Alicia Payne was elected to the redistributed Federal seat of Canberra at the 2019 Federal election. She grew up in Canberra and now lives in O’Connor with her husband Ben and son Paul. They are looking forward to welcoming a new baby to the family in September. Before entering politics, Alicia worked as an economist at NATSEM, publishing on issues of poverty and the impact of policy on households, at the Commonwealth Treasury, and as a social policy adviser to the Federal Labor Opposition. She also volunteered for many years in the community sector. “I have always been driven by wanting to find policy answers to address poverty and inequality – and this is key to why I became a Labor politician. To represent the caring and progressive community where I grew up is a great honour and responsibility, and nothing has demonstrated this responsibility more than what our community has gone through so far this year.”
GETTING OUT IN THE BUSH
Whether on the Ridge near our house or in Tidbinbilla or Namadgi on weekends, bushwalking was our favourite thing to do together before we had Paul. Now we love sharing it with him – he takes us exploring bush tracks and, like his parents, loves a sausage cooked on the camp stove.
A GOOD CONVERSATION
I am a people person and getting the chance to catch up with family and friends is one of the things I love to do most. It’s also one of the things I love most about my job – meeting so many Canberrans and hearing about the great work they do or things that matter to them.
Coffee is essential in my view. Canberra has so many brilliant cafés to visit, including those with fascinating histories like Tilleys (Lyneham) which required groups to include at least one woman when it opened in 1984 or Gus’s (Civic) that pioneered alfresco dining in 1967.
Becoming a parent has shown me how exclusionary most ‘grown-up’ activities can actually be for children and therefore families – it’s something I think we can do better at in Australia. MoAD have done an amazing job of incorporating a child’s perspective and enjoyment into the museum, making it a fun experience for everyone.
THE SOUTH COAST
Like many Canberrans, we have a South Coast spot we like to think of as ‘ours’ and ours is Gerringong. Holidays there are among my most special memories of childhood and it remains a favourite place to visit. I will not concede to my Queensland-born husband that the water is cold or that Noosa has anything more to offer.