Burnt bridges: A reflection on the demise of Sophie Mirabella by @adropex

    The result in the seat of Indi is final. Only in the last few weeks, as her 2016 campaign collapsed, has the topic of Sophie Mirabella not rekindled in me the upset and anxiety of the last decade. Rather the emotion was one of grudging compassion. With hindsight, the similarity in the unrelenting energy Sophie spent achieving pre-selection for a safe seat where she had no connection and the manner in which she ‘parachuted’ into the family circle of Colin Howard is evident. Her preparedness to do whatever it took to obtain and maintain power was extraordinarily brazen. It is fair to say that to engineer the progress […]

Women’s Minister Tony helps myth-bust views on feminism, by @sarah_capper

By Sarah Capper  @sarah_capper 14th February 2014 International Women’s Day, on 8 March every year, is that time of year when we are able to celebrate, pause and reflect. And sometimes gasp. In the political sphere, we had our Minister for Women, our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, declaring at an International Women’s Day event that having three daughters has turned this “unreconstructed bloke into a feminist”. The PM mused that “this is a nation which has smashed just about every glass ceiling, but we need to do more – we need to do more.” Granted, if you were to put money on any federal pollie “smashing” anything, you’d back Abbott and his […]

Ordinary people speaking with an extraordinary voice @MargaretOConno5 reports

By Margaret O’Connor @MargaretOConno5 13 December 2013 It’s Monday December 2 and thirty degrees. The nation’s capital is sliding into a languorous warm late afternoon. I trundle into the Parliament House car park and try, with difficulty, to find a park, because northeast Victoria has come to town. Inside the House of Representatives Chamber, the public seating area opposite is a sea of orange t-shirts worn by enthusiastic Indi citizens, the ones who showed us a thing or two about ordinary people claiming back influence and control over Australian politics at the September federal election. Down below, newly-elected Clive Palmer MP arrives and sits next to Cathy McGowan MP, the […]

‘It’s our responsibility to be the last sentry at the gate’: Clive Palmer’s maiden speech

[clear] Madam speaker, Australians know who I am and where I come from. They know I love my family and I love Australia. In 1918 my father, at the age of nine, went to see a silent movie. By the time he was 14 he was producing and starring in his first movie. He went on to become the world’s youngest movie producer, as he was known in the United States. He returned to Australia to establish radio station 3AK in Melbourne and 7UV in Tasmania. Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, leader of the United Australia Party, opened 3AK and I still have the recording. My mother was born in Penguin, […]

Doing politics differently: @indigocathy maiden speech

Madam Speaker, Colleagues, special guests, friends and family. Madam Speaker, warm congratulations on your election. I thank you and my colleagues for your warm welcome. I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners and custodians of this land, both past and present. Today I am going to share a story – about myself, about my electorate of Indi, the power of community to reinvent itself, and I will tell you about Voice for Indi, the rural community movement that brought me to this place. I am honoured to be the representative of the people of Indi. I am grateful to my family, and some of the 700+ supporters and volunteers, almost […]

To Zip or Not to Zip … And Other Tragedies

By Sarah Capper 23 November 2013 In announcing his resignation from parliament last week, it seemed quite fitting that former Prime Minister and Member for Griffith Kevin Rudd quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet – a tragedy about treachery and madness. Rudd referred to the “slings and arrows” suffered during his political career (and by his family in recent months). The phrase is part of ‘Hamlet’s’ ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, “the question” being followed by: And so it goes. The quote queries what is the “noble” course of action – knowing when to cop things on the chin, when to bow out gracefully, versus pushing back and taking down everything (and […]

An in-the-moment comment on the fall of our first female PM

by Margo Kingston 27 June 2013   [View the story “An in-the-moment comment on the fall of our first female PM” on Storify]

Sexism: I’ve had a gutful

by Fiona Armstrong June 17, 2013 Growing up in rural Queensland during the 70’s, I have been exposed to more than my fair share of sexism. This was the era of Joh Bjelke Peterson after all, and women were largely invisible in public and political life. Insulting women on the basis of gender was a national sport, and attitudes to women in that state at that time was in part responsible for my decision not to return to live there following my first overseas trip at age 20. Sexism was an ever present issue for the period of my professional life spent working as a registered nurse and – during that period […]