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Monday, June 21, 2021

Third time’s the charm for new Greens MLA

After protesting against then Education Minister Andrew Barr in 2006 as a high school student, it probably shouldn’t surprise you that 14 years later new ACT Greens MLA Johnathan Davis is taking a step into politics.

The now 28-year-old newly minted member for Brindabella still claims it was his first experience within the political system.

“I lobbied against Andrew Barr because Kambah High was supposed to close with 39 other public schools in the Territory,” he said.

“We were successful in that a high school service remained on that site which today is Namadgi School.”

Johnathan first ran as a candidate for Brindabella in 2012 and again in 2016, but his third campaign proved the charm for the youngster in 2020.

He took out the fifth seat in the electorate by just 82 votes over ACT Labor’s Taimus Werner-Gibbings.

Johnathan was also the Australian Greens candidate for the ACT’s new House of Representatives seat of Bean at the last federal election.

Now, his focus is solely on serving his Tuggeranong electorate.

“It wouldn’t surprise you that I feel I have a responsibility to be active and effective local member,” he said. 

“I am going to be really engaged with my local community and not just aware of what concerns them but actually being in those areas and getting stuff done.”

Johnathan is one of five new ACT Greens MLAs voted into the Legislative Assembly in the recent ACT election, joining leader Shane Rattenbury in what some considered a shock win for the party.

However, while it might have come as a shock to some, he didn’t find the impressive result surprising.

“I think it did surprise a lot of people in the media, or higher up in the Canberra sector, but I don’t necessarily think it surprised many in the community,” he said.

“We were engaging with hundreds, if not thousands of voters on the ground throughout the campaign, and in that campaign, we were seeing a really positive response.”

Moving forward, Johnathon is looking to put his passion toward education first in his role as an MLA.

“The big policy is public education, that is the space I want to work in. We have some of the best public schools and some of the best public educators in the country and we have a responsibility to look after that,” he said.  

“Every person has a hot button issue they are motived by but the overwhelming consensus I have found on the ground is having an MLA who will answer the phone and emails and get things done.”

This profile on ACT Greens MLA Johnathan Davis is part of a series Canberra Weekly is running on all of the ACT’s newly elected MLAs following the 2020 ACT election.

Rebecca Vassarotti | Leanne CastleyMarisa Paterson | Andrew Braddock | Peter Cain | Jo Clay | Emma Davidson

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