Monday, May 31, 2010

Time to get ready!

It's official! For those of you who follow my other blog, I recently announced my endorsement as a Candidate for the Greens in the electorate of Griffith. Thanks to all the members of the South Brisbane branch who have put their faith in me for this year's election.

This will be a very exciting time where the aim of the game will be to get Queensland some representation from someone other than the two major parties. Since my fellow Candidate for Brisbane, Andrew Bartlett left the Senate in 2007, we haven't had an alternative voice, and there are many citizens in Queensland who have lamented the lack of representation here in recent times. So I want to help those voices be heard once again by trying to get as many votes for the Greens in Griffith in the lower house, but more importantly in the upper house, which is why I'll be telling everyone to vote for our lead Senate Candidate, Larissa Waters.

The slogan we're running with is: "Because who you vote for matters."

My first taste of campaigning came along recently when I attended the May Day march to promote the Greens' excellent industrial relations policy, and to drive home the message that our future jobs will be green.

The following weekend was lots of fun when Bob Brown came to Brisbane for a fundraiser at The Edge. It was a great event, followed by a fabulous brunch in New Farm Park the following morning. Bob and Larissa loved the lemonade fruit we supplied from Food Connect!

I'm getting busy now planning our own fundraising event and I want to invite as many local musicians and performers as possible. Should be lots of fun. Next up, I'll be speaking at the Annerley Sustainability Day on June 19, organised by the Transition Annerley folks. While the election hasn't been called yet, I'm really keen to get out there and start listening to people in the electorate. I really can't wait to work with all the great people at the South Brisbane branch and of course, my great mate, Wilf Wilford has offered to be my campaign manager, so I've got some wonderful help. A couple of weeks ago, Wilf teed me up to join the team on the 360 Show at the community TV station Bris31. It was lots of fun, and while I haven't formally received any media training, it was a great chance to be exposed to a much bigger audience.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A time to pause... and to get ready

It's been a while since I last blogged. I have attempted to post a couple of items lately but never got to finish them, so they landed in the bin of old news. There's been a bit of news to update you all on, so I'll be brief:

:: Cause for a pause
After 12 years in remission, my mother is hit with breast cancer yet again. I am currently writing from her home in Narrandera, south west New South Wales, while she recuperates in hospital in Wagga Wagga. I have all three kids with me here, and it's nice to have them away from school and Kurilpa life because we've been able to explore the streets and surrounds of my maternal grandparents hometown and have those spontaneous conversations we never seem to have time for at home.

I've been feverishly researching alternative cancer treatments for mum, before her pathology tests come back. All I can put it down to is trying to alleviate stress and eating really well. The best two things I've come across is the Food Matters website and their movie, and this very revealing TED talk by William Li. It seems food is the answer folks! I must say, I'm really impressed by my mother's stoic resilience in the face of adversity, and despite my deeper feelings that she may secretly be hiding her fear, I admire her ability to emotionally and intellectually accept the inevitability of her surgery and loss, and her willingness to look to the future. If that is the only thing she leaves me, then I've learned a great deal.

While there are no rituals for me to draw on in this circumstance, I ensured that we honoured the feminine, celebrated the nourishment her left breast gave to her children, over red wine and a roast dinner at my cousin's home before her surgery. This seemed to be the most appropriate thing to do.

Because we've been through this before with mum, as well as the death of our father, my brothers and sisters have been loving and as involved as they can be, and this, out of everything, gives me much hope for our future together, and really honours our parenting. We're now all planning a Christmas together for the first time in many, many years!

:: Food Connect - deepening business
Speaking of love and good food, Robert and I have been busy deepening the business at Food Connect Brisbane, while the replications interstate are taking off. We're also getting serious about shaping the future for the Food Connect Foundation and have teamed up with a couple of great folk at Reciprocity to host the first ever visit of La Via Campesina, the 700 million member organisation representing peasant farmers around the world. Should be a blast, I reckon.

:: Greens Candidacy
It's official. I'm running for The Greens in my electorate of Griffith. Yep, that's right, I'll be running against our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Like many citizens, I am tired of the two parties treating the public like we don't really know what's going on. It's time we were represented by people who have a good grasp on Australia's future challenges, not just the issues over the next election cycle.

Now, rather than campaign on a bucket load of mistakes, er... material Kevvy's government has given us, my goal is to run a really positive campaign highlighting all the great stories currently being told by so many wonderful people in the electorate. You can keep up to date on my new election blog: "greens4griffith"