It’s been two weeks since I launched my campaign for the Federal seat of Hughes. I’ve had so much support, so much feedback and so many questions. I’ve answered a few of them already, but the one I’m going to tackle today I get mostly from the sisterhood. And that is this: Why run? You’re a professional. You’ve got a great career. Everything’s all tickety-boo on the home front. With everything we’ve seen in Federal politics this year, what are you thinking?
I’ve talked about my key motivation for running, and that is action on climate change, but this year, something started tapping away somewhere in my brain and getting louder and louder. You know that scene in ‘Alien’ where the little baby alien bursts out of the guy’s stomach? Well, I felt like there was this hot ball of feminist rage that wanted to burst out of me. Little bit dramatic? Yeah I get that.
Funnily enough, it was right around the time that Brittany Higgins started telling her story to the nation. Right around the time that I drove to Canberra for the Women’s March 4 Justice and ended up being told by the Prime Minister that I was lucky that I didn’t get shot that day.
At the same time, I was volunteering for a local organisation that helps new mums in their transition to their new, very altered existence. It’s an incredibly difficult time for women, welcoming their first baby. It was one of the most difficult times of my life, without doubt, and I had the support of an incredibly loving family and network, and so many aren’t quite so lucky as me.
Of course, we’ve witnessed the poor conduct, the lack of progress, the lies, the puerile and divisive rhetoric of our Federal politicians this year, and during those times I’ve thought so many women I know could do so much better.
So, back to the original question: Why run? Great career, great family, why throw a spanner in those works? Having reflected on those questions quite deeply, the answer is: for those very reasons. Because I can, when so many others can’t. Because I have amazing support, when so many others don’t. Because women are so often dealt a poor hand in life and who better to get in there and try and deal them a better one than more women? And, in the most important House of all, the Federal House of Representatives.
So I’m giving it a red hot razzle for everyone, but especially for the gals. Hope to see you out on the hustings, ladies.