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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

ACT votes: meet your candidates

Canberrans are able to head to the polls from Monday 28 September to 6pm Saturday 17 October, and Elections ACT is encouraging voters to cast their ballots early this year due to COVID-19, to avoid large crowds at polling places.

We reached out to all of the candidates for each electorate, to bring you, in their words, their policy platforms and promises. They are listed electorate by electorate, in alphabetic order.

We’ll be updating this list as we receive responses from more candidates, so watch this space.

A full list of the candidates is available via the Elections ACT website.

Canberra Weekly has not edited or fact checked the below statements from candidates, except to cut down responses to the requested 200 words. If you are contesting the election as a candidate and you think CW has not contacted you, let us know via email: [email protected]


Andrew Clapham

Name: Andrew Clapham

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Brindabella

Andrew is an international entrepreneur and businessman, based in Canberra. As a long term thinker, Andrew wants fast and practical solutions to the biggest issue of our time: climate change.

Johnathan Davis

Name: Johnathan Davis

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Brindabella

Born and raised in Canberra, I have proudly called Tuggeranong home for more than 17 years. I was educated in Tuggeranong public school, I learnt to drive on Tuggeranong roads, I had my first job at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome (I’ll struggle to call it South.Point) and last year I bought my first home right in the Tuggeranong Town Centre.

I’m so proud to live in Canberra. A city that celebrates diversity and inclusion. A city that is tackling the climate crisis heard on. But, as our city continues to grow and prosper, I feat that Tuggeranong risks being left behind. We need a new generation of leadership that is prepared to stand up to vested special interests, prepared to stand up to their own parties and put the needs and aspirations of their community front and centre of the political agenda. If elected, I commit to working my hardest every single day for Tuggeranong families, Tuggeranong businesses and Tuggeranong people. Simply, I’ll put Tuggeranong first.

Sue Ellerman.
Photo credit: Dark Arts Photography.

Name: Sue Ellerman

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Brindabella

I’m a health educator and counsellor and worked in community development with a particular focus on housing for more than 20 years.

I’ve lived in Canberra since 1967 and moved to Richardson with my three sons in 1989. And now with grandchildren as well, I’m heavily invested in making a better world for future generations.

I was told about the science of global warming or climate change in the mid 1970’s; not many people had heard of it back then, it terrified me. That’s why I’ve been actively involved in Green politics from the beginning and why I’m running in this election.

These days we are all too familiar with some of the impacts of the climate crisis; heatwaves, bushfires, storms, floods, insect populations plummeting by about 70% and so much more. We simply must turn this climate crisis around and the Greens are the party with the know-how, the commitment, the track record and the freedom from corporate vested interests to get the job done.

The Greens will get Canberra to net-zero emissions and show the rest of Australia what real climate action looks like. We’ll address our climate, housing and economic crises together to build a better normal for all of us.

Jannah Fahiz

Name: Jannah Fahiz

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Brindabella

Animals need protection. We live in the Bush Capital but we neglect our wildlife. It’s time that we live in harmony with non-human animals and care for our environment. Canberra is known for the beautiful Australian nature reserves filled with gum trees and native wildlife. It is important that we preserve these areas and all who live within them so future generations can also enjoy what we have today. If this year has taught us anything, it is that we must review how we treat certain species and that we should have more respect when interacting with all beings. It is not too late to change our ways.

I was born and raised in ACT and have always had a passion for helping other people as well as wanting to care for animals. Each year, it becomes more and more urgent that we act in kinder ways to the Earth and all beings who live upon it. I wish to see a community who chooses compassion over greed. This election, I will be running for a seat in the Brindabella region. Please vote 1 and 2 for Animal Justice Party and help us create a kinder Canberra.

Jacob Gowor

Name: Jacob Gowor

Party: ACT Liberal Democrats

Electorate: Brindabella

Jacob is a member of the ACT Liberal Democrats Executive and is your candidate for Brindabella.

He is an accountant by trade and has worked across a range of Commonwealth agencies as a public servant and consultant. He is held in high esteem by his professional peers as a big-picture thinker and problem solver.

Jacob’s family moved to Canberra when he was four and he went to Monash primary school, Marist College and subsequently graduated from the ANU. He was a keen chess player for many years and competed nationally. He enjoys skiing and soccer.

Jacob feels that the government should spend far less time in our wallets and telling people how to live their lives. Disillusioned with so-called “progressive” parties that take his community for granted, he was delighted to find that the Liberal Democrats offer an option for those who are socially progressive but believe in smaller government.

Name: Matthew Knight

Party: ACT Liberal Democrats

Electorate: Brindabella

Matthew Knight has lived in Canberra for over 20 years, he currently works in the security industry and is an active member of the community.

Matthew believes that society is freer, fairer, and more prosperous when the size of the government is smaller. He believes cutting taxes will make everyone more prosperous and that civil society and volunteerism can better take care of the most vulnerable people in society than government programs. Canberrans should be free to live their lives the way they see fit to without government interference.

Laura Nuttall

Name: Laura Nuttall

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Brindabella

I think everyone in our society deserves to live with dignity, and trust that the government will look after their basic interests. This means a home; this means secure employment. This means reliable public transport, proper support for carers and vulnerable people, and genuinely accessible infrastructure in both current and future developments. It means support for the LGBT+ community and other socially vulnerable groups.

Unfortunately, while we are lucky enough to live in one of the wealthiest cities in Australia, these benefits are not shared by people sleeping rough. Our infrastructure is still hostile to people with disabilities, and doesn’t cut it for vulnerable people like carers, single parents and the elderly. It took until this year to ban gay conversion therapy.

I’m running with the Greens because as a party not bound to corporate donors, a party that allows conscience votes and believes in progress, we’re ready to put the interests of our constituents before profit and corporations. I’m ready to fight to improve homes, jobs, public transport, the environment and more. Through good policy and genuine community consultation, the Greens are here to champion a progressive voice in Tuggeranong.

Name: Jason Potter

Party: Australian Federation Party ACT

Electorate: Brindabella

Jason Potter came to Canberra at the age of 14 in 1987, and has lived in the Canberra region for most of his adult life. He is an experienced community leader, working in international aid, tertiary education, and local government services. Jason is committed to seeing the A.C.T. thrive and grow.  He is especially passionate about education and health services having developed organisations in both area from scratch.

Jason’s Commitment to Brindabella:

  • To bring new and expanded health services to Tuggeranong, including a 24 hour walk in medical service.
  • To protect our older and vulnerable people from COVID 19.
  • To fix the traffic jam on McBryde Cres Wanniassa caused by the pickup and drop off for 3 schools and a child care centre.
  • To create new jobs through innovative transport and export projects
  • To listen to you and take your needs and aspirations into our parliament and implement them.
  • Support the development of West Tuggeranong to create jobs, lower land prices, and help businesses recover from their COVID 19 losses.

Robyn Soxsmith

Name: Robyn Soxsmith

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Brindabella

I am a long-time Kambah resident and have been a progressive advocate for animals and the LGTBIQ community for over 25 years. Now retired from the federal public service I devote my time and experience to my passion for social justice causes.

My advocacy includes animal protection committee work, direct action and running a regular social group for women as well as co-founding an association to expose the cruelty of the annual kangaroo massacre in Canberra.

So concerned about the loss of Canberra’s reputation as the beautiful Bush Capital, I am standing for the seat of Brindabella for the Animal Justice Party.

If you care about animals and the environment please vote for me. I will work hard to Improve the lives of animals and revitalise Canberra as the Bush Capital.

Bruce Willett

Name: Bruce Willett

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Brindabella

Bruce has a degree in applied science (health education) and a graduate diploma in education. He has worked as a primary school teacher in the public and private systems for over 35 years. His main non-political interests are family, reading, cooking and sports. Bruce also coaches junior soccer teams.

Bruce’s political motivation is driven by the desire to help sustain quality of life and work for all, and a focus on improvements in housing affordability and education policies.


Jo Clay

Name: Jo Clay

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Ginninderra

I’m an artist, climate activist, CEO of recycling company Send and Shred and author of the Carbon Diet. I love Belconnen, having grown up in Weetangera and now living in Macquarie with my partner and daughter.

I’m running for the Greens because in a time of climate emergency, with increasing heatwaves, bushfires, smoke, storms and floods, we need to act.

I’ve been worried about climate change since I was a kid and now my daughter is asking me the same questions I asked my parents. It’s my job to give her an answer.

Thanks to Greens climate change Minister Shane Rattenbury, Canberra now has 100% renewable electricity. We did this with two of 25 seats in the Assembly.

With more Greens in government, we’ll show the rest of Australia what real climate action looks like, while making sure transition to a zero emission society is used to create a more economically just and equal society.

Dominic de Luca

Name: Dominic de Luca

Party: ACT Liberal Democrats

Electorate: Ginninderra

Dominic de Luca has lived and worked in Canberra almost 30 years. He has worked in the private and public sector in a wide variety of roles and industries and is an active member of the community. He is currently an APS employee and runs a small freelance design business.

Dominic supports the individual’s right to live their life freely and unhindered so long as they respect the same right for others. He believes in the power of local government to best represent its constituents. Dominic wants Canberrans to be more in control of their life, their community and the future direction of their city.

Top 5 Policies:

  1. Legalisation of cannabis
  2. Free Speech
  3. Victimless crimes
  4. Lifestyle Choices
  5. Road Safety

Carolyne Drew

Name: Carolyne Drew

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Ginninderra

Broadly, as an AJP candidate for the seat of Ginninderra, I want to protect the environment that wildlife, and the people of Ginninderra, call home. With encroaching development as the population expands, I want to bring about a new model of development based on kindness and compassion for both animals and people rather than one of disregard. Understanding that kindness and compassion also underpin social justice and equity, important to the heart of any community.

 More specifically, as a passionate advocate for animal rights a major focus is the plight of kangaroos. I want to end the annual cull and end the landholder licences that allow for killing of kangaroos in rural zones. Along with this I want to see the use of 1080 and other indiscriminate poisons ended because of the threat not only to wildlife, but the well-being of peoples’ pets. I also want to see more significant funding of the trap, neuter, and release management (TNRM) programs to bring about a positive effect to colony cats’ well-being and ultimately bring to an end unwanted cats having to eke out an existence on the periphery of the suburbs.

Here is your chance to vote for a kinder vision by voting number “1” for the AJP in Ginninderra.

Dr Lara Drew

Name: Dr Lara Drew

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Ginninderra

My advocacy work is grounded in a larger social justice framework inclusive of animals, people, and the environment.

For the past 12 years, I have led grassroots and public awareness initiatives to shine a spotlight on the atrocities of the kangaroo cull and headed investigations exposing the treatment of animals in factory farms.

Combined with my advocacy work, I hold a PhD in Education and research and publish in the field of adult learning, social movements, community development and Critical Animal Studies. My research informs and shapes my advocacy work.

If you are interested in initiatives that consider the interests of all sentient beings, not only those of human beings, vote “1” AJP.

Paul Gabriel

Name: Paul Gabriel

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Ginninderra

Paul originally moved to Canberra from country NSW to study at the ANU and has called it home ever since, with only a brief interlude living in Victoria. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and has now been working for the ANU for thirteen years.

As a passionate member of the community, Paul is focussed on both short term fixes and long term planning, beyond a single term, in order to improve Canberra. Paul feels strongly about constructing smarter homes that use less energy, divestment from non-renewables and housing affordability.

Paul is an active member of his local community, he is a regular participant in parkrun and was a founding member of the Northside Men’s Shed in 2012 where he remains an active member. When not solving IT challenges, Paul loves running, bike riding and going on adventures with his wife and two year old daughter.

Name: Guy Jakeman

Party: ACT Liberal Democrats

Electorate: Ginninderra

Guy Jakeman has lived for over 20 years in Canberra working in both the public and private sectors. He is a passionate supporter of the community and is an active volunteer in multiple charities and not-for-profit community groups.

Guy believes the ACT Government needs to focus on improving service delivery, and doing so more affordably. Waiting times in our justice, public hospital, and emergency accommodation systems are appalling and need to be cut dramatically. The ACT’s educational outcomes need to be improved. Guy supports the creation of independent public schools and allowing greater school choice by parents.

Canberrans should be free to do anything that’s peaceful, where reasonable precautions have been taken to avoid injury to others. Achieving this means legalising cannabis, voluntary assisted dying, vaping, electric scooters, outdoor recreation, fireworks, airsoft, and allowing a night-time economy that can operate affordably at the times that the people want.

Tim Liersch

Name: Tim Liersch

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Ginninderra

I’m an ecosystem data analyst, a unionist, and gamer. I’m passionate about government accountability and ensuring politicians listen to a full range of community voices, not only those with a corporate megaphone.

I want to see structural reform to the community councils which gives them the proper secretariat support to engage more meaningfully with their community districts. Real improvement to how people engage with development decisions begins with clearer communication to the community through mechanisms which have a community-based stake in the outcome.

I want to see our community clubs operating with more ethical business models. It’s not acceptable that the support they offer community organisations comes courtesy of poker machines. Those machines tear families apart. With live music and other new revenue streams, these venues can become a place for the next generation to gather and celebrate their community.

I want to take corporate advertising out of our community spaces. With advances in social media and online advertising, companies have more powerful tools to reach their target customers than ever before. We should take this as an opportunity to improve amenity and remove visual pollution from our offline spaces.

Katt Millner

Name: Katt Millner

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Ginninderra

I’m a queer activitist and feminist with a background in economics. I believe that grassroots democratic movements can empower all of us to create a society that prioritises people and the planet over profits.

Young people are underrepresented in a political system which will determine our futures. That’s why I want to see the vote given to 16 and 17 year olds, to ensure they are listened to by the government, and a ban on corporate donations so the interests of the community are put first. I want accessible mental health support, and continued education to provide people with higher quality support.

Young people are also facing a housing crisis, meaning many are unable to rent, let alone buy, a home. I want improved rental rights so young people have safe and secure housing, and continued action on climate change, so that we can continue to have a planet to live on.

Mark O’Connor

Name: Mark O’Connor  

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Ginninderra

Mark O’Connor is an environmental author and poet. He is Australia’s foremost expert on the effects of population growth, having written several publications on the issue including the books This Tired Brown Land and (with William Lines) Overloading Australia. Mark has also published several books of poetry on regions of Australia such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains, often collaborating with renowned nature photographers. He has won several national and international prizes and awards, and he has undertaken fellowships throughout the world including USA, Europe, Russia, China and India.

In 1999 Mark was appointed H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow at the Australian National University, and in 2000 he was given a grant from the Australia Council to write poetry about the 2000 Olympic Games. He is also the editor of the much re-printed Oxford anthology Two Centuries of Australian Poetry.

Mark was recently elected an Australian Conservation Foundation Councillor.


Joy Angel

Name: Joy Angel

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Kurrajong

A mother of three children, Joy is currently an office manager in a small business law firm. Her extensive work experience also includes banking in Albury and a 25 year career in the Commonwealth public service, with roles in procurement, health and defence.

Joy has a track record of supporting her community. She volunteers with her local Community Fire Unit and school reading programs in several local primary schools. She also enjoys singing with the Sing Australia choir at events on Anzac Day, Australia Day and Christmas time at hospitals, aged care facilities and shopping centres.

Tim Böhm

Name: Tim Böhm

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Kurrajong

I have spent the majority of my life here in Canberra. I was born here, our three kids go to school here, my parents live here, and my wife and I own a commercial property and run a 15yr strong successful business here. But really it’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for you, the community and the electorate.

Why am I running? I want the best for our suburbs, our kids, our local businesses and communities. I want Canberrans to have a world-class health and education system, and to ensure that future generations have a bright, clean, and healthy environment.

I love Canberra. I believe it could be and should be the best city in the world, but for too long, we have blindly trusted the major political parties to do the right thing, and they haven’t. I want Canberra to be a city that values, embraces and promotes ideas, creativity and education. A city not scared to push the boundaries to nurture communities that are responsible, resourceful and resilient.

If you want to make a difference, Demand Better by voting Canberra Progressives. We will actually hold the government to account for you and our community, not vested interests.

Adriana Boisen

Name: Adriana Boisen

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Kurrajong

I moved from remote North Queensland to Canberra five years ago to study at ANU and I plan to never leave. I love living in a progressive city with a strong sense of community, that is surrounded by beautiful bush.

I am passionate about addressing the cause of both the inequality and climate crises we face – corporate greed and the politicians that choose to work for them instead of the people. I believe that when people are given real decision-making power, through participatory democracy and budgeting systems, they will make the best decisions for all of their community and the planet. I believe in democratising the economy, through workers participation in the decision-making of the organisation they work for and through the promotion of co-operatives.

I care about issues facing young people. The fact is, my generation is being denied the markers of adulthood, such as home ownership and secure work, but we are vilified as entitled and lazy for wanting the same things that our parents generation had access to, such as free education, decent wages – where full time employment meant you could own a home. This is on top of the fact that many in my generation are in a permanent state of anxiety because those in power refuse to do anything to address the climate crisis. It is honestly really difficult to find hope in all of that, but that is why I am so proud to represent the Greens who are leading this fight!

Michael Brewer

Name: Michael Brewer

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Kurrajong

As a young person, my future is jeopardised by inaction on climate change. We are also living in an increasingly unequal society, and I believe we can tackle both issues together, by ensuring climate-sensitive action is at the forefront of our social justice work. I am incredibly excited, for example, to fight for a greener transport system, integrated with footpaths and cycleways, expanded light rail and bus services, and transitioning to electric vehicles. This will ensure more people can get around Canberra whilst protecting our environment.

I am a student and have been active as a student and queer activist at ANU. I want to be a voice for young people and students in Canberra.

The Greens are the only party that will always put people and the planet first. We are not bought by corporate donations and want a democracy that works for us all, not just the old parties’ backers. Electing more Greens will ensure we can build a better normal.

Marilena Damiano

Name: Marilena Damiano

Party: Independent

Electorate: Kurrajong

Hi, I am Marilena Damiano. I’m a disabled, middle-aged woman, and recent cancer survivor that’s born, bred, educated and operates a successful sustainable business in the electorate of Kurrajong. I am from a well-established, philanthropic Italian family that settled in Kurrajong in the 1950s.

University educated, both here and abroad, I obtained my education and training via highly competitive scholarship programs. I have travelled extensively as a photo-journalist, new media consultant & international corporate executive. I have lived in many countries and fluent in several languages. More recently I have been undertaking a PhD and completed a feature length screenplay on child abuse.

Over the past two years, ‘Marilyn on Kennedy’ vintage designer boutique has assisted women of domestic, family and sexual violence. It’s injected $60,000 to local charities and supported myself and other women who are victims of crime – domestic, family and sexual violence. It’s providing ongoing education to locals about women’s issues including women’s cancer and counselling services. On numerous occasions I was assaulted at my shop and property was destroyed, but I had little to no support from ACT Policing and Victim Support ACT, and a nine-month wait for counselling with Canberra Rape Crisis. I am a passionate social justice advocate because of my experiences and a lobbyist for increased government support for all women’s issues and effective management of those resources.

Therese Faulkner

Name: Therese Faulkner

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Kurrajong

A bit about me – I grew up in Belconnen, raisied three daughters in Tuggeranong, and now live in Canberra’s inner north.  I’ve played in and coached soccer and softball teams, and was President of the Canberra International Film Festival 2017-19. 

I had a 30-year public service career working mostly in human resource management and international development, spending several years as a Senior Executive before I left DFAT in 2014.  I continue my career in international development, working in the private sector.

Inspired to do something practical about the increasing erosion of ethics and values in politics, I joined the Australian Progressives in 2018, and ran as a candidate for the seat of Bean in the 2019 federal election. 

The Canberra Progressives policy platform is grounded in principles of Ethics (as opposed to vested interests), Evidence (as opposed to ideology) and Empowerment (ie. empowering the community through genuine community engagement).  Our policies cover urban planning and development, transport, education, health, business, political integrity, affordable housing, and more.  We see the Canberra Progressives bringing a fresh new voice into the Legislative Assembly – one which represents those who don’t feel comfortable with the policy products offered by, and the party machinery behind Labor, Liberal and Greens.

I am confident that my professional and life experience can positively influence the ACT Legislative Assembly and bring about some genuine and positive change for the people of the ACT. 

John Haydon

Name: John Haydon

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Kurrajong

John held senior positions in the Department of Immigration and the Bureau of Statistics. Trained in economics, he is concerned at the waste that results from unsustainable population growth and property speculation. He believes that with lower property prices, savings could be spent on starting new businesses and generating jobs.

John also held leadership positions in ACT and national community education organisations where he advocated for better public schooling. He lives with his wife and school-age daughter.

Bruce Paine

Name: Bruce Paine

Party: Independent

Electorate: Kurrajong

I have lived in Kurrajong for nearly 50 years, and worked in the Federal Treasury for 30 years.

My vision for Canberra includes affordable rates. In particular, I will push for the re-introduction of the pre-July 2019 method of calculating the rates bill for Units and Apartments.

If elected, I will push for a freeze on all rates and ACT taxes for one year and in that period review the ACT’s rates, taxes and spending so that we get good services for the taxes we pay and that people in need actually receive the services they require.

I will also push for our town planning to include meaningful consultation, the development and publication of ‘master plans’, and the inclusion of binding criteria in key areas such building heights so there is certainty for the community and developers.

I am not ‘anti-development’ rather I want to see good development.

Shane Rattenbury

Name: Shane Rattenbury

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Kurrajong

I’m Shane Rattenbury, your Member for Kurrajong and Minister in the ACT Government.

I grew up here in Canberra and went to uni at the ANU.

For 10 years I worked for Greenpeace, both in Australia and overseas.

I’ve been representing the people of Kurrajong for the Greens since 2008.

In these unprecedented times, the decisions we make now will shape the future of our society.

If the bushfires and the pandemic have shown us anything, it’s that business as usual cannot continue.

While the old parties are seeking a return to normal, the ACT Greens will use this moment to redress the inequalities and injustices of our current systems – to build a better normal.

That means bringing the same boldness, decisiveness, and energy we brought to achieving 100% renewable electricity to reimagining our community in a way that benefits everyone for decades to come.

The solutions are here in the Greens policies. Time and time again, we have shown that we have the courage, ambition, and leadership required to see them through.

Serrin Rutledge-Prior

Name: Serrin Rutledge-Prior

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Kurrajong

Do you want to live in a community that recognises the differences that may exist among individuals, but that values these individuals as equals? A community that takes a rational approach to solving the environmental issues that face us, by finding sustainable, long-term solutions based on the best available science?

So do I. This is why I am running for the seat of Kurrajong in the upcoming ACT election.

I came to Canberra five years ago, and quickly found a home in the leafy, community-oriented inner-north. I want to ensure that residents of the suburbs of Kurrajong, whether human or animal, can live, work and play in this vibrant community for a long time to come.

Along with my fellow AJP candidates, I am passionate about the plight of our kangaroo neighbours, who are killed annually in nature reserves, despite the existence of proven, non-lethal methods of population control. As a representative for Kurrajong, I would seek to see these non-lethal methods implemented, and push for the development of more wildlife corridors.

I invite you to join me in working to create a community that is kinder, more compassionate, and more forward-thinking, by voting “1” for the AJP.

Julie Smith

Name: Julie Smith

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Kurrajong

Many Canberrans have taken comfort from the love and loyalty of their companion animals during COVID 19.

At the same time, we have allowed animals to suffer callous and brutal treatment. The cruelty of puppy farms and the animal export trade are but two examples. Equally heartbreaking is the obliteration of 3 billion Australian native animals during the bushfires.

The standards we set for animal welfare reflect the standards of the society we live in. I have spoken out against immoral standards. I have exposed the corrupting potential of gambling, including in greyhound and horse racing industries. I have also worked to maintain the values of our Bush Capital, having successfully led the community campaign to save Watson Woodlands.

I am a former public servant, consultant (including to the WHO), and an academic researcher. I volunteer for a local animal rescue organisation and have been a Nursing Mothers/Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteer for thirty years. I am inspired by the compassion, commitment and courage of animal activists to ensure that the voiceless are represented.

Voting 1 for the AJP puts caring for animals on the policy agenda and provides a moral compass for our future across a wide range of policies.

Peta Bryant (Swarbrick)

Name: Peta Bryant (Swarbrick)

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Kurrajong

My name is Peta Swarbrick Bryant, and I am standing in the seat of Kurrajong for the Canberra Progressives.

I have lived in Narrabundah for over twenty years, and raised my family here. I run my own business, I volunteer for MIEACT, I have been the President of Canberra Women in Business, I am currently doing a diploma in Community Services, and I am passionate about working hard for a better, fairer, more compassionate Canberra.

I am running because I believe that the major parties are too invested in maintaining power and not committed to listening to our community. I feel we have too many career politicians, who are out of touch and do not give our community the respect it deserves.

Canberra needs an effective, locally minded, cross bench. I will not be influenced by factions or political ideology, I will bring my lived experience, I will listen to my electorate, and I will fight for the issues that matter.

Canberrans deserve representatives who will restore trust to policy making by demanding ethical, evidence based decisions. If elected, I will bring my voice to the Assembly to hold the government to account and to scrutinise the decisions they make for all of us.

Rebecca Vassarotti

Name: Rebecca Vassarotti

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Kurrajong

I am a born and bred Canberran, and my family has called the electorate of Kurrajong home for 2 decades. It’s a special place to live and I am grateful every day for the rich environment that this place provides me – its natural beauty, it’s great people and it’s strong supports.

I am running in this election because I’m committed to see Canberra as a place where we take care of each other and our local environment, where we continue to lead on climate action and where we make sure our city remains a great place to live for everyone. I believe with the right investments, we can protect the things we love about Canberra and address the concerns that many of us have about how we evolve in a way that is sustainable, equitable and meets our evolving community.

I am passionate about ensuring everyone has a decent home, investing in strong social supports so that people can meet their potential, working the community to protect our beautiful natural environment, and reshaping how we engage with community so we can involve them in decision making on issues that impact their daily lives.


Terry ‘Merlin’ Baker

Name: Terry Baker (“Merlin”)

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

I am proud to be a member of the ACT Greens because the Greens take an integrated holistic and positive approach to the many wicked problems we as a society face today. I believe the Greens are our best chance to effectively deal with the ecological, economic, and social challenges facing our society now, and I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the Greens success in this election.

I believe that we can learn to manage our society better by supporting and heeding the wisdom of Indigenous Elders. I am passionate about the valuable contributions brought to us by under valued members of our community, such as people with disabilities, and refugees. I believe we benefit from supporting these members of our community to integrate successfully into our neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, and general culture.

I believe our success as a community improves by leaps and bounds when we support the arts, music, and theatre, as well as maintaining an economy that makes these things viable.

Geoff Buckmaster

Name: Geoff Buckmaster

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

Geoff is a long-standing advocate for sustainability. As a corporate strategy specialist with extensive experience in the energy industry, Geoff is acutely aware of the futility in tackling climate change and other environmental crises while successive governments continue to boost growth in consumption and population.

Fiona Carrick

Name: Fiona Carrick

Party: Independent

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

As the population grows urban infill will continue in the suburbs and around shopping hubs so it needs to be done well, for the people. We need a balanced approach to homes, jobs, public spaces and community facilities.

I will focus on collaborative planning that improves our quality of life, including:

  • homes – affordable and appropriate for different ages and abilities
  • jobs – enable shopping hubs to support small business and innovation and create jobs
  • vital services – access to health, education and transport (paths)
  • environment – maintain our bush capital and support our care groups

I am a lifelong southsider and care deeply about our community. I want to listen to your views and work to resolve your issues. Over the last 4 years I have had some significant wins for the community as President of the Woden Valley Community Council, for example, a commitment to a CIT in Woden.

However, without local government or an upper house of review, a majority (Labor/Greens or Liberal) government has absolute power which can lead to communities feeling like they have not been heard.

We need independent voices that are issues and evidence based (not tied to party politics) to contribute to the decision-making process in the Legislative Assembly and hold the government to account.

Emma Davidson

Name: Emma Davidson

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

I’m running for the seat of Murrumbidgee because it’s where I live, work, and play, and I’m passionate about giving back to the community that’s given me so much.

I’ve lived in Woden and Weston for most of the past 25 years. It’s where I work in the community sector, where I volunteer in community and sports groups, and where I have made a home with my family in our beautiful bush capital.

But our city is under stress as the population grows and the climate changes. We need to ensure we have the right infrastructure for our communities. That means prioritizing resourcing for our public schools and health services, providing facilities for sports and arts, protecting green spaces and biodiversity, planting and taking care of our trees in every suburb to achieve 30% canopy cover, and improving our public transport system as well as walking and cycling paths. And we must enable everyone to access safe, secure, sustainable, affordable housing.

I want a healthy, happy, safe future for all of us in the city that I’ve made my home, and I hope you’ll support me in making that happen.

Yana del Valle

Name: Yana del Valle

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

My husband and I moved into the Murrumbidgee electorate in 2008 with our two fur-kids who have since sadly left us, and have inherited several goldfish, some rescued, but all have been given a much larger pond. We loved the open fields and outside facilities offered by the West Basin horse paddocks, Weston Park, Stromlo Forest Park, and reserves. But I’ve slowly witnessed this disappearing through encroaching development projects, with no consideration to wildlife corridors.

As a passionate animal advocate, I believe that all wild animals, farm animals, companion animals, must have sufficient space, food, water, shelter and protection. In particular, I recognise that protecting our open space and remnant bushland is essential to the survival of wildlife and the wellbeing of companion animals. The Animal Justice Party is the only party who believe that we should be custodians to this land and that all sentient beings be treated with kindness, respect, equality, and non-violence. The yearly slaughter of kangaroos, distribution of 1080 poison, horse race gambling ramifications, and lack of refuges/accommodation for those with pets who are homeless or fleeing family and domestic violence are just some of the problems in our community that need urgent fixing.

This October I will be giving my voice to the animals and the environment. I hope you join me and my party colleague and vote for a kinder Canberra by placing 1 and 2 for the AJP in Murrumbidgee.

Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng

Name: Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

I’m a First Nations woman, mother and grandmother and I have lived in Canberra since 1978.

I’m a business owner and academic teacher with more than 40 years’ experience working in government, academia, consulting and community based services.

I love the work of politics – turning people’s visions & aspirations into legislative reality with policy and programs that work on the ground. I relish the opportunity to advocate for those people in our Territory who are most in need. We need to provide more preventative support services to ensure a decrease in homelessness, poverty and ill-health whilst building up our economy to support all.

To live good lives we all need green space, affordable housing, and a transport system that works for everyone. I advocate for universal high quality free education, Caring for our Earth for the next generations, and funding things that matter in our city; cycling infrastructure, green transport systems that meet diverse need, TAFE and early childhood supports for families.

As First Nations policy spokesperson for the ACT Greens the community must have real self-determination and community controlled services. We will investigate a Treaty, do more in justice reinvestment and provide a culturally responsive child protection/family support system.

Edmund Handby

Name: Edmund Handby

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

Societies and communities are built on the relationships that we have with those around us. In all walks of life, the Australian and Canberran community is not only inhabited by humans, but also by the animals that share our environment and our homes. Animals of all shapes and sizes, big or small, are part of our lives.

Yet government are so often unwilling or unable to represent the interests of Canberra’s animals and environment. The continuing operation of the race-horse track, and divisive kangaroo cull are only a couple examples of ongoing failures of our ability to share our community with our animal neighbours.

I am running as a candidate for the seat of Murrumbidgee in the ACT election to be able to best represent the role that animals have in our Territory. Born and bred in Canberra, I recognise the role that animals have in our lives and in our environment. Whether it’s our animal companions in our homes, or the native flora and fauna of Canberra’s many nature reserves, Canberra’s reputation as the Bush Capital is linked to this environment.

The Animal Justice Party is committed to preserving the beauty of our Canberra environment, in a compassionate, caring, and wholistic way. Whether it’s the kangaroos that share our reserves, beloved animal companions in our homes, or the condition of our environment, the AJP will fight for Canberra.

I encourage you to Vote 1 for the AJP.

Jill Mail

Name: Jill Mail

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

As a proud Australian who has always cared deeply for our fragile environment and our diverse wildlife, Jill’s concern is particularly for future generations including her grandchildren.

Jill is greatly concerned that our governments continue in their belief that increasing resource consumption and population are the answer to our future prosperity. Meanwhile, our most precious asset, land, is being swallowed up with roads and many shoddy housing developments – and many public services and amenities are being compromised. Jill believes that it’s time to live within natural environmental limits – and think better, not bigger.

Stephen Lin

Name: Stephen Lin

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Murrumbidgee

My name is Stephen Lin, a native of Wuhan, Central China, and I am a candidate for the ACT Legislative Assembly in the electorate of Murrumbidgee.

What I can bring to Legislative Assembly?

I have acquired understanding of social issues the community is facing in our electorate through my contact with the community and the education and upbring of my three children.

I have also worked in community legal service in multiple jurisdictions. I have worked as disability advocate in Queensland and ACT, promoting mental health and disability service into multicultural communities. I have keen interests in community service, public facilities for children, and overall wellbeing for the disadvantaged families and groups.

In volunteer capacity, I have devoted my skills and energy in Community Radio programs and multicultural projects since 1995.

If elected, I will get to know community groups and meet their representatives and members, and harness their current concerns and priorities for my future Bill proposals and law reform recommendations. I will prioritize the following items for the community:

•             better schools and public facilities for families with young children;

•             better health service, mental health support, aged care and disability support for wider community;

•             safe and caring community for everyone to enjoy and thrive;

•             open communication channels with the public, represent their voices on various issues, be their referral hub to identify best mechanism to resolve their concerns, and follow up with the relevant agencies for better solution;

•             participation in various parliamentary committees and examine pressing issues in detail, and contribute to law reforms needed in our electorate and wider ACT;

•             working with the constituents for improved social and cultural environment; and

•             learning fast and contributing in policy making widely, keep the government accountable for any policy and administrative mistakes.


Andrew Braddock

Name: Andrew Braddock

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Yerrabi

I’m a father with a young family, and a carer, and a citizen looking to build a better future for our city. I’m not a career politician looking to advance his career, but someone genuinely concerned about the future of our city.

Our community is growing rapidly, yet investment has not kept pace with the number of people living here. We also need to get serious about climate change to create a secure and liveable future for all of our children.

That’s why I’m standing to:

  • Reach 30% tree coverage in each and every suburb. Up from Gungahlin’s current 4% – the lowest in in the ACT
  • Kickstart Australia’s electric vehicle and green housing revolution
  • Upgrade and light our footpaths, bus stops, bike paths, playgrounds and parks, so everyone feels safe
  • Expand the light rail line network to reach Tuggeranong, Belconnen and the Canberra Airport
  • Expand the Gungahlin CIT campus to provide more technical and vocational training.

A vote for the Greens is a vote for an alternative voice to represent you, and to build a better normal for all of us.

Bernie Brennan

Name: Bernie Brennan

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Yerrabi

I have called Canberra home for 35 years and have been involved in animal protection and social justice for 25 years.  We Canberrans pride ourselves on being called the “Bush Capital”, but unfortunately, we are losing this title. 

Currently we try to ‘manage’ wildlife when we perceive it as a pest, a threat or an inconvenience.  Instead we should be exploring ways to coexist before it’s too late. 

We need to look at issues around the lack of grassland connectivity, urban sprawl and things like encouraging drivers to slow down after dark to give our precious wildlife a better chance. As an example – from one side of Canberra to the other is 35 kms. If motorists slowed down by only 20kmph after dark, it would add just over 6 minutes to this journey.  Is our wildlife worth more than 6 minutes to you?

Mainul Haque

Name: Mainul Haque

Party: ACT Greens

Electorate: Yerrabi

I’m a father, husband, economist, public servant and a community worker over the last three decades. As president of the Canberra Muslim Community Inc, I negotiated, managed, and delivered the multi-million dollar Gungahlin mosque project.

The lessons that I have learned from life and the Australian Greens’ position are the same. For example, some of my earliest memories are those of floods drowning whole villages. There are also memories of droughts and deforestation. Memories of these ecological disasters remind me regularly that we must work to save this planet. As a candidate for the ACT Greens I will be working with Canberrans and the people of Yerrabi to achieve this goal.

I have been living in Gungahlin for over 20 years. I love what Gungahlin has to offer, but I believe we can do better. I am for needs based policies and not greed of a few. In Yerrabi this means we will:

  • build a multipurpose community centre and revitalise Yerrabi Pond. These two initiatives will create jobs,
  • improve cycle paths and road infrastructures to reduce traffic congestion and better connect our suburbs
  • support sustainable development for Gungahlin
  • enhance efforts to address domestic violence, social isolation and mental health challenges, including in multicultural communities
  • expand Gunghalin CIT campus to increase opportunities for people of all ages.

Francine Horne

Name: Francine Horne

Party: Animal Justice Party

Electorate: Yerrabi

I have lived in the ACT for 40 years and in the Gungahlin area for 25 years.

In those days I was proud to say I live in the Bush Capital, but no more.  Kangaroos are being culled every year and I would like to see that stopped permanently.

I have been an advocate for animals for the past ten years when I realised animals are powerless and suffer greatly in factory farms, science experiments, live export, entertainment, sport and for human clothing and accessories.

For people, I would like to address the issues of homelessness, low income workers and domestic violence.

I want to be a voice for animals and social justice and through the Animal Justice Party give the residents of Yerrabi a chance to vote for kindness and equality.

John Kearsley

Name: John Kearsley

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Yerrabi

John was educated at Anslie Infants & Primary then the old Canberra High School. He served an apprenticeship in electrical fitting with Shortland County Council. He then followed a natural evolutionary career path into control engineering, becoming Federal President of the Institute of Instrumentation Control and Automation in 1987.

John’s personnel interests are Philosophy, Sociology and the Environment.

Dr Fuxin Li

Name: Fuxin Li

Electorate: Yerrabi

Party: Independent

As an Independent Candidate, I am not tied up by any party ideologies and restrictions. I will be able to represent and advocate first and foremost for my constituents and community.

As Independent, I stand for election to give the community a voice to ensure:

  • quality education and improved health services
  • transport upgrades and improvements
  • reduced living and business costs
  • better protection for environment and heritage
  • better supports for multicultural communities.

I value Australia’s multiculturalism and multilingualism. I believe we can do better in strengthening the diversified and harmonious society and in realizing social and economic benefits with the multicultural and multilingual resources in our community.

If elected, I will

  • facilitate dissemination of information about government services and policies in the community, so to enhance understanding of the government services, policies and improve informed participation in policy development and decision making
  • listen and be responsive to the constituents and community views of issues and policies
  • consider issues and policies from the perspectives of my constituents and community, backed with research, analysis and consultation on the issues and solutions
  • present an independent voice to the ACT Legislative Assembly with proposals and solutions that meet the needs of the constituents and community.

Authorized by Dr Fuxin Li Independent Candidate for Yerrabi

David Pollard

Name: David Pollard

Party: David Pollard Independent

Electorate: Yerrabi

A locally focussed Independent can bring attention to local issues that are neglected by the major parties, while adding scrutiny to Canberra-wide issues. As an Independent, David will be influencing how policies are made, regardless of what that policy is.  He values evidence-based policy and strong community engagement.

David fights for:

  • Community wants and needs as we approach the end of major development for the region,
  • Established suburbs that are ignored and forgotten,
  • Safe, happy, and healthy communities for everyone,
  • Trust and integrity to be restored to our government.

David’s key policies are around missing and unfit infrastructure. He aims to deliver:

  • A new Police station for Gungahlin,
  • Local shops for Giralang,
  • Better planning for the entire region,
  • Support for commercial development in the Gungahlin Town Centre,
  • A second college for Gungahlin,
  • Safe sporting fields, with inclusive facilities,
  • Indoor sports for Gungahlin.

David will cast a lens over all government business to make sure we are properly considering:

  • The environment and the climate emergency,
  • Domestic violence,
  • Mental health support,
  • The future of education,
  • Social services, including disability, low-income, and indigenous support,
  • Cost of living, and
  • Support for local business.

Name: Stephanie Pollard

Party: David Pollard Independent

Electorate: Yerrabi

Stephanie is David’s wife and partner of 21 years. She is running as a support candidate with David.

If you agree with David Pollard Independent’s policies but want to show support for female representation, David encourages you to vote #1 for Stephanie and #2 for himself. Stephanie has helped plan the policies of the Party, and runs the Party with David as Treasurer.

Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and worked in the private and public sectors, until retiring to raise a young family. Stephanie is a caring mother and stay at home parent, as well as doing office administration in the family software development business. She has recently established a side-venture in the hand-made clothing space. Stephanie is driven, thoughtful, and cares for the community.

Mike Stelzig

Name: Mike Stelzig

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Yerrabi

I’m Mike Stelzig. I’ve been working in the ACT for 13 years. The ACT has potential to excel and provide state of the art services, planning and living. Since coming to the ACT in 2007, I have seen a steady decline in the quality, affordability and overall planning ability of the Territory government. Hospitals are overfilled, there’s a lack of qualified health professionals and specialists and I find it astounding that to get specialist treatment that I have to travel interstate. There’s only one way forward for democracy in the ACT – that’s to elect representatives who are not bound by right- or left-wing ideology, unions, industry, religious or any other particular lobby group. I stand for empathy over fear and ethics over influence. I will make evidence-based decisions and won’t be guided by mere opinion. I am committed to bringing ethics back into politics, make decisions based on evidence and give as much power back to Canberrans so that they can determine the future of this Territory.

Bethany Williams

Name: Bethany Williams

Party: Canberra Progressives

Electorate: Yerrabi

Setting the Agenda for 2020-25

Government in the ACT is complacent and disengaged. But rather than complain about it, I decided to get elected and shake things up a bit. I want to give voters a viable alternative who they can completely trust to put community interests first.

I am passionate about families, ending discrimination, helping small business, health and well-being, and ethics. I will put the needs, rights and the voice of the community over vested interests and party ideology. I want to make the government not just consult with the community, but actually listen to the community.

These are the things I will investigate and fight for if elected:

  • providing more support for ageing in place and disability housing in Gungahlin
  • reviewing commercial rates and commercial utilities to help small businesses prosper
  • ensuring adequate medical and community services for Yerrabi
  • delivering high-quality municipal services
  • resolution on the Giralang shops
  • building a new police station in Gungahlin
  • replanting trees that were cleared during civil works and road construction to reduce the heat sinks in suburbs and activity centres
  • increasing services and accommodation for homeless people in our region
  • increasing bus availability on school catchment areas
  • supporting and funding public schools.

Name: Scott Young

Party: Sustainable Australia Party

Electorate: Yerrabi

Scott has a Bachelor of Science in Computing and has worked as an analyst programmer. His personal interests include music, yoga and meditation. Scott is concerned about the impact of rapidly growing consumption and population on the environment, as well as corruption in our political system.