Read about the educational and intense experience I had in the 2023 Warrandyte state by-election.
My experience as the candidate for the 2023 Warrandyte by-election was incredibly educational and informative. First and foremost, it was a gratifying experience to be able to represent the party I love in a place that I cherish. It was a scary and at times confronting experience as I had to put my face and name out there for the public to comment on. Thankfully for me, I had a good mentor in Party president William Bourke to steer me through dealing with the public as well as having great policy to back me up during conversation and debate.
I also learned what it means to be a candidate, the face of something greater than myself, and not just working behind the scenes or volunteering. As much as it was my face, it was also our volunteers, our members, our past and future candidates too. Suddenly I found myself having some respect for politicians who have their words twisted and taken out of context. As an example, I was excited to have a 15 minute interview with The Age and felt it went very well. Disappointedly, they used the least relevant part of my responses which had nothing to do with any positive policies I was proposing.
By contrast, while I was also a candidate in the 2022 Victorian state election, I spent most of my time and efforts aiding Clifford Hayes’ campaign.
The Warrandyte by-election was an intense experience for the five to six weeks I was working on it, while also continuing to work on Party administration at the federal/national level. As a Surrey Hills local, using Balwyn library every morning as campaign HQ was a lovely boost to my mood, as it was a great example of the community infrastructure that our party wants to implement.
There should also be mention of a group of fantastic volunteers who helped tremendously with the campaign through their efforts in letterboxing, early voting and election day polling. You know who you are! I think it speaks of our party’s policies and core message that we have such intelligent and knowledgeable members who can see the root causes of our issues and are willing to act to fix them.
Ultimately, I am happy with the result of this election, in which I finished in the middle of the 12 candidates with just under 3 per cent of the vote, and over 1000 primary votes. With limited resources available to us we did a tremendous job. We grew our awareness of Sustainable Australia Party despite the media showing so little interest. This is even after direct attempts to contact them through media releases.
So, what is next for Sustainable Australia Party in Victoria?
A key part of our short-to-medium term future for us will be campaigning for electoral reform to abolish the Upper House group voting ticket and eight regions to create a more representative system like in Western Australia and New South Wales. The Warrandyte by-election has shown that if there was fair and true representation in the Victorian Upper House, we could have an MP elected in 2026. You can read more about it here, in a media release we published and sent out during the election.
Candidate - Warrandyte by-election
Sustainable Australia Party