Tony Fairweather

Tony Fairweather

Tony is a corporate lawyer operating his own law firm in Cottesloe in the Curtin electorate.  He found his voice last year and founded Curtin Independent hoping to find Curtin's Zali or Allegra.  He was part of the wild and short ride of the Kate Chaney campaign from a standing start in February 2022.  Tony did various "stuff" including leading doorknocking, knocking in yard signs, enduring compliance, attempting to muscle into comms and accompanying Kate "on the ground".  He is particularly grateful to his wife Fiona and eldest son, Jack for their big contribution to the campaign. Tony's Twitter handle is @TonyFairweathe2
Tony Fairweather

You can read Part One: Launching Curtin Independent here and Part Two: Finding Kate and the campaign team here

IT’S NOT A novel proposition that Kate needed to meet as many people as possible on the ground, engaging people at coffee shops, outside train stations or on beaches throughout the electorate.  She visited community clubs, mens’ sheds and knitting groups. 

The “Glendalough bin men” hosted Kate on a Monday night in their street with cheese platters on rubbish bins.

Throughout these long days and nights, Kate listened.

Women often felt an emotional connection and respect, expressed as ”Good on you for standing up” or “I admire your bravery”. 

For men who came on board, interaction with Kate was usually on a less emotional level and sometimes lapsed into mansplaining on the three or four key matters that mattered to them.  Kate came out the other end with all senses alive, an important skill for Canberra.

For young people, the overriding sense was that climate and inclusiveness mattered. Near the end of the campaign, a number of older Liberal voters expressed respect and said they wished she’d stand for the Liberal Party.  

The most extraordinary reaction was from young girls, especially primary school girls.  They were excited to be near Kate.  A model of positivity and hope?  

Twins with their drawing of Kate

On one memorable morning outside the Daglish train station tunnel it seemed that every Daglish resident boarding the train of whatever age or gender had only positive words for Kate. 

“I am voting for you”, “I love what you stand for”, “Can I have a picture with you?”. 

Such positivity just weeks out from the election. Our tunnel of hope..

Kate at the tunnel of hope

Let’s “knock the North”

As the election loomed we scaled up phone banking to engage with voters, raise Kate’s profile and potentially convert some into campaign volunteers.

In early May, after some doorknocking across the electorate, we beefed it up by deciding to , “knock The North”, an invisible line bordering City Beach, Churchlands and Wembley.  The North is less affluent than  the ‘golden triangle’ in the south, and the 2021 redistribution brought some northern areas into Curtin for the first time, including the rest of Scarborough, Karrinyup, part of Gwelup and a small part of Trigg. 

There was a greater disconnect to the election generally in many areas of the north, and the candidates and their profiles were not as well-known as in the south.

Our volunteers stepped up en masse to ensure the success of the scale-up.  In the campaign’s last two weeks we knocked on more than 7,000 doors, including 4,700 in the last week, covering most of Scarborough, Doubleview and Glendalough. Many residents said they’d never before been door-knocked. 

One of the crews for the Scarborough door knocking blitz

Our 17 year old door-knocking star, Ruby Patterson, drove across the electorate on her P plates, fitting sport and exam preparation around the task.

John Guilfoyle had door knocked for Fred Chaney Senior in 1969 (53 years ago) and then his friend Fred Chaney about 30 years ago.  John was highly organised and effective despite a broken collarbone. Fred and Angela Chaney also joined the door knocking crew. 

Kate Chaney won 12 of the 13 booths in the north, better than expected.

Kate’s Angels

Pre-polling, election day and scrutineering was a major logistical challenge, especially with Covid cases rising.  The team spreadsheeted hundreds of volunteers into pre-polling slots across five venues and on election day across 38 booths.

Our vollies were steeped in positivity and the campaign’s key messages, and booth captains on election day morning were nimble with signs, banners, bikes and utes – all stood out despite earlier liberal booth signage.

This election day presence and performance gave Kate every opportunity for success.

Election Day

We felt momentum was with us, and thought we’d done all we could in the last week. On election day we outnumbered other candidates’ volunteers at every booth after Covid replacements stepped up.

It was hard to get a read on the result from most booths.  Many took only Liberal HTV’s, some took some or all HTV’s from Labor, Green and Kate, and plenty took no HTV’s.

By 5.00pm in a carpark at the Doubleview booth Kate was spent.  

Kate,Tony and Sarah at the Doubleview carpark 5.00pm election day


No more to do and no idea how we’d gone but all smiles after a wild ride

Powered by the volunteers and their own engaged networks, Curtin was no longer to be taken for granted as the eyes of the nation shifted west to watch Curtin’s own #IndependentsDay wave break. 

From a standing start in February, Kate Chaney did the unthinkable, an historic 15.21 percent two candidate preferred swing to take the WA Liberal Party’s jewel in the crown.  

Kate with some of her core campaign team after declaring victory at Lake Jualbup, Shenton Park


You can read Part One: Launching Curtin Independent here and Part Two: Finding Kate and the campaign team here


No Fibs coverage of Curtin