Politics Done Differently
By Caterina Sullivan
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.
Episode 036 - Ms Elizabeth Lee MLA
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.
May 05, 2021
Episode 035 - Senator Gerard Rennick
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.
April 07, 2021
Episode 034 - Mr Brian Mitchell MP
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.
March 03, 2021
Episode 033 - Senator Scott Ryan
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.
February 03, 2021
Episode 032 - Senator Nita Green
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.
December 16, 2020
Episode 031 - Senator Catryna Bilyk
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.
December 02, 2020
Episode 030 - Ms Joanne Ryan MP
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.
November 18, 2020
Episode 029 - Dr Fiona Martin MP
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.
November 04, 2020
Episode 028 - Mr Matt Keogh MP
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.
October 21, 2020
Episode 027 - Mr Tony Pasin MP
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.
October 07, 2020
Episode 026 - Senator Katy Gallagher
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.
September 23, 2020
Episode 025 - Ms Peta Murphy MP
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.
September 02, 2020
Episode 024 - Minister Gordon Ramsay MLA
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.
August 19, 2020
Episode 023 - Mr Llew O’Brien MP
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.
August 05, 2020
Episode 022 - Mr Graham Perrett MP
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.
March 18, 2020
Episode 021 - Ms Anika Wells MP
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.
March 11, 2020
Episode 020 - Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP
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.”
February 26, 2020
Episode 019 - Mr Josh Burns MP
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.
February 19, 2020
Episode 018 - Ms Julie Owens MP
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.
February 12, 2020
Episode 017 - Ms Caroline Le Couteur MLA
*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.
February 05, 2020
Episode 016 - Mr Bob Katter MP
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.
January 29, 2020
Episode 015 - Mr Jason Falinski MP
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.
January 22, 2020
Episode 014 - Mr Luke Gosling OAM, MP
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.
January 17, 2020
Episode 013 - Dr Mike Freelander MP
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.
January 14, 2020
Episode 012 - Ms Tara Cheyne MLA
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.
December 18, 2019
Episode 011 - Ms Suzanne Orr MLA
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.
November 06, 2019
Episode 010 - Mrs Vicki Dunne MLA
*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.
October 09, 2019
Episode 009 - Mr Andrew Wall MLA
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.
September 18, 2019
Episode 008 - Mayor Bob Kirk
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.
September 04, 2019
Episode 007 - Ms Meryl Swanson MP
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.
February 13, 2019
Episode 006 - Mayor Rhys Williams
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.
February 06, 2019
Episode 005 - His Worship Mayor Jock Barker
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.
January 30, 2019
Episode 004 - Mr John Newton Carey MLA BA (Hons)
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.
January 23, 2019
Episode 003 - Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt
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.
January 16, 2019
Episode 002 - Senator Claire Moore
In this episode, we talk to Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - The United Nations’ 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or the SDGs) - Young people’s engagement in politics - People’s trust and engagement in politics - Social media and the internet’s role in politics - How the media creates a negative image of politicians and politics - The importance of committees in Parliament - Australia’s commitment to ending modern slavery - The importance of taking positive action in your own life - The generosity of first or second-generation Australians - Moving stories from her time on committees About Senator Moore: Claire commenced her role as a Senator for Queensland on July 1, 2002. On 23 July 2016 Claire was appointed Shadow Minister for International Development & the Pacific. Claire was born in Toowoomba and studied at both the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland. She commenced work with the Commonwealth Public Service in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Department of Social Security. Claire is an active member of a number of Parliamentary Committees and Parliamentary Friendship Groups. She is a member of the National Archives Advisory Council and the National Library of Australia Council. Claire is a proud unionist and feminist and she is passionate about women’s lives, women’s well-being, women's history, particularly within the trade union movement and the ALP, social justice, cricket, Australian and Irish folk music, detective fiction, Paul Keating and art galleries. Claire is inspired by the work done by community groups in their local communities and she is a member of many community groups and organisations.
December 19, 2018
Episode 001 - Mr Peter Khalil MP
In this episode, we talk to Mr Peter Khalil MP about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse. Topics covered include: - Political empowerment of young people - Social media - The role of a politician - What it means to be Australian - Australia’s role in international politics - The art of compromise - Renewable energy and climate change - Why podcasts engage people - Business’ role in sustainability - Innovation About Mr Khalil: Peter Khalil was elected as the member for Wills at the 2016 federal election. He currently serves as Chair of the International and Legal Affairs Caucus Committee and Secretary of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party Caucus. Immediately prior to his election to parliament, Peter was most the Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, Strategy and Communications at SBS. He also consulted on strategic and corporate advisory, government relations and communications. Peter has worked as a foreign policy and national security adviser and as a senior international adviser to the Federal Government. He has been a consultant for Hawker Britton and a non-resident Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies at Sydney University. Prior to these appointments Peter was based in New York providing political risk consultancy to government, multinational corporations and Wall Street Financial institutions. Peter has been a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Peter served with the Department of Defence in Iraq and was awarded the Australian Overseas Humanitarian Services medal. He also worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Peter has testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (including before then Senator Obama) and has published widely including in the New York Times, Guardian (UK), the Australian, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He has made regular appearances on Sky News, ABC programs such as Lateline, Matter of Fact and the Drum, as well as PBS Lehrer Newshour, CNN and the BBC. In October 2015 he was announced as one of the new Victorian Multicultural Commissioners. Peter has Degrees in Law and Arts from Melbourne University and a Masters of International Laws from the ANU.
December 12, 2018
Politics Done Differently Trailer Episode
Want to know what Politics Done Differently is all about? Check out this 6 minute trailer on the podcast and our host, Caterina Sullivan.
December 05, 2018