Senate Preselection 2012

I won! Now the real campaigning begins!

Sunday 26 February 2012 at 7:14 pm

I am so excited, and simultaneously humbled and proud about having been preselected as The Greens Victoria lead Senate candidate for the next federal election. It''s such a privilege to have been voted into this position and to now have the opportunity to work with you, campaigning for election and for a fairer and more sustainable world.

Here's my bio if you'd like to know more about me.

More details here

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The four pillars of The Greens

Sunday 19 February 2012 at 6:38 pm

The final meet the candidates session was today. The audience was divided into four rooms, each of which focussed on one of the Greens pillars; environment,  democracy, social and economic justice and environment, and peace and non violence; and the 12 candidates for preselection rotated amongst the rooms. Here are some of the points that I discussed in my talks in each room.

Environment

tidal river sunsetPhoto Tidal River sunset by Penny Whetton

Since studying science at uni, my life can be seen as a trajectory of different ways of working to achieve change. This includes work on forests, transport and climate change.
Twenty five years ago I was one of the leaders of the campaign that succeeded in protecting some of east gippsland’s forests in national parks.
But it was some unsuccessful forests campaigning after that which lead me to realise that being a campaigner wasn’t enough. We needed people in our Parliaments who would listen. So, I drove the formation of the Greens in Victoria in 1992 and have been active in the party ever since.
As Councillor and Mayor of Maribyrnong, I’ve been in Government. I’ve represented people, negotiated and legislated. My biggest success as a Councillor was as just one Greens councillor on a council of 7, negotiating with the others and getting a commitment for Maribyrnong to go carbon neutral.

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Democracy and party processes

Sunday 19 February 2012 at 6:22 pm

I want to be your Senator to share power with you. The strength of The Greens is our ability to work together. If elected I will build upon my deep experience and commitment in working collaboratively to excel at working with the party, across the state, using all the technologies available to us. This will include regular visits to branches, it includes using skype and online meetings, working closely with working groups to ensure ongoing excellent communications and relationships with the party. And critically regularly reviewing how we are going, seeing what mechanisms are working, what need to be changed.

My life can be seen as a trajectory of different ways of working to achieve change. I learnt very early on in my career that the key to successful campaigning lay in our abilities to work together. Two thirds of community advocacy groups in Australia disband not because they have achieved their goal but because they can’t continue working together. So process is important to me. My professional work has shifted over the years from being an issues based activist to being a facilitator - supporting people to work together

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Social and economic justice

Sunday 19 February 2012 at 6:09 pm

Firstly I want to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri people. And remind us all, that this is, always was, and always will be aboriginal land. We will only be a socially just country when Indigenous Australians have self determination and land rights. I am passionate about working for justice with and for our first Australians.

I’ve been appointed to as one of the Australian delegates to the Global Greens Congress in Senegal next month. I have been a delegate to the first two global greens congress and its humbling, and inspiring to hear the stories of people fighting for peace, justice, democracy and sustainability across the globe and to feel truly connected and part of a global movement working for justice for all peoples.

As a Maribyrnong Councillor and Mayor I’ve been in Government. I’ve represented people, negotiated and legislated. Of particular relevance to social and economic justice is my work on gambling, working for harm minimisation for legal and illegal drug users; a fair go for refugees, people with a disability, and a focus on affordable housing and homelessness – all huge issues in Maribyrnong. My campaigning on transport is equally relevant: good public transport is an equity issue. That’s one of the things that makes it a great campaign for The Greens at all levels of governmentt – it’s both a people and an environment issue.

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Peace and non violence

Sunday 19 February 2012 at 5:18 pm

Firstly I want to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri people. And remind us all, that this is, always was, and always will be Aboriginal land. That’s my first comment on our peace agenda – we will only be a country truly at peace when we have properly addressed the ‘splinter in our minds’ of the invasion and war that began our settlement of this country, and when Indigenous Australians have self determination in and land rights of their own land..

I've recently been appointed as one of the Australian delegates to the third Global Greens Congress in Senegal next month. I have been a delegate to the first two congresses and its humbling, and inspiring to hear the stories of people working for peace, justice, democracy and sustainability across the globe and to part of a global movement working for justice for all peoples. One of the things that struck me most when attending the last congress was the lack of democracy in most of the world – that’s what we need to be supporting through diplomacy and aid, really supporting, not as a Trojan horse for gaining access to oil, or attempting to put in place regimes that will be sympathetic to the US alliance

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Education

Friday 17 February 2012 at 08:27 am

studying!

My son Leon hard at work!

The Meet the Candidates meeting focussed on education at Swinburne Uni was a great night last night, very well organised by the Greens education working group, and very well attended. Here's the talk that I gave

My own educational journey consists of attending Altona Primary School, Lowther Hall Anglican Girls School in Essendon, then studying Science - Meterorology and Maths - at Melbourne University during that wonderful decade of fee free tertiary education.

I’ve taught Sustainable Transport at RMIT; and I’ve also been involved in many ways with community based education, and am in awe of the educational achievements of underfunded community centres working with disadvantaged communities.  I also was one of the facilitators at a federal government conference of teachers last year, where issues covered included performance based pay and indigenous education

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What portfolios would I prefer if elected?

Sunday 12 February 2012 at 08:52 am

I have been asked a number of times what one portfolio I would prefer if I had a choice. Here's my answer:

One is too hard! And very theoretical because it all depends on the suite of skills and expertise available in the party room. And unnecessarily restrictive because even with 13 or even 14 Senators and MHR's we would each be likely to have more than one portfolio.

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My speech to the Castlemaine Meet the Candidates meeting

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 7:43 pm

The first of the formal Meet the Candidates sessions in the lead senate pre-selection process was held in Castlemaine last Saturday. We were asked to present for 5 minutes on how we would represent rural and regional Victoria. Here's my speech - I'd love you to have a look and give me some feedback on it.

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My views on...

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 4:05 pm

It’s been a great week of preselection campaigning. In the past week we’ve been in Castlemaine last Saturday, Ballarat on Monday, then Broadmeadows on Tuesday. The topics discussed have been very diverse. Here’s my thoughts on some of them:

Education. 

All 12 candidates speak as one about the need for more funding into government schools.

The issues I have raised in discussions about education have highlighted :

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How as your Senator I would work with you and the party

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 4:01 pm

 I begin each of my speeches with a commitment that the reason I want to become a Senator is to share power with people. I have an underlying passion for working collaboratively and commit to working with the party to determine the best ways to achieve this. I am passionate about participatory democracy – and that’s more than electorate assemblies, more than turning up at branch meetings.

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The language of The Greens.

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 3:57 pm

A fascinating discussion at Broadmeadows about how much or whether at all we need to adopt the language of the mainstream , of neoliberal economics to get our point across. We discussed this with relation to education and economics. Everyone agreed with regard to education that we need to reject the language that labels education as a commodity, and talk about it as having intrinsic value. With relation to economics, it’s an interesting issue

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Local food production

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 3:53 pm

How would we get McCains in Ballarat to use more local rather than imported food in their food processing.

I focused on the long term things that need to change – we need to cost in the unsustainability of transporting food from overseas; we need to cost in the environmental and social exploitation that is going on with much of the agricultural produce we import from China for example; and then the cost of producing vegetables locally looks competitive again.

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What the Greens would do about Syria

Thursday 09 February 2012 at 3:46 pm

Tricky! No easy answers here. A focus on diplomacy; not undermining it with other actions that support despotic regimes.

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Otways Meet the Candidates

Sunday 22 January 2012 at 08:20 am

Thanks to Judy Cameron and the Otways branch for organising a Meet the Candidates gathering at Ferguson near Beechforest in the Otways yesterday. And big thanks to all who attended, including ten of the twelve candidates standing for preselection as lead senate candidate for The Greens.

We each had to give a three minutes speech, then respond to a question on funding of schools. Here's my speech:

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My nomination statement

Friday 13 January 2012 at 8:04 pm
janet

Nominations have now closed for preselection as the lead Senate candidate for the Victorian Greens. Twelve candidates are standing. Greens Members will receive voting papers at the end of January, and voting closes on 24 February.

Here's the statement that I submitted as part of my nomination. My four nominators statements are here

Janet for the Senate

I’m standing for the Senate as part of our journey to solving the climate crisis, and our biodiversity crisis.

A journey to the time when we have retreated from our rampage of resource use, and are heading for justice for all the peoples on the planet.

The politics of connection

I feel deeply connected to all the species and peoples of our planet. I see Australia in a global context – it’s an accident of birth or fortune of migration that we live here.

I want the people of Tuvalu to be able to keep living there. I want self-determination for Indigenous Australians. I want the 80% of refugee women who experience rape and sexual abuse to be safe. I want Tiger Quolls and Leadbeater’s Possums to thrive in our forests, and know that the coastal heaths of Anglesea, the wilds of the Kimberley and the world’s climate are safe from gas and coal mining.

I’m an optimist, and a realist. I believe that we can solve these problems. They are what I’ve devoted my life to; as an activist and a Green. My strength is applying my efforts strategically to get real action, real success. These issues motivated me to form The Greens and they are what drive me to seek preselection as your Senator.

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Janet and The Greens. A history

Friday 23 December 2011 at 10:26 am

As part of putting my nomination for Senate preselection together I've just compiled a list of most ( I know I've forgotten some) of the Greens positions I've held over the last 20 years. Here it is :)

Positions held

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On the Senate trail

Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 9:27 pm

Some questions and answers!

janet headshot

I've recently been asked some good questions by a reader of this website, interested in knowing more about me and my motiivations and politics. I thought it was worth sharing my answers!

How do you envisage the party growing and achieving long term legislative and societal outcomes?
The critical thing for me is that our processes have to be excellent - members have to be empowered; voters have to feel a real connection with us. The more people feel and are part of us, the more we can do. I am passionate about participatory democracy; I think our consensus decision making is fundamental to our party - because it means we benefit from the wisdom of all, not just the majority.

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