Lesley Howard

Lesley Howard

Citizen Journalist at No Fibs
After shouting at the television for many years Lesley decided participation was the best antidote to cynicism. She has a keen interest in supporting sound environmental social practice, communities and democracy in action. Lesley has a Masters of Science, Applied Statistics.
Lesley Howard
Lesley graduated from the University of Melbourne with dual majors in Statistics and History and Philosophy of Science. The combination of the two fields formed a strong background in objective research, critical appraisal and the analysis of relationships, and in assessment and reporting. With this skill base she has variously consulted for an Australian timber company analysing the unloading of logs in Chinese ports, reported on the role of SMEs in Defence, critically analysed scientific papers, designed and advised on surveys and sampling for various private and government groups, and reviewed and advised on research proposals as a member of the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s MHREC. Lesley has a keen interest in supporting sound environmental social practice, communities and democracy in action. She is currently completing a Masters of Science, Applied Statistics.

LAST WEEK Guardian Australia’s rural and regional editor, Gabrielle Chan, coined the phrase the ‘The Barnaby Line’ and questioned whether in electorates south of this line, such as Nicholls and Mallee, Barnaby Joyce’s regional appeal was now in the negative “losing his MPs and candidates more votes than he attracts.”

Mallee was a bit of a surprise package at the 2019 election, being the last seat called by the Australian Electoral Commission, almost a month after the election, which saw the Nationals suffer a 28 percent primary vote swing against them.

Early in February this year Sophie Baldwin, announced her candidacy as an independent for Mallee in the upcoming election. Sophie describes herself as – “a wife, a mum, a single mum, a dairy farmer, a journalist, a CEO and a water advocate,” and not afraid of hard work. She believes “rural and regional Australia has been left without a voice while petty party politics destroy the country”.

Today I am talking to Ray Kingston – one of the three climate focussed independents that ran in Mallee in 2019 and shared over 21 percent of the primary vote – about his experiences as a past candidate and now as a supporter of Sophie Baldwin.

Ray contributed to some of Sophie’s early strategy meetings, is a proud supporter of hers and has been regularly asked for advice throughout her campaign. Important for Sophie’s campaign and her voter recognition have been endorsements from Ray Kingston and independent state MP for Mildura, Ali Cupper.

Independent candidate for Mallee 2019 Ray Kingston. (Photo: supplied)