#341 – Reframing Politics With Ruth McGowan OAM/
- May 7, 2019
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show we’re joined by Ruth McGowan OAM. Ruth has more than 25 years of experience working in state and local government delivering change as a community activist. As a Board member of the Victorian Women’s Trust, Ruth fosters and celebrates inclusivity and diversity. A passionate advocate for women, Ruth co-founded the Honour a Woman movement in 2017 to seek gender equality in the Australian honours, our national awards.
Ruth was also awarded an Order of Australia Medal for outstanding community leadership after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire disaster.
Ruth’s extraordinary contribution to society
The need for diversity in politics
The power of youth
Electoral campaign mistakes
Seeing actual change
Advice for young voters
The place for comedy in politics
Ruth’s book, Get Elected
Ruth’s election day plans
Ruth McGowan’s website:
Buy Ruth McGowan’s book, Get Elected:
About Bloody Time:
Here She Is, a directory of women or non-binary people achieving great things:
Honour A Woman: https://honourawoman.com
The ABC Voting Compass:
Political comedian Sammy J:
Watch today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D3KqU4_Zd8
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It's the daily Talk Show Episode 341
Welcome Bruce MacAllan. Good night, fellas. How are
ya? Good Ruth McGowan? Oh, I am. So Order of Australia. Can you explain? How does that come about because we've got a lot of international listeners and also just a couple of gronk who know nothing about anything but how you get that on the end of your name.
It's no small feat. So Australia has a national honor system which recognizes outstanding contributions by ordinary citizens to the nation. And this four levels of metals affectionately known as the gongs and it actually
gongs to do so
Gong, Gong, Gong Gong Gong,
it actually arose from the British order of metals. And in 1975, the prime minister of the time, Gough Whitlam, who I think you're a bit of a fan of golf, I
said, we're gonna have an Australian on a system, we need our own. We're a sovereign country. So he started the Australian metals about 43 years ago, and you have an RA m, or, or IO or om or companion. And that's the top level. So there's four levels. over those 43 years, most of the gangs have gone to men to have gone to mentor, I've actually co founded a movement to get more women recognized for their outstanding contribution.
And what did you What did you get the gong for?
So I got mindful community service to local government and also to disability support action groups. And so I've long been involved
as a volunteer as well as my paid work, that I really believe in contributing to the community. So I did that for many years and people anonymously nominate you for going you don't know who's damaged. So yeah, I did it. We still don't know No, I still a nice woke up my Order of Australia. Should we tell a Josh years ago it was.
It was definitely worth Yeah.
So I just encourage anyone if you know someone that's an outstanding citizen, go online to the orders of Australia and write a nomination and help get that recognized. And
what have What did it mean to you when you when you were nominated?
Look, you get this unblock covering goal from the Governor General? And I'm going Geez, let's see. So I opened it up and it was you have been nominated. And I started crying like it was just overwhelmed. And quite humble. And your first thought often is on it deserved this. There's so many other people out there that deserve it.
And then I realized well to accept it is I'm actually being a role model for other people, other women, young country women that you can take continuing to contribute. And there are people out there that recognize what you're doing, which is really nice. And it comes with a bit of gravitas. Yeah, that I could walk into a room and I've actually got away this with pride. Good little secret, secret symbol that you've got an honor
to see them around them people have never
it's not like too flashy. It's just it's very understandable. Can you get a bigger one?
For certain occasions, there are much bigger middle. So there's occasions you go to, to the Governor General's have Scott middles might be worn. And then you can wait you think so not only got the chest, I've got the middle to put it
around. I've got the middle of inches to put it on the way. You in Josh
Mitch. I mean, you are probably one of the only survivors of a road trip that Josh has gone on. Because he talks their ear off. But you did survive. You guys work together creating a film about the Mary Darling Basin. I did watch that was amazing. Really amazing. What was that experience? Like just going on a road trip? with Josh who was not someone you knew? But you traveled the distance together? Yeah. How long did we do? It was like Was it a week?
So I was given a project. I'm actually an agricultural scientist, I've been known as a master's degree in that area to do a documentary on the socio economic impacts in the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Which if that sounds a bit dry, it's not actually so. So part of this documentary was interviewing farmers and business owners and people out in the community, and also doing some social research. So we had quite a big project. But the documentary was I wanted something that was uplifting and sparkling. I wanted a hipster from Melbourne to make it. This dude to make it. So we went on this road trip and yeah, I met Josh at the airport. Then we flew to Majora.
Oh, that's right. We actually got on a plane for that. Yeah.
And we flew there because that's about a nine hour drive up to the edge of the state and got there. And the first thing that happened was just left the drawing box behind.
I forgot all of this. Yeah.
So we went off and we're doing the shots. And then he went out to get the fancy man she dropped and it's not in the car.
It was the rental car
place. Yeah. So it was so we had to drop back and being country people which you know that they picked it up and we're waiting for us to come back very
honest in the country. I mean, when you refer to me as a country person I lived in Shepperton for a few years, but I did get to sort of have a greater understanding which has since left my mind because I haven't lived there for fees around the sort of local government we were having on you know, the mayor I think was Jenny houlahan actually saw that. We mutual friends with Damien Willoughby, who works at the shipping Council. Yeah, yeah. And so he was my program director. You know, doing the checks after a damn show. Yeah, shout out to diamond. Greg block. But
the other thing I was gonna say so So Josh took some fantastic footage and we'd get up its bears fat guy and the Mary. Gorgeous landscapes who went out in the desert and the only thing that got us through in the morning was long black eye and also introduced me to buddy Mac is hot. Patrick.
24 seven. Yeah. And so we got there and he got not once you've had one unit MC I bet you'd never had a hash brown. That was Mac as hash browns. Yeah,
It's a good thing. And so you know, I remember I sort of pushed you into giving it a go, he's taking all those boxes, bad influence on a road trip, if you're going to have a Mac is a road trip is a good, good time to have it. You're pretty. You're pretty healthy. On side Like, I remember you sort of giving it not lecturing, but you were sort of suggesting of different health, health things that you could do. You had a health scare, was that the sort of the reason for the getting healthy? Have you always been that way?
Um, look, I think I've been vegetarian for about 14 years. So being a scientist and looked at the evidence of dots and meeting in dots are not healthy for the liver, increase your risk, little bit of proteins, okay. But in terms of the cancers that hits your route, and increases your risk, so probably about 10 years ago, I got a diagnosis of lymphoma, cancer. And that really changed my focus much more. Looking at what I ate and doing exercise and meditation. Yeah, took some time off to get well, and it's been 10 years, and I'm still in remission.
Yeah. And so 2006 was the year that you rocked up to the council chambers, because there were local issues, and you were pissed off resident, and you went to, you know, make some change or see see what the deal was, what was that experience like?
So I've written a book recently called get elected. Yeah. And it's a step by step campaign guide to winning elections. And in the book, I unpack, why would you run for council had a plan, how to run and what to do next, not just council but also state and federal government. Yeah. And I talked about that is often three reasons why people get interested in politics. And the first reason is that they're pissed off about something good. And
the second is that a passionate about something and they want to change it. And the third is that they're into politics as a way of changing the world. Sometimes it's a combination of all three. In my case, I went to the council chambers, I'd never been in the council chamber before. So the chamber is the big meeting room laurila counselors made. And they were going to put up a planning application that our community didn't agree with local planning issue. And so I went and spoke on behalf of my community. And we got it stopped. And I looked around the room and there was nine councillors and five senior executives, and they're all men. So there's 14 men making the decisions for our community. And a little bit pissed off about that, and just thought, how can how can all these blokes make the decisions community and the next week or so the mayor down the street? And I knew him quite well,
which is such a country town.
So was he just he
just went up a clock, you know? What are you doing? Can you think you can make all these decisions for the community? You don't even have any women there? And he said, We want women to run they just don't run? You know what you think about it? And it was put that seed in my brain? I think he regretted it, because it wasn't by election a couple of months later, I threw my hat in the ring. And I got elected. Yeah. So then it was me and I other blogs, and the youngest blog that was pretty similar. You're right. Yes, it? I'm so glad you Come on. Because now stop picking on me now stop picking on.
True, it was true. And when you say pick them, what does that mean?
Look, bullying, harassment, they tried to unsettle me. And that's the politically so it's quite dark. Yeah, Doc outs of politics. So I work really hard to get more women to run. And next time five of those bugs got kicked out. Yes. And we got four more women in and we've never gone back to those days of all male councils, because we have an active active community now, that just expects gender balance, and wouldn't put up for anything else. And also, we have young people running. I was the first counselor that ever had kids at primary school elected so I could talk about those issues in the community. And that's why we need diversity. Yeah, because we have a range of us, young, old, you know, cross all the spectrum.
So the third thing is, people who are interested in politics are the ones who run I find it, you know, like, I guess, looking around my Friendship Circle, it's not something that is jumping out of them. And I think I went to a private school here in Melbourne, I can think about the people that went there, which I would think would be the ones who would more likely be into it. But I don't know anyone within my rich who is really into it. If anything, it's the American politics that people start diving into. We've got three they do he from Canada, and he said when he came here, you guys, so glad no one's talking about Trump. Because over in Canada, there's a lot of noise around that. And it's how do you I mean, how do we shift this and get people actually interested? What have you found from talking to
challenge you on that? Because remember, the marriage equality debate? So a lot of people talked about that. And why do we need a plebiscite? Why can't the politicians just make the decision in federal parliament, tick the box make it so? And lots of people got activated from not just the LGBT q plus community, but across Australia? This is fair, yeah. So a lot of people actually got in enrolled, there was more hundreds and thousands of people that got at a very young people got enrolled. When politics hits the heart, and the back pocket nerve, there are a lot of people on new star that cannot find rental accommodation, so that there's join the dots. That's politics. The other thing is the climate change. So you say you don't talk to people. Well, what about the school climate change? climate change? And the frustration that the government in power at the moment isn't doing enough, is activating people, they're so passionate about climate change, they're running on that issue? Kids are marching. So maybe it skipped your generation, and it's these primary school, high school kids that are coming through and get out of why Gen X was Did you stuffed it up for us? Let give us a crack at it.
Yeah, well, I guess it's playing into that pissed off bit. Right, that you talk about Mr. 97th? Brother, James, he, how old is he? 1717. And he was actually at the
change, climate change, rally know what sort of thing and so there's a huge amount that's going on. And it's even. The other thing, too, is we're learning so much through Mr. 97. And James he because he's teaching so much about like, all different even the The other thing even like pronouns, and all that sort of thing, like I keep it accidentally saying he or that's it like this, all these things that that we've just got ingrained. Which isn't. I think that people can take it as a as a criticism on us for not knowing but I think being able to say, we've just got no fucking idea what's happening, and being willing to listen and say, Okay, well, what are these things? How can we change? How, how are we developing? I think that's really important, especially for, you know, younger people who are coming up, they're going to be the ones who are going to be left with all this stuff.
And and they're sick. Have you been slack? Yeah. So when we think of politics, as you know, Parliament camera house, we're actually disenfranchising the youth. So if you just putting in brined activism is politics. Yeah. It's one on one politics. So these young kids getting active. They're being political, and they taking it back. Yeah. And I think if you stand around complaining, and don't do anything to change, then you actually forfeit your right to compliant, you know, shut the heck up, get out and do something and get out there and vote for people that support what you want to see in the planet. And,
you know, I would also encourage people get involved in political campaigns. There's lots of young people running local, state and federal get involved and see how politics works. Did you actually can afford to disengage?
Yeah, I on this straight here, there was a science when we rocked up, Luke crazy, he was all over the all over the place. And he's an example of someone who should have read your book.
He should have page 237
years late, your social media footprint before you even
run. And so part of that is what I find really interesting is,
you know, we say dumb shit that we regret, we say things that from a social media standpoint, they are. Everyone's constantly evolving. We're all we're all evolving, and we say,
you know, and so to your point of deleting that stuff, is the deleting the stuff is that just say what Luke Chris he did, he's a 29 year old is a young guy in politics. He's probably he's our generation. And years ago, he locked something that was a bit risk guy in in, in today's the
Yep. I mean, I read through his tweets that through the comments and what he liked. And if it was someone to my right, that wasn't running for politics, I probably wouldn't even notice. But then in his circumstance, he's going for that seat, and representing everyone. And he said a few things that a lot of people don't like. And so he's now withdrawn from running for a seat in labor. I guess, I guess my quick, my question is, to your point of deleting it. Yeah. deleting it would remove the thing that we now not like the things that he did. What I'm curious about that is, is that?
Is that the best way of doing it? I mean, is it just one of those things where it's like, have we all got things that we regret, it's about removing them from history, so they don't come up?
Well, it's interesting, you know, because if intrinsically you're sexist, racist, homophobic. transphobic. Yeah. Did Yeah. Like should you even run for politics? Yeah. There's plenty of parties that will support you on that in the far right. Yeah, pulling hands in one nation, you know, bringing on she's already had two decent number of candidates. But you know, I would imagine that that those views, if you've hold them in, you think it's a funny joke. Yeah. Then there's a leopard change it spots, but I know, whereas there's a great candidate running here that I know of, for the reason party, and the name is Judy Rhine and she just lives down the street from here. And she's a really compassionate woman and got really concerned about coming out every day and seeing people overdosed and died in the street.
She was an activist for the
self injecting facility here. And now she's running for these party. So she's always been that she even learned how to do resuscitation and carries a little you know, neurotoxin kid around with someone in front of her down the bottom of this studio is overdosing. She can administer first I told them when it gets there. I mean, that's a community person with the community spirit. That's, you know, she is what you see is what you get with her.
Yeah, I think the leopard not changing their spots thing is an interesting one. Based on I look back at things that I've said that just purely being naive and not understanding. I've said dumb shit. I'm constantly saying dumb shit. And it's about that, that change? I guess, within politics, is there not the opportunity for that? light and shade? Raven thinking it not knowing the Luke crazy stuff, but just in that whole idea of as humans, we're all complex? And what how do we the empathetic side of me, sees, you know, all these things and being like, okay, have they shown change? Have they done this? Or they're done that? What's your perspective?
I think that's a really good comment. And we will never know. Because Luke's not running it. He could have just stared it down and said, Yeah, I was a decade. Yeah, it was 12 years ago. I was adolescent, you know. And and now I realized that it's not appropriate to do that sort of stuff. And he could have stayed it down. But we will never know whether the electorate within a forgiving moon and would have said, Yeah, we've all done on social media. Yeah. You know, it's so spicy. Everyone can scream forever and ever and ever.
Yeah. You know, it's I worry about I mean, it's probably I wouldn't have thick enough skin to be in public politics. I don't think someone like I think about what having a look and I go, someone's gone through purposefully trying to find is that the game apology? Is that what you sign up for?
Look, I often get people saying I wouldn't have a thick enough skin. And I say, well, you're the very person that we need. We need thick skin, thin skin. It's all bullshit. We all have the same skin, you know, the epidermis is about a couple of millimeters.
Same skin, and we actually need people that have got sensitivity, compassion, they can do the miracles of stuffed up None. None of us are perfect. And last week, there was a survey that came out of Australians Who's your favorite politician? The top five women. And the top one was December done, it's 77% of Australia, then she's not even our bloody politicians, New Zealand. But you know why? Because of those images of the compassion after the cross church atrocities of hugging, you know, and then there's plenty long and I'm telling you please second other other politicians, Julie Bishop, you know, they came through and they people that are sense of humor. They say a bit vulnerable. Yeah. So I when you say I haven't got the fixing? Actually, that's what we need. We need people that are honest, that have got integrity that are stuffed up, but give me a hug. You know, I'm sorry. We don't want those arrogant pricks. Yeah, well, we might they might get elected and have a look at it. I mean, to say that you have to have a thick skin disenfranchises the rest of us. So it's a language that I try and call out? Because I just think that's bullshit. I'm feeling it. I'm feeling a bit cold out.
No, I get it such a great perspective. Because I guess you just don't want these stoic. You know, people just steamrolling through you
know, I mean, look at Jackie Lambie didn't know much about he was the Senator from Tennessee should we know nothing.
She had to step down because of Section 44, which is a bit in the constitution where you can't have dual citizenship. And it was devastating to her but she ran because she was pissed off about help veterans were traded. She's a veteran herself. And she had massive pain from from back injuries and she just felt the Department of Veteran Affairs wasn't looking after them. So she ran and she she was really down in the dumps before she ran she almost suicidal she said that she was you know, a drug addict. That's all on the public record. So she's not like one of us. But we know people like that. So we get people can relate to and she ran and she got lifted. And she's given another crack another good one. Yeah, we need people like that. They've got a heart. They were on the slave.
I mean, I think that's to that point of the leopard and the spots and all that sort of thing. It's being able to realize it. Also some of the energy some of those things that we want comes from the hard bits of life, the friction.
Yeah, and I think that's that's the point there is if you disclose, disclose, and you're transparent about where you've stuffed up in life, it was a lot more forgiving. Yeah, you know, so so you know, maybe if
Chrissy had disclosed that Yeah, did some stupid things when I was younger, I've changed enough going I've gone to unconscious bias gender affirming training, or whatever it is, you know, to understand how inequality and gender related and I've changed now and maybe Pete come out and said that people would have gone Yeah, we've all done that we made stupid jokes about women
Yeah, I got his ways world's been turned upside down Elena yeah really feel for you? What kind of time does someone you know like walking into that polling booth and sayings and names on a piece of paper? Like how much effort are these people putting in that we're seeing these names of I'm not talking about you know the the top in the pot the current prime minister but these you know, people Canada, if that's what you know, Will the candidates
so you might see six or seven running or or 10 or 12 putting anything from probably three years to three months must remain a year and a half two years. It is tough and rigorous and they really do have to plan far in advance and then they got to go out and door knock like they got early voting centers at the and right before my to six all day hanging out talking to people but for me, but for me, but for
me, and you were on the front line of this because you were the chief strategist for your sister, Kathy McGowan, who was elected in Indy was that the die in die? Yeah, the way I have no ID around the independent stuff. Right. So when it comes to voting, this is my naive brain. I'm like, I think okay, labor liberal grains, that's sort of my that that's where I'm working with and then based on safe it was the grains for instance, take their card and then you do the preference thing, or that's purely based on me thinking that especially if I do some under the below the line type of stuff. I'm potentially going to fuck it up and it's a donkey vote. For one is it extra hard for people to vote for independence? Is the system created that way? And can you school me on how I can be changing my perspective or how we how we vote cool,
so got a good analogy for you. So where do you go shopping? Woolies?
I'm gonna say I'm gonna
say calls. Yeah,
yeah. Okay, so most Ozzy's go well, these are called you try LD. Yeah, this guy, this guy.
Mr. 97 is sort of more progressive. He's going to sort of the local fruit shop he gets out eggs. Some people call in the tide as
well believe supermarkets in Australia. There is LDS coming along right. Now, you might have your favorite favorite sauerkraut or your favorite vegan cashew cheese right. And you used to be able to get it or your fake bacon your fake and that now that sound you go. Geez, this is really annoying. Oh, this is this is boutique little veggie shop down there. There's a really nice, I'm going to go and try RGA works. David crackers. Look, the money's coming back in the community and the local Yeah. And you go there and bang Look at that. It's got 10 different types of cell crap and more vegan sausages and you can poke a snare get bit of bread, you know, hungry. So yeah, I'm going to start shopping now at the idea and food works because they give me more variety. They're more focused on what I want. And I can get I know that the profit to go right back in the community, not multinationals that use poking machines such as will leads to fund the share price, right? Yeah. So these ethics, their integrity, there's availability. Now independence are a lot like that. They local, they're independent, they get the community way they've grown up from they're not beholden to a big party structure, where they might be thinking something that they got to say something completely different because they've signed up to a party. So that's that's independence now, is the system wide against independence yet? Definitely. The major parties have got all the cash, they've got all the money they've got the income and already in the seats.
What do you think that the average like the main I think you spoke about so as an independent you can spend 70 hundred K to run? Yep. What? Say those
millions millions? And I mean, club Palmer spinning it million bucks apparently,
money or rising that?
I think he says it's
classified as a bit of an eccentric billionaire in Australia. Yeah.
Yeah. A bit like someone else in another country.
But yeah, so so the independence have to end they have often have ethics around where they get their donations from because they don't want to be beholden to a big mind company, if they get elected, and then they making a decision. So it's cupcakes, straight stores, movie nights, beer football, so tell independence, raise the money, but that gets buying from the community as well. So you have a look around, you'll see the billboards now covered with the major parties, the ads on the TV, so the independents have to do a bit of guerrilla warfare in terms of getting their message across. So it's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, something really innovative. There's a video that's just coming out this week from eight independence that are chipped in together, and they're made a video check it out on YouTube. Interesting.
I love hearing. Well, it's I just find entertaining when the Labour Party does a radio ad about the Liberal Party. And it's just like mocking them. It seems to be a common thing. Like I've noticed more ads, like billboards. Yeah. For
ugly photos of politics, you know, when it's from from the other party, because normally they're looking really sad. It's a really unflattering photo. It's black and white. They look don't look right. And then next word it has Yeah, all the reasons for that's
what they do. And it's also a tickets, and it's personality, politics. So if I want to encourage you to do anything, look longer, never going to win the battle to get you to run at the moment. But you never know, one day you might, that when you walk into that Pauline center, collect the pair of white cards from everyone. Think of something you're passionate or pissed off about, and go and talk to those people and say, what's your policy on climate change? What's your policy on?
Having a education, in schools on LGBT issues? What's your policy on abortion and a woman's right to choose? Don't ask them, and then go on. Okay. Well, it's interesting. Yeah,
yeah. And going and boat put your vote is going to change the world one vote white, better. Hundreds will something naughty idea growth when I was in Sheffield, and I was like, just wrapped that I could do early voting. And I went to the early voting center. And then I was on the radio. And I was saying, guys, you should get down to the early voting center. And then we got a call from local council saying, we actually aren't trying to encourage people it's only for people who can't.
You could have made a whole lot of reasons under the Act of waiting on the tire in hospital. You're
right, there's no lines.
A lot of people have checked out that they're not engaged. And they don't realize the politics of fix everything from the moment you walk out your door to the footpath to you drive on the road lock road was on the speed line on, you know how fast the trains go didn't get a train to the airport or not. We have to pay company, Skybus. You know, all this stuff is politics. It's everywhere you like you're soaking in politics, so many disengage, you're giving your power to someone else?
I mean, is there, I guess the other side of it is, we probably don't need people like Tommy, or myself in like, yourself, I guess, in the sense of if we're trying to get a more sort of diverse thinking. We're not the most sort of diverse guys in regards to what's already in the political
Chica goes on to queer woman of color and get on her campaign.
Yeah. So I guess that's part of it to what you're referring to isn't necessarily Tommy going out and running. But it's actually being supporters of volunteers for different places.
And you can you've got your skills. It's not enough to say I've got things done upon what I'm curious about passionate about, like, you've got skills, find someone like a queer woman of color and go, do you want us to come and make a short video for you that you can check on YouTube? Or instead of giving your 10 grand donation will do a five minute video for you. And that'll be our contribution for making the world a better place because we've got diverse representative. So don't check out.
Yeah. Who were the big supporters? For Cathy, when you were chief strategist? Where did you see the most amount of support come from from
the local community? So we had in 2013, when Kathy first ran the incumbent, which was the person that held the seed had held it for 12 years with a really big margin that I thought was a very safe state. So they ignored in dies in northeast Victoria. They ignored it, then the community felt that, you know, they were just been ignored. And what particularly piece them off was when the apology for the stolen generations was made in Parliament, that Member of Parliament exited the building. So everyone was a bit pissed off and annoyed. So when Cappy put a hat in the ring to run, lots of young people encouraged to run they said we want we want to see a different future. And she said, Okay, well, if I'm going to run, come on board. So the young people came on board, and they were they did stuff like you know, flash mobs set up the Twitter and Social Media and Tumblr pages and all of that they were fantastic. And there was 400 people from the community next time there was 600. Currently, there's an independent running code Helen Haines is taking over from Kathy, she's got 1700 volunteers from the local community. So these are people that are putting their feet and skin in the game, that they're the biggest supporters, which is real people like you and I, moms and dads, kids, grandparents, they're all involved in that campaign, because they're passionate about seeing a change and keeping that seed independent.
I feel a bit as a voter, I feel a little bit detached from the actual change that happens being so close to Kathy, did you see things that she was sort of striving for and seeing it actually can act it? And
absolutely, one of the biggest things, what was that the state became marginal. And that means that instead of being a safe seat held by a big margin, it was like, surely one by 400 votes out of that 90,000 people. So it was really close. That's the right count. At that point it I did that. To recap, it took two weeks to actually fix two sides. It was more about what was waiting.
So and then next time, she won by about 5000 votes. Yeah. 2016. But what's happened over that time that seeds become marginal? And people often told what did you get? So they think it's all about money. But money did flow in like 250 million plus worth of grants. But some of the issues that got fixed up were like mobile phone, black spots, and if you've lived in the country, or no be driving down a road, and suddenly mobile drops out, which can be catastrophic. And valleys and mountains, valleys when their fall is coming, that people can access their mobiles. So she got funding for, I think, 15 for mobile towers, which then allowed to these black spots to be addressed. Where's the Navy, not neighboring electric, which, again, is a safe coalition say it's only had about 12, black spots speak. So that sort of thing are coming into your area to use your
So these are things I'm talking about. But the other sort of intrinsic thing that happened was people took started to take an interest in politics. Yeah, they got engaged. They said, Actually, we can make a difference. If if enough of us get excited about making a difference, we can actually come together and make a difference. Or an IVF ever happened at school like the student representative council was being in there. So I'll say Yeah,
yes, I'll say president from you right. I was the youngest SRC president that they ever had.
I've heard more about the just being the president than anything he actually did it all for cloud I know I acted I credit healthy a healthy a menu at the campaign. Let's
see this is it so on you got involved in politics, in your blood? I've seen essays where the girls have got involved in changing the uniform like why can't we read the laws? We should be allowed to wear pants and finally 29 they've got the school uniform changed you know, going one on hoodies and
asked going really there was a ban on we wanted you 12 hoodies that a real issue with the idea of hoods think maybe cuz I was I grew up in a sort of a rough
the Bronx area.
Exactly. Yeah. And so yeah, they were giving a lot of pushback on that. But yeah, it is interesting, like, because a lot of people will say, I don't want to talk politics. Like or if I'm saying show like this, there'll be people who are switching off who are triggered in some way and being like, what it is, you've said something that's that's that's hit a nerve and they're like they they turn off what's your perspective on listening to both sides listening and being able to sort of be I'm taking a bit from here taking a bit bit from there.
Everyone's got a right to disengage entirely get sit on the couch and watching it watching Netflix. When you walk up the street. You're going to be stepping over needles. Yeah, right. You're going to be paying you Hicks texts.
way one day,
only lasted two months. So
yeah, okay, you're gonna have friends on newsstands, they cannot find rent, no capital city has got rentable accommodation. If you're new start so what are those people? Do they homeless? Are they couchsurfing? So you might turn off, but if you actually open your eyes and put your antennas up, there are so many issues around that need fixing. And I just said a white get work. You know,
it's reframing politics, because it's something I'm learning from this conversation. I think there'll be some people who think that the political landscape is, you know, going too far, one way, and it's coming from the other way. And we might overcorrect. You know, we're going to overcorrect. It's getting extreme. You know, do you think that's
a reality? Not and, you know, because we have got three levels of government, local, state and federal. And it's all over the place of his representing women 18 year olds in councils. Yeah, you know, young people soon as they can make it by for me, you know, we've got really exciting young people coming through all these kids that are on the climate change strike, I recommend going to get involved in politics at some level. So and then you've got the diverse ruse right over on the right, the goat stop immigration, you know, we don't want any Muslims coming in and and the far right, and we want some, you know, some of the involvement of religion in schools, they want all that sort of stuff. And it's like, Okay, well, that's represents the diversity of us in Australia. I'm not saying we should ban that, and that I think it's healthy to have those sort of discussions. If as long as it's not, you know, threatening people, you know, really putting paper down, but I think it's important to have the discussions Well, what should be sustainable immigration?
What sort of things should we
do for new start? Should we raise it? What about dentistry? Why isn't that on Medicare?
That's bullshit. That's something I'm pissed off about. Yeah.
Well, you know, that's a federal issue isn't so why why if you break your arm, you can go to the doctor and get, you know, get it free, great public health service in Australia. But if you smash it to Europe for a couple of grand, you know, boy, look, there's so many people out there with rotten teeth, which is a health issue, but there's not the connection. So these are the sort of stuff just wake up. Because because who doesn't die the minute he someone same day should fix it. That's politics.
I guess the other thing with politics is it's you hear things happening, like I remember hearing when I was at the state level, they're talking about dentistry, and there was a, an extra level of money going to it. And I remember hearing people say, Yeah, they're saying that, but it's actually x, y, and Zed and don't take it at face value. This is marketing. How, how can we be engaged when we're constantly being told that our policies are lying to us? And that things aren't what they saying.
I'd say braid rape issues and get it from different points of view. There's a hashtag called us, Paul on Twitter, which is great, we've got a sausage, let us buy votes, democracy saucy. That's why that's got that
become maybe a better move on. But as Paul is really good, and and talk to people talk to people talk to you might throw a new start and go How the hell you're living, you know, ask people questions. I think that's how you get engaged, or what do you think about climate change? So today, this report coming out on mass extinction is looming? Yeah. And we're going to lose so many species, like, we can't just sleep on.
Yeah, because there, there is a sense where I, what I feel with this stuff is that we're a bit fact, the world's going to end sometime. And it seems so big, that I can't see them the micro it's like, yeah, we could not to have disposable cups. But when something else is going to fuck up before then, anyway, is that point of view as a toxic one for actually progress?
If enough people make a change, things will change. So if you if you get two cups instead of these right, because these aren't recyclable, just get some kid comes and Chuck your brand on them and give them out to people. Yeah, that's a change you can make. Yeah, you know, you've done it you can have a unisex on, because that's just a subtle thing that we welcome all genders here. Yeah, you can do tiny little changes that will make a difference in your world in such public transport, to hear.
Everything you do will make a difference. People, people look up to you, they listened to this podcast, so you can model behavior. Because I can start asking people what pronoun Do you want to be used? You know, and just model LGBT q inclusiveness? I think
part of it is that I always I don't want to come across as disingenuous or being
tokenistic. So when like, I feel like whenever there's a new, you know, like, I think the world's shifting, and there's a comfort in, okay, this is the way that I do things. And so trying to adapt trying to because I think that there's a lot of people who wanted to make that change. But they say it's like, okay, the friction point of not having anything on the door, versus having the unisex symbol, or whatever it is, those those things then become these micro statements that we're making that they can be political.
Whereas the actual secrecy Yeah,
exactly. I think that's been Tommy, Tommy and I've spoken about that a lot, which is like, we never, we want to make change that we don't want. But we've also got that sort of no BS filter filter. So we don't want to do it in the sense of like, Okay, I'm supporting this thing. I don't want to then have people thinking that I'm doing this as some sort of brand building like personal
Well, why wouldn't have a cape cod?
Yeah, I think the cape couple the thing with
the cape cape one, it was like, cold out again. This is this was my rationale with the cape cap I, I think, screw to Derek.
Okay, that's good. So we can composite these ones, which is definitely why we got Mr. Nice Evans already working on a compass for us. Did you know that you can cut worms? Are you with your scientists? You can kind of worms in half, and they grow something.
Is that true? some worms, but I just think this is
just excuses. Right? And it's, it's just,
well, the cape cap example. I'll give you that as an example. I then heard that, like, Cape Cod is worth 400 disposable cups in regards to the materials that are used or whatever. Yeah. And then I think about how much how many times like I had a cape cod, and then I lost it. And so I'm like, I did the math in Yeah.
So if it's like if you got 10 Cape Cod, yeah. And one cape top is worth 400 disposable cups. you've purchased 4000
jobs. Right? So my point is, and it's back to this, you do the research before you make your decisions, right? You could take a month down the shop every day and get to know Yeah, this is my god sticky unicorn on the Danny. pitch of the unicorn, it doesn't matter. Yeah. Because you don't want to go, Oh, I forgot the Q i forgot the I got the plus b you know, just stick the unicorn on it. And that could be your way of being. I'm accepting? No, but I just say do. Do your research. Don't be swayed. Yeah. Because when you're sleep, others will be doing the work and taking over the country in ways that you might not agree with. And it be it'll be too late when you wake up. Yeah,
yeah. Tommy, what do you think? I think that like the conversations, Tommy and I have a very much come from a place where it's like, okay, we want to be authentic with things and authenticity. I like what you're saying. And I think what you said about find your thing, we're just looking at the camera myself, which is finding the thing that actually pisses you off. And I and maybe it's the there's people who are not pissed off, but voicing their annoyance about something that annoyed about something that annoys me is people who Lisa, is there a party for that? I mean, is there someone who's got it
all there's an API at 800 number your code, but you know what, maybe it hasn't happened to you
without pace it I think the thing is that for a lot of people who don't have that meant, like, we're in a very privileged position where, like, we are very fortunate, there's not many things that happen. So then for some people, the pissed off bit is I got called out or political correctness is going crazy. And so their version of being pissed off, is actually maybe to go more to the conservative sort of side. Yeah. And so I guess that that's, to your point around the main, you know, ask your mates, I think that part of that, like it's in in that statement, which is, if you're only just asking your mates, you're only getting one perspective, I think that the real thing is like how come and I've even noticed that just being on this being in Abbotsford being in sort of a, you know, mecca of, you know, different people struggle, struggling people and being the commission flats, not so I think you see a diverse range of people. And for me, it's like, they're asking, the main thing is that bubble echo chamber thing. And it's like, how do we go beyond that? And how do we ask? Yeah, yeah, and I think part of it is just experiencing it. We were upstairs over the weekend, saying two women in you know, taking shooting up in just in the corner. And it's like, it is a shocking thing to see which and then all of a sudden, Tommy and I are having conversations around all these needles and stuff. Like maybe there's a bunch of needles out of the back of our office. It's like, Can we be pushing like, the local council to get rid of them?
Yeah. or putting signs up sign a safe injecting facilities? Okay, down that road? Yeah, it was gonna say you can make a bubble, which is all middle class white dudes. I also run general quality training. And one of the things I encourage people is to put agenda lens on just like putting a pair of Sonny's on he can't see what you can't seem to make a deliberate effort. So the first thing you do is we'll look at the numbers, look at the data. So I'd encourage you to look back on your podcast and go how many diverse people have you had on? What's the gender ratio? And if it's not 5050, do what you need to do to get 5050 women speaking here as well. invite people of color, invite people of diverse backgrounds, get some paper, some sakes, some Muslim women, some queer people, make sure you've got a whole diversity of people. You've got a job to get their voices out as well. That's what you do. You're in front of a mic. Yeah, that's your privilege. Get the voices out of diversity, ask these questions to them. What's going on for you?
I guess part of it too, like using that lens? One of the things that maybe I'm overthinking it, but I think about we want to have Ruth McGowan on because you're an interesting person with a great perspective. And I'm always conscious of where having you on whether you're white, black, female, male, all that sort of thing, like you're an interesting person. And so the pushback that I have for myself around these things is I don't want it to ever feel tokenistic. You
know, like that it's not going to be because so the ABC has just done a database in realize that whenever asked for comments on the news, only 22% of the people, they intervene with women, and then gone, this is not good enough. Yeah, 2% of the population is women. They've got interesting views. So then they building up the whole database of skills of who can talk about x y, Zed, and they've gone it's our responsibility to find the interesting women to get a viewpoint on finance and markets and politics. Yeah. So that's just lazy. This
I don't think it's not out of a laziness. But I think that it's not something that I necessarily want us to lead with. So when we have people on the, on the show, it's realizing that you've got an Order of Australia, you got all of these things. And there's plenty
of women out there and non gender binary people that you could find that will also have interesting points of view. I mean, I just put that challenge out to do the analysis of who you've had. And look at where the gaps are. Yeah. And it won't be tokenistic. You might be blown away about what some of the people sign?
Yeah, yeah. Well, I think we do it like we've we did a work on the board earlier in the year where we wrote down 150 names, and then we got a red text and just circled all the women, that's okay, well, here, let's focus on getting getting this. And so it's definitely a piece of work that we think is important. I also think that it's, we had some feedback on Instagram where someone had said it. And the other thing is that I think a lot of people, especially in podcasting, it's the early days of the format, people don't see it is their responsibility or see that it's even that you're at the point where you can make that positive change. I think that now that we've identified it, having that diversity in audiences interesting,
I think it's gonna be Oh, there's a website called he she is, which lists hundreds of women and what they can speak about. right in, you know, so you could go to that go, I want someone to talk about on and on marketing, NPR,
whatever. You know, that's really who set up that
story in women's trust. Yeah. Which I'm a board member of that organization. And I do amazing stuff for women and girls and advocacy, their feminist organization. They've just released a book called about bloody time, which is taking the taboo of menstruation. So they do stuff like that, you know, can you imagine having a podcast talking about that? And getting a couple of young girls on that Avastin gun? We want to have sanitary products in our toilets at school? That's what we're fighting for. They get hoodies that's a fundamental right, yeah.
Is there anything that worries you about the future? across the political landscape thinking I think about my son and what he's going to be growing up. And, you know, Tom's different from when I was a young man to what he will be a part of, and what's acceptable. And what's even thought about?
I will my concern is people tuning out, you know, and that's, that's why right, get elected, because anyone can get elected that is competent, and have has the skills to, to have a have a vision, and articulate that vision and bring people along with them.
Mr. 97? You know, you're a young person is 19. So, you know, tell me and I, I'm getting close to 30 2030,
what resonates with you here if you got a question for Ruth? Yeah, I guess. I mean, I'm a kiwi citizen, so I don't have to vote. But I still,
I still think people of my generation feel helpless in feeling like the vote isn't worth it. Like I want I want to, I want to support people that, uh, you know, fighting climate change, but it's just like, my vote feels like nothing.
Hmm. So how do I, you know,
Change that perspective? Yeah, good question. So I work as a coach, and often so when people feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is take action, no matter how how small taken action, a tiny little step. And the first thing our encouraged a 19 year old is gone. Well, you know, who would I vote for in this election in two weeks time, and get educated. So there is a website called ABC Vote Compass, which has about 10 questions, and it asks you questions, and you give the answer. And then it tells you which political party lines up with your view views. So you're not going to be swayed by the big beautiful billboards that you know nd someone else you just going to go Okay, well, this is what I believe in climate change. This is what I believe in marriage equality, whatever it is. And look, I'm near right near this party. So graphs at all. It's a it's a five second sort of quiz, you know, four minute quiz. And it can tell you so first thing is use your vote. If you're Australian citizen, use your vote to make a difference. And then, you know, talk about politics when people say something that they are not about what climate change government, what are you doing about you can join, get up organizations like that. Give them a fallback donation, they're the ones fighting for it. So you can actually, you know,
handle a bit of your responsibilities, but you know, get active get involved, or the planets going to be stuffed if everyone just goes to sleep at the wheel? Yeah.
What's your relationship with comedy? Because comedians, always talking about? This seems to be a big talking point. At the moment. We can't make fun of anything anymore. You're someone who is pretty like, you know, you've got both sides. You're hilarious. You have strong political, you've got strong political views, you sort of seem to merge it all. At what At what point is, you know, the comedy thing versus political correctness? How can we how can we navigate because even Tommy and I have felt especially recording a show, you say shit, you use stereotypes is a is a way of doing comedy. When you look back, it's like, are that that joke was probably from 2004. How do you think people can navigate that type of thing?
Well, there's so many fantastic comedians, local comedians in Australia, take the piss out of politics, and they brilliant and I follow them on TV or follow the podcast. Yeah. You know,
what's your Who's your favorite at the moment?
semi Jai tipa what she has a missing?
Oh, you gotta watch them ej. So he does the skit about the government coach, the coach, and he's got it down pat. Now and he's a nice coach uniform. And he's football team is the government. So he's calling them where they've dropped the balls. And yeah, look them up on YouTube. He's a pizza.
Yeah, it's really, really great. And so do you think that there is? Have you noticed things like comedy or things change based on politics, in, in society?
I think it's got funnier, there's a lot more things to it's, it's so serious. It's got funny and you know, there's almost an opposing of it. It's like, oh, like, you can't make jokes about some of some of the stuff that, you know, Islamophobia. But they do in a way that's, that's still respectful. Yeah. So Pauline Hanson more burger into parliament. Just to make a point. Yeah. And then there was this whole running joke about that. Yeah. So it's, I do love my dose of political comedy. I love my political podcast, as well. I've got several lined up that I'm a bit of a junkie, but political podcast.
So there's a place for the joker? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, look, it's not life and death. It's politics, which is a bit of both. Yeah. So you do need the politics for the light relief, and you're encouraged to have a look at semi giant, you can see what I'm talking about. And then you've got the extreme end of that, which is the commercial, that summing audience of 800 people where they are still doing racist jokes, homophobic jokes, all of this. And it's almost like I see what fascinates me about that is that there's a audience to an audience of people that are like, no laughing to something that they know is so wrong, which then fuels the humor of it, I think, because then it's like to boo we're laughing we're getting together as a community to sort of be naughty in law which I think which I that's my sort of view on that sort of going one way so goes you know, everyone is very sensitive now rightfully so there's been some lot of things that needed to be readjusted, but then add of that has now created this new niche where people are front footing that which I think is right yeah.
But they located in the Mac is hash browns has
arrived, but I kind of enjoying it is what leaving the crowd aside. Yeah,
yeah. And so you you wrote get elected? What was the what was the experience of doing that? Like, because you hear how hellish it can be for people writing a book. Was it super stressful? Or was it nice?
was a discipline? Yes. No, it wasn't easy. Yeah. I liken it to giving birth, like, when you first time parent you thinking when's the right time, navigate? You know, maybe you went through all this? You know, like, should I do when I'm 30? Or my career? Or should I wait till I'm in my late 30s? When I've got a career established? And, you know, so it's always, when will I do the book, right. And then once you've made the decision to do the book, then the pregnancy is the gestation is like the slow writing to do little bit every day, actually, about 14 months, but I had a three month break, but I just had the discipline of doing it. And, and then when you give birth to it, it's quite torturous, because you forget about publicity, marketing, everything you need to do there. And then you should
forget, I think that's where we're at with we've forgotten the pain of it. And that unknown, and now we're like, maybe we could do it.
Yeah, you go.
I'd encourage anyone that's got something really worthwhile to say to do book podcaster. Great. Yeah, books, books, you know, like you people. There's a lot of respect when you put that on the table.
Absolutely. And from, you know, all the times that, you know, the leadership positions that you've had over the years, what are the what are the core skills that you think universal for leaders?
Hmm, well, there's a whole nother podcast.
Well, obviously, you got to have followers. Yeah, you know. So I think having a vision that he can articulate of how you can bring about change, and put means about positive change.
So having a vision that you can articulate, and demonstrate that you're competent to pursue that vision, with people that can support you. So to bring people along to get that vision happening,
you need to think that you have something important to say, you need to believe that as someone who has to be a bit of a narcissist, and yeah, I've got a good idea. I believe this is, you know, important. You have to
have I think you have to have that to start with. Because why would people, you know, be attached to what you've got to say, yeah, the first person as a politician, you've got to vote for yourself, you got to sell it to yourself first. Vote one, that's great idea, you know, make dental care, tax tax deductible, make make a bulk billing for dental care. I've got to believe that because I've had smashed off teeth. And I literally have, you know, I've got a plate in at the moment because I've got a smash tooth. Last at whitewater kayaking. So now this customer grants grants have money to get a new front tooth. And it's like, I can go to the doctor and get a bug build. Yeah, if I need a flu injection, but I can't get lucky I can afford it. But what if I couldn't be walking around with that a tooth like your mates back in the Bronx? And immediately people making assumptions about you? Because you don't have a tooth? Yeah. But yeah, so I'm passionate about that. Dental Care should be both bill for people that can't afford it. Therefore have sold that to myself. Now. I can go and agitate on that if I was a politician and push for that change, which one of the major parties is at the moment?
What are you going to be doing on election day?
So I saved my vote on election day. I could run in and do it early and get it over and done
with it because this is about you need to have that waiting that
I actually want to make the suckers work for my vote right up to the item. I really want to make it I don't want to I want to think about what am I gonna vote for?
This sounds like this is what I love about this is it reminds me not to bring it back to src. But the way that the way that you trade it feels like how I felt about it in school, right? It feels like, like a campaign. And there's just like, lately, and because the thing is like when when I go through the polling booths to vote on election day. I've basically made up my mind based on some very sort of arbitrary things on my general viewpoint, but I'm not too in the nitty gritty because I feel like things change. So I'm like, Okay, this is how I feel. This is where I lean. I'm going to vote on there. But there are a bunch of people on that day handing pieces of paper.
Is that like is is that an effective way like that those that final moment? Yeah, actually,
quite a lot of people make up their mind before they walk in on how nice the people were that handed it. Yeah. It is.
You've got to run it. So just be polite because they were all volunteers. Well, some some parties actually pay people to do that.
Really? Yeah. Yeah. You know what I said to one of them? It was probably an article before you know, I was really annoyed. I've got a no junk mail sign in my letterbox. Yeah, and I saw the guy who would probably not personally put the put the flyer into mine,
but they were allowed to do that under the electoral act not seen as junk mail.
am election day this is what I get so excited about. So I live in a small rural community it's about 400 people that we know everyone there. There is the sausage sizzle going on for the local school. So I walk your
veggies if I got a separate dinner
so often I just get white bread and onions and source like
anyway so I do the Golan I'm a chat to build and I have a chat to john and i have a chat to Fred and young Julian I just social. And I take them all because I'm never gonna
go in and say hello to Jan he's kicking me off the role and she goes if you voted early tonight mega not don't vote early vote often I just one's you know, have a little jog.
And then I go into the you've already got your gear lined up.
And then I go into the booth and I go well look at this democracy like people die for this right? That's the end of the people die for these. All over the world. People die for this privilege that I've gotten. I take my time. So it's six for the Senate. Yeah, six above the line. I'm going to do every one or 12 below. Or if there's 200. I think of the person I hate the most and I mark them as 209 and work my way backwards. Wow. So it's real. It's really good fun. I know.
When I get home and by six o'clock it's all over. I put the news on and I watched the debate say so there's a psychologist there so psychologist is a person is a political numbers No. Good at the grain. He's, he's my hero, right? So he's on and then we got the panel of past Polly's from all sides, and I just watch it my prep already. And I'm on Twitter as well. I'll tell you what, that's a good one. Joey's awful nice not too so sorry. It takes we
appreciate you coming in and sharing your perspective because I think that this is like a good example of
getting those different sides and we don't talk politics that much. And you know, it's a unique perspective. So all we do and we just don't know we are talking heads. You're not framing it.
Whenever someone says they should do these day. Yes. Politics.
Right. Thanks for coming on the show.
Thanks, my fantastic.
That was a very political handshake I liked it.
daily talk show Hi, the daily talk show.com if you want to send us an email Otherwise, we'll see you tomorrow. Say guys.