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Warning: this episode contains mature content and topics that may be distressing for some viewers. In this episode, we talk to Elizabeth Lee MLA, Member for Kurrajong in the ACT and Leader of the Opposition, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Reflections on a bittersweet rise to Leader of the Opposition - The importance of diversity in politics and in leadership positions throughout other aspects of life - The difference between being political and being party political - How to regroup and refocus after an election loss - The balancing act between being a local member and Leader of the Opposition - Managing relationships with federal politicians - Putting Canberra on the map - The housing affordability crisis - The role of a robust opposition - Tackling the issue of the Parliamentary Boys’ Club - The reason some women do not feel comfortable speaking up about sexual assault - How to engage men in the gender equality conversation - Tips on addressing conflict, especially in political discussions About Ms Lee: Elizabeth Lee is the Leader of the Canberra Liberals, and the Liberal Member for Kurrajong in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Prior to entering the ACT Legislative Assembly, Elizabeth was a successful lawyer and lecturer at the Australian National University and University of Canberra. Since her election to the Assembly in 2016, Elizabeth has been a leading voice for improving local schools, protecting our environment, better support for Canberrans living with a disability, and Canberrans from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. Having migrated to Australia from Korea at the age of seven, Elizabeth moved to Canberra when she turned 18 to study Law and Asian Studies at The Australian National University. Elizabeth is passionate about creating a more connected capital; and empowering every Canberran to reach their potential. Elizabeth lives in the inner south with her partner, and young daughter. Outside of politics, Elizabeth is passionate about fitness having taught Sh’Bam and Body Balance classes at various gyms around Canberra.
In this episode, we talk to Senator Gerard Rennick, Senator for Queensland, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How to juggle family life and political life - A vision for the future of Australian Parliament - The issues around privatisation of essential services - Pros and cons of making healthcare a federal responsibility - The future of income-generating infrastructure - How the Constitution can evolve - What a constitutional convention would look like - Senate estimates - Advice for young people - The dangers of social media - The concerns of regional Queenslanders - The complexity of the renewable energy sector About Senator Rennick: Gerard was born and raised on a family farming property just outside Chinchilla, on Queensland’s Darling Downs. Thanks to his upbringing and childhood experiences, Gerard maintains a deep appreciation for the land, its people and the challenges they face. Gerard completed his secondary education in Toowoomba, before moving to Brisbane where he completed a Commerce degree at the University of Queensland – and later a Master’s degree in Taxation Law. Gerard has extensive experience in senior finance roles across a range of industries, business types and countries. His experience gives him a strong understanding of our economy and how it affects consumers, investors, employers and employees. Gerard also understands the importance of reward for effort and will always strive to ensure that Australia’s small to medium-sized businesses are given every opportunity to succeed. Gerard’s background means that he understands sound business principles; and as an LNP Senator for Queensland, he recognises the value of strong economic management, property rights and a just legal system, while he is also passionate about land management and ensuring the delivery of critical infrastructure. Gerard wants to ensure that the next generation of Australians have better opportunities, security and living standards than even we have enjoyed.
In this episode, we talk to Brian Mitchell, Member for Lyons in Tasmania, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - What an early pre-selection means - The biggest issues for citizens of Lyons - What happens behind the scenes between parties working together - Why the media sells the debates as opposed to the agreements in Parliament - How to expand your understanding of the world past what your experiences of the world are, especially through social media - The role climate change will play in the next election - Some of the processes of Parliament House - The benefits of democracy - The rise of fascism - What economic security looks like - The toxicity of social media - How to get more women into politics - How too much choice has led us away from compromise - Juggling work and family life - What sustainable agriculture and the future of agriculture looks like for Australia About Mr Mitchell: As someone who lives and works in Lyons, and who's raising a family there, Brian Mitchell is personally invested in making the shared community the best it can be. Brian wants the children in Lyons to have the best shot in life, and that means great schools and training opportunities and access to secure jobs that pay well. According to Brian, everyone in the community deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare, telecommunications and transport. As an active member of Labor's Country Caucus and the Deputy Chair of the Agriculture and Water Resources committee, he is proud to be a strong voice in Canberra for regional communities and towns. People often forget that Labor was born of the bush, under a tree during a shearers' strike for decent pay and conditions. The mission for fair pay, safe, secure work and more equality in society continues today.
In this episode, we talk to Senator Scott Ryan, Senator for Victoria and President of the Senate about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How the President of the Senate gets elected - The President’s relationship with public committees - The differences and similarities between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House - Managing debate in the Senate - The untold successes of the writing of the Constitution - The role of the media in Parliament - What life lessons are most important when applying them to a political career - The need for everyone to have access to opportunities across Australia - The impact of single-issue movements on the political party system - What drives party policy behind the scenes - The benefits of greater citizen in engagement in politics and political issues - The history of media releases in Parliament House - How technology has changed Parliamentary processes - The push to table speeches - Top book recommendations - Federalism in Australia About Senator Ryan: Scott Ryan was elected as a Liberal Senator for Victoria at the 2007 federal election. He was re-elected in 2013 and again in 2016. In November 2017 Senator Ryan was elected by the Senate to serve as its 25th President. Immediately prior to this, from August 2016, he was Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet. He previously served as Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and Deputy Manager of Government Business in the Senate between February and August 2016, and as Assistant Cabinet Secretary from September 2015 to February 2016. Prior to that, and following the election the Coalition in September 2013, Senator Ryan was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training. Senator Ryan was a member of the shadow ministry from 2010 to 2013, serving as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Fair Competition. Senator Ryan has previously been a member of numerous Senate and Joint Parliamentary committees, including serving as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration. He graduated from St Kevin’s College and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours at the University of Melbourne. Before being elected to the Senate in 2007, he worked for international pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline and as a consultant in the health and insurance industries. He has also served as a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, worked as a senior adviser to the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria, a speechwriter for Senator the Hon Nick Minchin and in the office of the Victorian Premier, the Hon Jeff Kennett. He is married to Helen and they live in Melbourne with their two sons. He is a member of the Essendon Football Club, the Institute of Public Affairs, the Centre for Independent Studies and the Samuel Griffith Society. He is an honorary life member of the Melbourne University Liberal Club and the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.
In this episode, we talk to Senator Nita Green, Senator for Queensland, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Adjusting to life in Canberra - How to represent the views of regional Queenslanders in Australian Parliament - Issues around insurance in regional Queensland - The need to take action on climate change while focusing on secure employment - The campaign for marriage equality and how it has impacted politicians of the future - The impact of drought when it hits rural Queensland - How to stay healthy during sitting weeks - How to stay safe on social media - The importance of gender equality especially when it comes to politics - The role of the Senate - Australian manufacturing - Tourism in Far North Queensland - The fight for housing for Indigenous Australians About Senator Green: Nita was raised in a single parent family by her mum, who has been a nurse for 40 years. She understood at an early age the difference that access to public education could make to her life and future. Her first job after school was a traineeship, so she knows the role that a strong skills sector plays in giving working class kids a start in the workplace. She worked in the retail and hospitality industry while studying and went on to complete a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Juris Doctor in Law. Nita's working life has been focused on fighting for fairness and equality. She was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 2015 and worked as an Employment Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, representing workers in sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal cases. In 2017, Nita was the Queensland Field Director for the successful Equality Campaign and then worked as an organiser for the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union fighting for the rights of Queensland workers. Nita was elected as a Senator for Queensland and was sworn in on July 1 2019 and will base her office in Cairns, Far North Queensland.
In this episode, we talk to Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator for Tasmania, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The important work of committees, especially in the healthcare sector, and how committees can give a place for Australians to tell their personal stories to Parliament - How to engage more citizens in committee work - The role of Senators and what it means to be a Senator in Parliament House - How life has changed with the increase in technology - The importance of reading - The importance of pallative care - How the Opposition can successfully campaign the government and achieve wins for the people of Australia - The best way for people to engage in politics - How local government can give people genuine connections to politics About Senator Bilyk: Born in Tasmania, and having lived there for most of her life, Catryna Bilyk was elected as a Labor Senator for Tasmania in November 2007, taking her seat in the Senate on 1 July 2008. She was re-elected in September 2013, again for a further three-year term in 2016 and for a further six-year term in 2019. Catryna’s previous work experience included a variety of positions and roles. Early in her career she worked as a researcher in the mental health field. After more than a decade as an early childhood educator, Catryna started work with the Australian Services Union (ASU). She set up the first Union Jobskills Program, and represented the Union on many Industry Training Advisory Boards. She was the ASU delegate to Unions Tasmania and held the position of Senior Vice President of Unions Tasmania. In the few years prior to her election to the Senate, Catryna was employed by the Tasmanian Government as an Advisor and Electorate Officer with Tasmanian Government Ministers David Crean, David Llewellyn and Ken Bacon. In addition to her core duties as a Senator, Catryna has campaigned for a range of causes. She has been a strong advocate for protection of children from abuse and neglect, and for promoting online safety for children, including combatting cyberbullying. Catryna has advocated for greater investment in palliative care and the need to make and discuss end-of-life care plans and saved Palliative Care Tasmania from closure. As the lead Labor member of a Senate inquiry into the Government’s cuts to the Australia Council and establishment of a ministerial arts slush fund, Catryna joined hundreds of independent artists in successfully pressuring the Government to close the slush-fund and return $80 million to the Australia Council. Catryna is a brain cancer survivor, and has continually campaigned for greater research efforts to improve outcomes for patients of brain cancer and other cancers with low survival rates. Her advocacy has led to around $170 million investment in brain cancer and disease research, and she has also organised events which have so far raised more than $160,000 for brain cancer research. Catryna has also joined Labor colleagues in campaigning for more health funding for Tasmania, stopping the closure of the Kingston Centrelink/Medicare office, the reinstatement of Australia Federal Police to Hobart International Airport, improved access to workers’ compensation for firefighters diagnosed with cancer, making non-consensual sharing of intimate images a criminal offense, access to medicinal cannabis, expanded Medicare benefits for haemochromatosis screening, bringing forward access to the NBN for the suburb of Howden, obtaining Federal funding for the Rowallan Park supported accommodation facility in Kingston and government action to reduce the incidence of industrial deaths in Australia.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Joanne Ryan MP, Member for Lalor in Victoria and Opposition Whip about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The function of parliamentary whips - How grassroots campaigning can lead to a political career - The importance of politicians connecting with young political activists in the electorate - How local committees for a range of organisations, especially sporting and special interest organisations, can prepare you for life - The best way to approach legislation - The importance of what is spoken about in Parliament House - How to use social media as a teaching tool - The need to unite the nation instead of divide the nation - Who can become a politician - The importance of role models and mentors About Ms Ryan: Joanne was born in Werribee and has lived and worked in the local community throughout her life. Before entering Parliament, Joanne was a school teacher and principal helping kids in Melbourne’s west get a better education for 27 years. Joanne is a passionate advocate for her local community. Between 1996 and 1998, she served as Chair of Werribee Residents against Toxic Dump (WRATD) and successfully led the “No Toxic Dump” campaign. Joanne is committed to our region and to the Australian Labor Party’s value of fairness. She has spent her professional and personal life working to improve outcomes for local young people, and she has seen firsthand the power that a quality education has to change and enrich lives. She continues this work as the Member for Lalor. Joanne is currently Opposition Whip.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Fiona Martin MP, Member for Reid in New South Wales about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The mental health impact of 2020, especially around the bushfires - The biggest issues facing the people in Reid - How youth advocacy can set you up to become engaged in politics - How to get more women involved in politics - The need to repair democratic trust - How to communicate with constituents - The importance of committee work - Relationships with state and local politicians - The challenge of coming into politics from a non-political background - The difficulty in juggling family while in Parliament - Combatting racism in the electorate of Reid - Interacting with young people around their biggest concerns - The work around recycling in Parliament House - What it means to write a representation and send it to the appropriate person About Dr Martin: Fiona is a mum, psychologist and small businesswoman, who has spent her life working to better the lives of people in the community. Fiona grew up in Reid and went to school locally, first at Santa Sabina College and then Rosebank College. Growing up, she spent most of her time in Five Dock and her first job while at university was at Drummoyne’s Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre.

Fiona graduated from the University of Sydney and undertook specialised training at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. In 2006, Fiona founded her own psychology practice, which would eventually develop into the Sydney Psychology Centre.

Her background as a small business owner and an allied health professional has allowed her to see first-hand the difference that a strong economy makes to the lives of everyone in our community. In 2007, Fiona completed her Ph.D., which focused on improving the social functioning of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As an expert in her field, Fiona has been a consultant for a wide variety of organisations including Only About Children and SafeWork NSW and is a special adviser for Little Blue Dinosaur. She has also been recently appointed as an Ambassador Expert by Life Education. Fiona is a mum of four beautiful children. She and her husband Nicolai love to be active with the kids, spending weekends enjoying picnics at Cabarita Park or doing Drummoyne’s Bay Run as a family. In 2019, Fiona decided that she wanted to give back to the community she grew up in and loves.

Fiona was elected the first female Federal Member for Reid and has been working hard since to fight for the issues that matter to the people of Reid. Fiona is passionate about supporting people’s aspirations and ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, no matter where they come from and what their story is.

She will work hard to back local small business, create more jobs and support the infrastructure and essential services that our community needs.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Matt Keogh MP, Member for Burt in Western Australia and Shadow Minister for Defence Industry; Shadow Minister for Western Australian Resources, and Shadow Minister Assisting for Small and Family Business, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The Western Australian resources industry - The work of a Shadow Minister Assisting for Small and Family Business - The impact of the life of a politician on a growing family - How politicians allocate time effectively - What are the concerns of local constituents - What the Building a Better Burt vision means for local residents and businesses - The disengagement of young people in broad politics - How the lack of community is affecting politics - The missing link between young people and education around politics - The importance of joining a political party - How to establish what information is genuine and how to analyse information and political news About Mr Keogh: Matt was elected as the first member for the Federal Division of Burt in the south-eastern suburbs of Perth at the 2016 Federal Election. Matt grew up in the Kelmscott Hills, attended school in Armadale and has strong ties to the local community. Matt has worked closely with community organisations throughout his life in what is now known as the seat of Burt in Perth's south eastern suburbs. He continues to strive to “change the story” in the area. Following the 2019 Federal Election Matt took on the Shadow Portfolio areas of Defence Industry and WA Resources, which are vitally important to WA and the nation as a whole. He provides a WA perspective to these portfolios as well as through assisting the Shadow Minister for Small & Family Business. In all of these areas he focuses on building job opportunities as well as supporting businesses in an effort to provide much needed employment opportunities and growth for our nation. Prior to taking on his portfolio responsibilities, Matt served on a wide range of committees including the House of Representatives standing committee on Economics, Agriculture and Water Resources and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. Before Federal Politics Matt worked with a leading international law firm in Perth. He specialised in corporate crime including regulatory work, anti-bribery and corruption. Prior to this Matt worked as a Federal Prosecutor, prosecuting corporate crime. Throughout his legal career Matt worked alongside various organisations to benefit the community including Starick services, he served as the President of the Law Society of Western Australia and the director of the Law Council of Australia and Chairperson of Law Access. Through these roles Matt has fought for better access to justice for all Australians, especially those that can’t afford it. Matt is married to his wife Annabel, who he met while studying Law at university and shortly after the 2016 Federal Election they welcomed their first son into the world.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Tony Pasin MP, Member for Barker in South Australia, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The impact of primary and high school trips to Parliament House - The loneliness of Parliament House - The symbolism of areas of Parliament House - How engaged school children are in politics - How to represent such a large geographical area in Parliament House - How the needs of Regional Australians differ to those living in urban areas - The need to cope with change in a political career - How to fight the cynicism against politics - The cultural differences within Australian and how it becomes evident in Parliament House - Committee work in Parliament House and how it causes politicians to think more holistically - Ensuring the dissemination of information from Parliament doesn’t become lecturing - The idea behind the ‘Australian Experiment’ - How to further engage young people in the political agenda - The power of social media in politics About Mr Pasin: Growing up in Barker, Tony knows first-hand the challenges faced by local families. Tony was born, raised and educated in Barker. Growing up on the family farm, Tony has a deep respect for the demands of life on the land. After graduating with degrees in law and economics, he worked in Adelaide before being drawn home by his strong family and community ties. Tony operated his own legal practice in the South East, representing local farmers, residents and businesses. As a young father and family man, Tony know first-hand the real challenges faced by families in Barker, as they confront rising cost of living pressures and access to quality healthcare, jobs and education. Tony has always believed in standing up for his local community, which led him to serve as a Councillor with the City of Mount Gambier between 2003 and 2010 where he worked to deliver better services and facilities for local residents. Tony was first elected as the Federal Member for Barker in September 2013. Tony wants to use his skills as an advocate and his experience as an effective representative to ensure that the views of local communities throughout Barker are heard loud and clear in the Federal Parliament.
In this episode, we talk to Senator Katy Gallagher, Senator for the ACT, Shadow Minister for Finance, Shadow Minister for the Public Service and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How unexpected tragedies can change the course of one’s life and how political parties can support people going through such times - The transition between ‘civilian life’ and political life - The changes made to the way ACT Legislative Assembly works in order to support women in politics - Which factors might impact a politician’s decision to change from state and territory politics to federal politics - The need for representation of the population as we experience population growth - The concern about climate change - The difference between state Senators and territory Senators - How Senators in the same state or territory from different parties get along - The reasons behind the movement for Australia to become a republic - Why Canberra is such a progressive city - How the ACT has led the way in certain areas of policy - What are Senate Estimates and why they are so important - The difficulties in communicating information to constituents as a Senator - How to become more politically engaged - The need to rebuild voters’ trust, especially the trust of young voters About Senator Gallagher: Senator Katy Gallagher has spent over two decades fighting for Canberrans. Whether it was advocating for people with a disability with finishing university, or when she was advocating for the right of public servants as a CPSU organiser, or as Chief Minister of the ACT – the Senator has made it her life's work to fight for the ACT and the people in it. According to Senator Gallagher, Canberra is Australia’s best city, and she is proud to have lived here her entire life. The Senator grew up in Weston Creek and is now raising her own family on Canberra’s north side. When she first put her hand up to run in 2001 there were no Labor women in the ACT parliament. The ACT has come a long way in the past 17 years now with a majority-women ACT Labor caucus and Senator Gallagher is proud to have been part of leading the way. That’s what we do here in the ACT. We lead the way. As Chief Minister, Ms Gallagher saw Labor take on big vision ideas like light rail, marriage equality and commit to a 100% renewable energy target by 2020. And she didn't shy away from the tough fights that she knew were the right thing to do like portability of entitlements for low paid workers and dealing with the legacy of Mr Fluffy asbestos for hundreds of Canberra families. It’s this same approach she has taken into the Senate and the Shadow Cabinet but there’s a lot more work to do. Senator Gallagher promises she will keep fighting not only for the Canberra she loves, but a more progressive federal Labor as well.
In this episode, we talk to Ms Peta Murphy MP, Member for Dunkley, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The history of Louisa Dunkley - The inspiration to start a career in politics - The importance of experience in areas of policy as a policy writer - How making a joke in the public sphere can somewhat backfire - The platform politicians have to talk about personal issues which reflect similar issues experienced by those in the broader community - The need for an equitable healthcare system - Dealing with ongoing health issues - The importance of politicians engaging with their community - The issues with Newstart and NDIS - How important it is for young girls to have female role models in Parliament House - How young people can engage their local politician around climate change - The need to revitalise our education and training system in line with the developments to automation - Why human connection is so important - Why Australians should have hope for the future About Ms Murphy: Peta Murphy is the first woman to represent Dunkley, a seat named after a pioneering women who achieved equal pay for women in the 1902 Public Service Act - Louisa Dunkley. Peta is proudly a public school graduate from the country.  Her love affair with Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula dates back to the turn of the century, when she was introduced to the region by her husband, Rod Glover, a Baxter boy through and through.  Following a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011, Peta and Rod made the decision to move to Dunkley permanently – a decision they describe as the best one they ever made.  They are proud Frankston residents. Prior to entering Parliament, Peta’s career was defined by a commitment to social justice and strong communities. In the decade and a half she worked in the Victorian justice system, Peta volunteered at her local Community Legal Centre, was a solicitor advocate, a Senior Public Defender at Victoria Legal Aid, a Barrister and a Team Leader at the Victorian Law Reform Commission. Peta has seen the corrosive effect that intergenerational disadvantage can have on people, families and communities and the way the operation of the legal system can cause further distress and damage to people when they're at their lowest. She understands that we need services—legal, social, health, employment and education—that work together to tackle disadvantage. It's that task that motivated her to move from the law into politics. Peta also put her legal qualifications and personal experience of the health system to good use, serving as a Director on the Board of Peninsula Health. After running as the Labor candidate for Dunkley in the 2016 election, and motivated by witnessing the damage that cuts to public services and a lack of job opportunities cause individuals and communities, Peta took the position of Chief of Staff to The Hon Brendan O’Connor, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in 2017. As part of her life long involvement in sport – as an athlete, coach and advocate for equality for girls and women - Peta has served as the President of Squash Victoria, Vice President of Squash Australia and member of the World Squash Federation Governance Committee.  Locally, she volunteered on the Peninsula Waves Netball Club committee, and has represented the Mornington Peninsula a number of times at the Victorian country squash championships.  She still tries to play squash when time permits, but is more or less resigned to the fact that her best days of competitive sport are behind her. Peta’s ambitions for her time in the Federal Parliament are to be a strong voice for her community and to be part of a generation of Australian politicians who work to recover the public's faith in our democratic system. Peta believes that politics should be a vehicle for increasing opportunities and enlarging our national imagination.
In this episode, we talk to Minister Gordon Ramsay MLA, ACT Member for Ginninderra and Attorney-General; Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries and Cultural Events; Minister for Building Quality Improvement; Minister for Business and Regulatory Services; Minister for Seniors and Veterans, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - How to juggle multiple portfolios in ACT Legislative Assembly - The roles and responsibilities of the Attorney-General - How a background in the community sector can be beneficial for a career in politics - How a positive approach to politics can be more beneficial than a negative approach. - How direction from the federal government can be applied at a territory level - Relationships with federal and state governments - Current political projects in the ACT - How to ensure the dissemination of information on these projects is effective - The importance of listening to members of the community and understanding their concerns - The strengths and drawbacks of territory government taking on both state and municipal responsibilities - How the ACT has become a leader in many areas of policy for other states - The values of the Canberra community - The positives and negatives of the Hare-Clark system - The importance of a continuous campaign - The need for genuine political engagement - The importance of hope About Minister Ramsay: Minister Ramsay has lived in Canberra for over 20 years, having moved here in the 90s with his young family to lead Kippax Uniting Church. Before he became a Uniting Church Minister, he had been a commercial lawyer in Sydney. A long-term Latham resident, Gordon has always been mindful that while Canberra is a great city, there are people experiencing various kinds of disadvantage and he has made it his main focus in life to advocate for justice, inclusion and participation for the people of the community.  To do this, he established UnitingCare Kippax and grew it into one of Canberra’s best known and respected community service bodies. Gordon was involved in ACTCOSS, the ACT Community Inclusion Board, the ACT Better Services Taskforce, and in 2012 he led the ACT Targeted Assistance Strategy. He was the Chair of Uniting, which is one of Australia's largest aged care service providers, and in 2014 he was very honoured to be a finalist in the ACT Local Hero category of the Australian of the Year awards. Gordon decided to stand as a representative for Ginninderra so that he could work even harder to make Canberra a place where everyone can belong, be valued and have the opportunity to participate fully. Minister Ramsay believes it is a great honour and privilege to be able to serve not only the people of Ginninderra as their local elected representative, but also the wider Canberra community as their Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events, Minister for Building Quality Improvement, Minister for Business and Regulatory Services, and Minister for Seniors and Veterans.    That all keeps him pretty busy but in more relaxing moments, you will find him spending time with his wife, Lyndelle, their young adult kids, Joel and Justine, and their very, very old miniature Schnauzer-cross, Paddy. You can also find him - or more likely hear him - at the Brumbies, where he has been a season ticket holder for well over a decade. And Gordon also loves to cook - especially the recipes of that other Gordon Ramsay.
In this episode, we talk to Mr Llew O’Brien MP, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - What kind of person can become a politician - The nature of a political career and a career of service to the community - What it means to be open and transparent about mental health in Parliament - The challenge of secure employment in Australia both now and into the future - The need for greater focus on road safety in Australia - Parliamentary Friendship Groups - How Parliamentary service offers opportunities to influence global policy - Understanding the history of the age pension - The role of a backbencher in government - The history of the dollar milk issue - The responsibility of corporates in economic, social and environmental sustainability - A politician’s advice to activists about how to affect political change in Australia - How to have productive conversations with someone who has a different opinion to you - How major political debates can bring us together as a society - The process to have a politician represent a constituent in the chamber - The process of e-petitioning to Parliament House - How to balance economic and environmental sustainability in such a diverse electorate - The future plans for Wide Bay - The importance of good relationships with media - How social media can help politicians About Mr O’Brien: Llew O’Brien is the Federal Member for Wide Bay.  He was elected to the Australian Parliament at the 2016 Federal Election, and re-elected in May 2019. Before entering Parliament, Llew served as a police officer in the Wide Bay region for 16 years and specialised in criminal intelligence and traffic accident investigation. During his time as a road crash investigator, he became a passionate advocate for road safety. His experiences motivated him to stand for public office in Wide Bay where he could continue to campaign for improved roads, particularly the Bruce Highway. Following his election, Llew took his fight for safer roads to Canberra, and in 2018 he convinced his colleagues in Parliament to fast-track delivery of the $1 billion  Section D of the Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade, which will save countless lives. He continues his work to reduce road death tragedies in his role as chairperson of the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety. Llew is a very strong advocate for aged care and mental health, and has worked with the community to secure Federal funding for more than 721 new aged care places in Wide Bay, as well as new headspace youth mental health services for Gympie and Maryborough. He is also a keynote speaker for mental health charity BeyondBlue. He is committed to strengthening the economy to create jobs and has delivered significant projects to drive job growth in Wide Bay, including: * $28.5m for the Nioa Rheinmetall projectile forging plant in Maryborough creating 178 jobs * $18 million to secure a water supply to sustain Maryborough’s cane industry securing 600 jobs * $1.75 million to create new jobs at DTM Timber * An Industry Training Hub to be located in Maryborough * A $5 million towards the Nolan Meats upgrade at Gympie, creating 200 jobs * $267,000 for Teys Murgon Beef cattle hide processing facility expansion, creating jobs in the South Burnett * $2.5 million to reconstruct the Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club boosting local jobs in Noosa * $2.5 to expand the Digital Hub at Peregian Beach to foster creativity and entrepreneurship. Llew works hard to engage with all levels of government and deliver better services to Wide Bay to ensure that every local family, household and business has the opportunity to share in our nation’s prosperity.
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.
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