - Citizens’ concerns about climate change - Why people are engaging less in politics - How the centre is getting drowned out by people on the fringes of the political spectrum - The experience of being part of Young Liberals - How to explore your own political views - The power of reading - The state of mental health in Australia - The benefits of political life - What are the real world outcomes of committee work - How to level the playing field between the ATO and small business and individuals - Why the level of political reporting and therefore understanding is lower in Australia than our other western counterparts - Why our tertiary education system is struggling to compete with elite institutions overseas - How to maintain well-being as a federal politician - The positives and drawbacks of social media About Mr Falinski: Born and raised on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Jason grew up in Belrose and attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Primary School at Forestville, before completing his secondary education at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. Having lived in Mackellar for more than 25 years, Jason and his wife Nichola are proud to be raising their young daughter in Collaroy. Since 1996, Jason has been a director of the Australia Asia Young Leaders Program that organises incoming and outgoing delegations of young people involved in politics throughout Asia. In 2008, Jason was elected as a Councillor on Warringah Council. Locally, Jason is a member of the Warringah Chamber of Commerce, Manly Sea Eagles, Dee Why RSL Club and Long Reef Surf Club. In 2004, Jason was exposed to the aged care system in a personal way when some members of his family moved into their last home. While impressed with the care and compassion of the staff and operators, Jason was struck by the institutional feel of these facilities. After researching the issue, Jason found that the limited options available to providers in Australia meant they had not kept pace with developments across the world. In 2005, Jason founded CareWell Health to provide a better way to deliver age care. CareWell is a designer, manufacturer and supplier of health care equipment and furniture. CareWell grew to become one of the largest providers to Australian and New Zealand nursing homes. Jason was employed to help with the IAG demutualization and $4 billion public offering. After its public listing, Jason worked for NRMA Insurance in its Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions area. In this role, Later, Jason was involved in IAG's strategic investments in a number of south-east Asian insurers. Jason was a Senior Adviser in the Corporate Affairs Division at Credit Union Services Group between 1996 and 2000. Jason joined the Liberal Party in 1990 and held many positions:  * Vice President of the Sydney University Liberal Club * President of the Young Liberal Movement of NSW * President of the Young Liberal Movement of Australia * Member of the Federal Executive * President of the Mona Vale Branch from 2007 to 2009 * President of the Pittwater State Electoral Conference In the early 1990s Jason worked as a media and policy adviser to Dr John Hewson, Barry O’Farrell MP and Joanna Gash MP. In 2007 Jason was the strategy director for Rob Stokes’ record win in the seat of Pittwater.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Luke Gosling OAM, MP, Federal Member for Solomon and Deputy Chair of the Australian Labor Party Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Caucus Committee, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The importance of promoting the Northern Territory in Federal Parliament - The founding of Life, Love and Health - Australia’s relationship with East Timor (Timor-Leste) - The challenges of political life - The challenges facing Darwin and the Northern Territory - How we can sustainably develop Australia - Australia’s role in the Indo-Pacific region - How to engage political with Australia’s First Nations People - The importance of education on trauma - The multicultural nature of Darwin and the surrounding areas - The importance of environmental sustainability in the Top End - How climate change affects the Northern Territory - Engaging young people in the political discourse - How to bring a sense of fun and life into Parliament - The issues with current territory rights - The need to put pressure on Government as a member of Opposition About Mr Gosling: Luke Gosling grew up the eldest of eight kids. They had little money so they all worked, looked after each other and contributed to their community. Luke’s work brought him to the north and he now lives in Darwin, is married to Kate and has a daughter and a son. Luke started his working life with Defence, spending 13 years in the Army, including leadership roles in Parachute Infantry, Commandos, Defence Cooperation Programs, the Territory’s own Norforce as well as overseas service in PNG, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. Luke’s time in the Army taught him duty and service, teamwork and leadership. After leaving the Army, Luke worked overseas in countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Albania and Timor-Leste. Luke co-founded a not-for-profit NGO: Life, Love and Health (LL&G); an Australian volunteer charity for Timor-Leste. LL&H has fundraised and built schools, brought running water to remote villages, and delivered maternal health care. For this work, Luke was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2006 for his relief work during the 2006 humanitarian crisis. Luke established the Remote Area Health Corps in 2008, a Territory based federally funded program to prepare and provide GPs, nurses, dental and allied health professionals to remote Northern Territory health centres. Luke strongly believes in contributing to the community and here in Darwin he works as a Vinnies volunteer after serving as the Darwin CEO. Luke believes strongly in the need for the Federal Government to invest in jobs infrastructure in the Territory to ensure that the North continues to develop and that it's our growing communities are productive, liveable and sustainable.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Mike Freelander MP, Federal Member for Macarthur and Government Whip, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How a ‘boomer’ politician can understand the needs of young voters - What life was like for young Australians in the 1970s - The biggest struggles for young Australians - What Australians are facing with the current housing and rental market - How the Opposition can influence policy change and development in Australia - The important role of committees in bipartisan policy recommendations - How working as a doctor led to a career in politics - The impact of politics on people’s health - The growing trend towards conservative politics globally - How technology has changed our society - The need to provide more political education in schools - How young people can engage in the political agenda - The benefits of having political discussions at the dinner table - The slightly misunderstood nature of Federal Parliament in Australia - The benefits of school trips to Canberra - Whether or not the voting age should be lowered - The challenges currently facing constituents in the Macarthur electorate - The lack of future planning in Australia - How we deal with the growing population of Australia, including through immigration - The rhetoric around climate change About Dr Freelander: Dr Mike Freelander has been a paediatrician in Campbelltown for 36 years and has dedicated his life’s work to make sure our kids get the best start in life. Mike trained as a paediatrician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown after completing his residency at the Royal North Shore Hospital. In 1984, Mike and his wife Sharon moved to the Macarthur Region where they raised their six children. At this time Mike commenced work at Campbelltown Hospital where he took on the role as Head of Paediatrics from 1986 to 2013. Mike set up practices in Campbelltown and Camden because he saw that the growing needs of the region were not being met. Despite his workload as a paediatrician Mike still finds time to give back to his profession, teaching the next generation of doctors as a lecturer at Western Sydney University. His hard work and dedication to the region has earnt him the respect of local families and residents. In his 36 years as a paediatrician in the Macarthur region, Mike has seen over 200,000 patients. Mike has increasingly seen his patients and their families face issues of access; access to healthcare, access to work, access to housing and access to education. It is these issues that drove Mike to run for the Federal seat of Macarthur.  Mike is here to try and make life better for the children he has cared for and their families.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Tara Cheyne MLA, Territory Member for Ginninderra and Government Whip, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - What makes Canberra a great place to live - Why Canberra gets a bad rep - The nature of the work of the public service - The perception of state / territory politicians vs federal politicians - The challenge for ACT politicians to ensure they are across both state-level and local-level areas of policy - Why committee work does not receive enough media coverage - How technology is changing the nature of committee work - The impact social media has on politicians and politics - The importance of genuine online engagement for politicians - Why it is now harder to access voters than it was 10 years ago - The advantages and disadvantages of a Hare-Clark system - What it means to prepare for a territory election - How politicians can connect with young people - How to engage more young people in politics - The steps to preselection prior to an election - What has been achieved since Ms Cheyne’s election in 2016 by her office and her colleagues About Ms Cheyne: Tara Cheyne is a Labor member for Ginninderra (covering most of Belconnen) in the ACT Legislative Assembly and Government Whip. In 2019, Tara was was appointed Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, tasked with leading the ACT Government’s efforts to restore Territory rights as well as consulting with the community to identify market failures that are leading to poorer outcomes for Canberra consumers. Tara was elected to the Assembly in October 2016 and she is proud to be a member of the first majority-female parliament in Australia’s history. Prior to being elected, Tara enjoyed a rewarding career in the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Finance in Canberra. Tara grew up in several towns throughout Queensland but it wasn’t until she moved to Belconnen that she felt she’d found her home – somewhere she loved and felt a real sense of belonging. Tara purchased her home in the Town Centre and quickly joined the Belconnen Community Council. She later served as its Chair, the youngest Chair of all community councils at the time. Tara also wanted to share her love for Canberra and promote her new home, so in 2011 she started a blog called In the Taratory. The blog covers all things Canberra and is a reference point for many people looking to explore our great city. Tara has previously served as Secretary of the Belconnen Arts Centre Board and has been a Tournament of the Minds judge. She is a founding member of the Canberra Global Shapers and has volunteered with a number of organisations, including Radio 1RPH where she has been heard on Sunday evenings since 2009. Tara was named by HerCanberra as a Woman to Watch in 2015 and as part of Canberra’s New Generation in 2017. Tara has degrees in Journalism and Arts from the University of Queensland, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Canberra.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Suzanne Orr MLA, Territory Member for Yerrabi and Minister for Community Services and Facilities; Minister for Disability; Minister for employment and Workplace Safety, and Minister for Government Services and Procurement, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Transitioning from the backbench to the Ministry - The advantages and disadvantages of a Hare-Clark political system - The benefits of private members’ bills - The importance of not self-selecting out of politics, especially as a young woman - How more women can become involved in organisational board roles - How to ensure young people feel comfortable with politicians through developing networks with communities - Which issues Canberrans are most concerned about - How politicians, especially ministers, educate themselves on relevant issues - Preparing for a political campaign - The benefits of organising a petition as a politician - The threat of climate change and how state and territory political representatives can respond - The need to take action on social issues in Canberra - The cultural change around mental health and the reducing stigma around the topic - Promoting mental health and well-being in the workplace - The working relationship between Labor and the Greens in the ACT Legislative Assembly - The positives of living in Canberra - The importance of human beings’ connection to nature - How chatting to voters can keep politicians grounded - The need to rebuild trust between politicians and the community - What does it mean by ‘political games’ and when is it acceptable to use strategies - How urban planning is a vital skill in politics - How the growth of Legislative Assembly has increased committee activity - The benefits of citizen engagement in political inquiries - The use of new and innovative techniques for citizen engagement in politics About Minister Orr: Suzanne Orr grew up in Giralang playing cricket with her neighbours in our cul-de-sac and going to Brownies at the Giralang Primary School hall. Her first job was at the Sizzler in Belconnen and it marked the start of a ten year career in hospitality and tourism. After completing university, Suzanne worked as an urban planner in the public service and a few years ago, she made the big move from Belco to Gungahlin. She now lives in Franklin with my adopted cat Portia Pie. Growing up, her family fostered more than 200 children because they wanted to help kids who needed it most. Suzanne learned we can do a lot to help each other, but sometimes we can’t solve all the problems ourselves.  Luckily Suzanne and her family had social services there to help and it showed her that government has a big role to play in helping when people need extra support. Like her voters, she has seen Canberra change and grow. As a representative in ACT Legislative Assembly, Suzanne wants to help to make Yerrabi the best it can be and ensure that the needs of people living in the Belconnen, old Gungahlin and new Gungahlin suburbs of the electorate are all looked out for. Suzanne wants to see more nature in Yerrabi’s urban areas and an improved public transport system. As someone who is passionate about planning and good urban design, she feels there is a lot we can do to improve the way we build our city and how we engage with the community in doing so.
*Warning* This episode contains mature and potentially emotionally disturbing topics for some listeners. In this episode, we talk to Mrs Vicki Dunne MLA, Territory Member for Ginninderra and Shadow Minister for Health, and Shadow Minister for Arts, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The Modern Slavery Act - How state and territory members can influence federal policy through party structures - What makes news and the drawbacks of a 24 hour news cycle - How politicians can work together more collaboratively to create meaningful change - The advantages and disadvantages of a Hare-Clark political system - The benefits of having a slim majority in Parliament - How previous politicians shape future politicians - The excitement of sitting days - What makes people interested in politics vs those who are not - How lucky we are that we live in a democratic country - How every moment of life as a politician encompasses politics - The outcome of of the 2019 Federal Election - What might happen at the 2020 ACT Election - The issues with the health system in the ACT - What it means to be the Shadow Minister for Arts - The need for more political engagement in the voting community - The dangers of being too young to be overly committed to political engagement About Mrs Dunne: Vicki was born in Lismore, NSW, and can trace her heritage back to the pioneering Italian families that settled near Lismore in the 1880s. She studied at St Carthage’s School and St Mary’s College in NSW, before moving to the University of New England, Armidale, where she obtained a BA and Dip Ed studying languages and history. Since those early days, Vicki has been committed and active in community affairs. She has been involved in community radio for over thirty years, a commitment she keeps to this day as a weekend presenter for Canberra’s Radio for the Print Handicapped, 1RPH (1125 on the AM dial). Vicki was a commonwealth public servant between 1979 and 1995, and served previous Chief Ministers of the ACT. Vicki is married and she and her husband Lyle have 5 children, ranging in age from 9 to 27 years. Her personal story has given her insights into the challenges facing many families. Educating 5 children through both the government and non-government school systems, as appropriate to needs of each child, has shown her the strengths of each system. Having 2 children with cystic fibrosis, she knows the pain of any need to wait to comfort a suffering child. She has a strong interest and activity in local issues, such as her long term struggle for school communities against school closures, and her understanding and pursuit of environmental issues that can help every resident everyday.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Andrew Wall MLA, Territory Member for Brindabella and Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Training; Shadow Minister for Tourism; and Shadow Minister for Business and Employment, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The role of a government or opposition whip in the chamber - The disadvantages of a unicameral parliament - The power of engaging with the community in opposition - The economic opportunity of Canberra - The loss of manufacturing in Australia - Preparing for the election campaign - The need for voters to communicate issues with politicians - How technology plays a major role in politics - The excitement of sitting days - Advice on entrepreneurship - The nature of parliamentary proceedings - Memorable moments in politics - The changing face of political journalism - The ins and outs of ACT Legislative Assembly election statistics over the past 30 years - The advantages and disadvantages of a Hare-Clark political system - The challenges facing young people in Australia - The dangers of social media for young people - How we can help young people when it comes to mental health - How people can make their voice count in a democracy About Mr Wall: Andrew grew up in Canberra and believes it is the best place to live and raise a family.   He has spent most of his life living in and around the Tuggeranong valley and went to school at Marist College. Andrew and his wife continue to live in Tuggeranong where they are their raising two daughters. Andrew comes from a small business background and prior to being elected as an MLA in 2012, he worked as a Project Manager in his family’s construction business. He is currently the Shadow Minister for Business and Employment, Higher Education and Training and Tourism as well as performing the role of Opposition Whip in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Andrew believes it is his primary responsibility to focus on the issues that residents expect to be managed well. We all pay a significant amount in rates and charges and it is fair to expect that local facilities and infrastructure are maintained to meet the needs of the community.
In this episode, we talk to Mayor Bob Kirk from the Goulburn Mulwaree Council about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The establishment of rail trails in country NSW - The relationship between stated and local government - Why we must take the water crisis seriously and how we can better plan for the next drought - Lessons learnt from experience in private enterprise - How to create a thriving, vibrant country town in the age of urban sprawl - What Australians want in country living - The benefits and drawbacks of community consultation - Communication between local government and its citizens - Ways to engage young people in local government - The difficulty in dealing with red tape in government - How social media can cause distorted views of politics - The importance of being accessible to people as a politician - Remunerating local politicians fairly for the work that they do About Mayor Kirk: Councillor Bob Kirk was born and raised in Goulburn. First elected in 2008, he has served eight years as Deputy Mayor. He was re-elected in 2016 and was elected Mayor by his colleagues. He joined the Commonwealth Bank in 1966 and served in nine other country centres before returning to Goulburn in 1991 as Senior Branch Manager. Cr Kirk left the bank in 1998 in order to remain in Goulburn. He subsequently held several local management positions before retiring in 2011 as Secretary Manager of the Goulburn Golf Club. Cr Kirk has been married to Christel since 1973. They have two married daughters and seven grandchildren. Cr Kirk has completed the Executive Certificate for Elected Members Program, confected by the Centre for Local Government, University of Technology, Sydney. He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Cr Kirk is involved in a number of community organisations - West Goulburn Bushland Reserve Group (President); Goulburn Country University Centre (Director) and the Goulburn-Crookwell Rail Trail (Chairman). He is a long-term Rugby League enthusiast and a Life Member of the Goulburn District Rugby League Football Club.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Meryl Swanson MP about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The work of the Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources - What is important to Australian voters - The difficulty we face with “fake news” in an election year - The benefit of following politicians on social media - How a passionate and engaging teacher can transform students’ lives - How educators can teach students about politics in a meaningful way About Ms Swanson: Meryl Swanson was born in Kurri Kurri Hospital and grew up in a hard-working Heddon Greta family. She now lives in Buchanan with her husband Nick and two girls, Lara 16 and Adelaide 12. Meryl understands our community and knows what we need to make it an even better place to live, work and raise a family. During her career as a radio presenter, Meryl has always been someone we can count on to lend a hand in our community. She is the host of Kurri Kurri Carols by Candlelight, an ambassador for the Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance and has assisted a number of other local organisations and charities. Working with the Maitland Business Chamber, Youth Express, Hunter Region Organisation of Councils and Hunter Tourism, Meryl understands the challenges facing our community and will always put the Hunter region first.
In this episode, we talk to Mayor Rhys Williams from the City of Mandurah about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The importance of local government in creating an engaged community - What it means to be a young person in politics - How to find your passion - The importance of having and / or being a mentor - Mental health in the ageing population and how community can support that - How to engage the voters in shaping the community - The issue with allowing political discussions getting too emotional - The democratisation of influence - Why climate change is so crucial - Fostering the ecosystem of entrepreneurial thinkers - The importance of diversity in leadership roles, especially when it comes to age - How to find a mentor - What the role of a mayor involves - The importance of strategic planning in local government - Why you shouldn’t define yourself by your title - How to deal with conflict in politics in a responsible manner - How we as consumers can change the news we read and hear - The benefits of being an independent candidate in local politics About Mayor Williams: Rhys Williams is the Mayor of Mandurah, and the 2015 Young West Australian of the Year. Prior to being elected Mayor in October 2017, Rhys was the CEO and Founder of The Makers, a non-profit social enterprise based in the Peel Region. As part of this role, Rhys worked with the team to establish Make Place, a co-working and innovation hub based in the Mandurah CBD. In 2009, Rhys was one of the youngest people in Western Australia elected to a Local Government Council. He is an ambassador to the One Young World Leaders Summit, the world’s premier global leaders program, and is Chairman of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and John Tonkin College. Rhys has worked with more than 100 communities across Australia and internationally, and is passionate about innovation as a tool for driving social change.
In this episode, we talk to His Worship Mayor Jock Barker from the Town of Claremont about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The role of the mayor and the local council - How the Local Government Standards Panel operates - The role of the CEO of a local council - What it means to be a good leader - The importance of humility - Local-state government relationships - The importance of strong relationships with local businesses - The use of social media in local government - Why local government officials need to understand the community which they govern - Being able to forward plan past a given politician’s term - The future of electric and driverless vehicles - The importance of protecting our environment - The implementation of Medicare - The benefits of residents electing a mayor as opposed to councillors electing a mayor - Why party politics causes issues at all levels of government - Why gender equality is important - Young people’s role in creating a better future through politics About Mayor Barker: Mayor Jock Barker was a Councillor before election to Mayor. Residents wanted rate increases reduced. He has done that. In the past four years rate increases have been kept down as low as 1% this year. Achievements include: all ratepayers will now have underground  power,  increasing property values, improving streetscape and reducing maintenance costs. The Golf Course and Museum have been upgraded. Lake Claremont 28000 seedlings, 285 street trees planted. There have been many free fun concerts, art competitions, numerous enjoyable children's and Seniors week activities. Small businesses have been supported by Claremont Now initiative and Claremont Collective. Roads and footpaths will continue to be renewed. His future policies include; redevelopment of the Town Centre, an Officer dedicated to supporting the needs of Seniors and Pensioners, upgrading Cresswell Park Pavilion, and the Aquatic Centre. Mayor Barker will continue to make sure residents are listened to.
In this episode, we talk to Mr John Carey MLA BA (Hons), State Member for Perth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier; Minister for Public Sector Management; State Development, Jobs and Trade; Federal-State Relations, and; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport; Planning, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Changing people’s expectations around politics and bureaucracy - The role of a Parliamentary secretary - Density, population and urban sprawl in the Perth Metropolitan area and Western Australia - The threat of climate change - State-federal government relationships - The role of small businesses in creating and maintaining the local community - The disengagement of voters in the political agenda - The benefits of political door-knocking - Why politicians should show a more personal side - Researching how to improve urban planning - The need for politicians to stop playing into the stereotypes the public has - The difficulty in finding middle ground with more extremist viewpoints in politics - The benefits of referendums and community voice - The importance of a strong free press - Environmental advocacy in an urban setting - Behind the scenes achievements in state government - Direct engagement with voters - State-local government relationships - The need for voters to get involved About Mr Carey: In his professional career, John has worked as a journalist in print, radio and TV, as well as a parliamentary adviser to previous WA Premiers, Dr Geoff Gallop and Alan Carpenter. John then worked as a lobbyist for the Pew Environment Group, successfully advocating for the creation of a Great Kimberley Marine Park.   Elected as the Mayor of the City of Vincent in 2013 and again in 2015, he championed a significant reform program – ensuring the council became a leader in transparency and accountability standards in the local government sector, cutting red tape, and driving vibrant town centres and main streets.  Now as the Member for Perth, he has additional responsibilities as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, and the Minister for Transport and Planning. In his first year as the Member of Perth, he organised the Perth City Summit, attended by over 350 residents, small businesses and property owners, interested in driving renewal to make the City a better place to live, work and play.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Brad Pettitt, Mayor of the City of Fremantle, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Community involvement with local government - Affordable housing - The issue with party politics - Economic, social and environmental sustainability - The threat of climate change - The development of one of WA’s most thriving communities - Local-state relationships - Engaging young people in politics - How politicians deal with abuse in the midst of controversy - The media’s role in polarising politics - How local governments can take the lead on climate change - Balancing family life and political life - The importance of good communication and respect in ensuring good governance About Mayor Pettitt: Dr Brad Pettitt was elected as the Mayor of the City of Fremantle in 2009. He was re- elected in 2013 and 2017. Across his three terms as Mayor, Brad has applied his knowledge of sustainable cities to making Fremantle a great place to live and work. Working closely with a motivated council, he and his team have developed a strong vision for the city, delivering many important projects Until taking up the role of Mayor, Brad was the Dean of the School of Sustainability at Murdoch University. His research and teaching expertise include climate change, international aid policy, and sustainability planning. Brad has previously worked with Oxfam in Cambodia and with the Australian Government Aid Program, AusAID, in Canberra and is currently a member of the West Australian Heritage Council.
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