“When we act with Integrity, the tide rises with us.”
Well, what a big week in politics! The speeches given by Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins at the National Press Club this week, were amongst the most powerful I have witnessed. These two brave and courageous young women have helped change our nation and I hope their National Press Club address will continue to drive improvements in equity and safety for women in workplaces across Australia.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged and apologised for the “terrible harms” that have taken place over the last few decades at Parliament House. However, I was dismayed to learn that some of the women to whom the apology was being directed, were not invited by the government to hear the apology. Instead, it was left to Zali Steggall MP, our Independent neighbour in Warringah, to offer an invitation and show them the respect of having the opportunity to be present to hear the apology in person.
I was also disappointed to hear the current member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, declare on national TV that it is only a “perception” that Parliament House is an unsafe place to work. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner's report, Set the Standard, into the workplace culture at Parliament House, would strongly suggest otherwise. The investigation found that 51% of people who work in Parliament reported being bullied, sexually harassed, or assaulted whilst working there. It’s clear we need more people in Parliament who will ensure continued progress on gender equity issues.
The government's push this week to introduce the Religious Discrimination Bill also demonstrated how attentive we must be to protect the human rights of all people in our society, especially the marginalised and vulnerable. It became increasingly clear that this legislation would have left LGBTQI+ people open to discrimination. Thank goodness again for the Independents and others who had the courage to vote with their conscience on this issue and ensure the bill did not become law. We need more MPs to stand up and protect the basic human rights of all Australians.
The focus of several of my meetings this week was on the issues of gender equality and support for vulnerable communities.
Family-friendly policies and gender equality were topics I discussed with The Parenthood this week. This national collective of parents and carers is a movement championing policy for adequate and equitable paid parental leave, universal access to early childhood education and care, flexible, family-friendly workplaces, and a culture that values parenting amongst men and women, whilst boosting productivity and the economy.
A study released this week by analytics firm, Purpose Bureau, illustrates how important diversity in business leadership is. It found that firms with directors of one gender had a 37% higher failure rate during the pandemic in 2021, than companies with directors from both genders.
As Mackellar’s representative in Canberra, I will champion community groups, who are standing up for the vulnerable and marginalised within our community. I met with representatives from The Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter and youth mental well-being group, One Eighty. I am always keen to understand how my campaign can bring greater awareness about the services that these wonderful community groups provide.
Catching up with Maddie from One Eighty
A professional campaign, built by our community, from the ground up
Next week we celebrate the opening of our campaign office in Collaroy. I’m delighted to report that we now have a candidate support team that includes campaign, media, and policy managers. We have a communication and events team, a fundraising team to support the volunteer activity, and admin and IT support. I’m also able to confirm that our campaign is backed by a professional strategy team who previously worked on Kerryn Phelps’ and Zali Steggall’s successful campaigns. Many of our team members are individuals from our electorate who have paused their careers to contribute their valuable skills to this unique opportunity to reset politics in Australia. The passion and determination is palpable and, as a movement, together, we are unstoppable!
The momentum is growing and there’s more to come …
Daily, hundreds of volunteers are connecting in their local communities, posters are going up and cars are getting wrapped. We’re about to launch our exciting volunteer app that will provide up-to-the minute updates on mobiles – with low-tech options available too. There is a full schedule of events planned and our community members are planning grassroots fundraising events in their homes.
We need your help
Thanks to the generosity of those up and down our electorate, we have so far raised tens of thousands of dollars, but to compete with parties, powered by fossil fuels, we need to raise more. Every dollar that our volunteers raise for the campaign will be matched by Climate200’s donors. Please support the Campaign and give as much as you can.
There are lots of exciting things happening this week, including a meeting of minds and electorates with Zali Steggall, so please be sure to join us.
P.S. For everyone asking how to get hold of posters to support the campaign, please email [email protected].
Independents come together for the Beaches and Forest – Saturday 19th February
Do not miss this inspiring event at which Zali Steggall MP will come together with Dr Sophie and the adjoining communities to discuss the power of Independents. Find out more and book.
The Last Glaciers panel discussion – Thursday 17th February
Acclaimed filmmaker and environmentalist, Craig Leeson will be discussing is his new film, ‘The Last Glaciers’, followed by a panel discussion with Dr Sophie. Find out more and book.
Health Panel – Save the date – Thursday 24th February
Dr Sophie will discuss a range of health topics relevant to our community, with Prof. Graeme Stewart, Immunologist from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Dr Kate Charlesworth, Medical Consultant in Environmental Sustainability for South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, and Rita Martin, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association. More details to follow…
Meet the Candidate – Coming Soon!
To be held throughout the electorate, these events will provide a chance to meet Dr Sophie and find out more about her values and what she aims to achieve for Mackellar. She’s keen to hear your concerns and answer any questions you might have too. Look out for details on our social media pages.
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