Doing politics differently

Australian Greens

The Australian Greens are very proud to say the party is now led by an office bearer group made up entirely of women.

By Willisa Hogarth

The Australian Greens often prides itself on our ability to ‘do politics differently’, and as an organisation we have achieved yet another milestone in our commitment to this.

During National Conference, held online on May 23rd, Sue Etheridge was elected as the party’s Deputy Treasurer. She joins National Treasurer Heather Lonsdale, Deputy Secretary Gemmia Burden, National Secretary Jordan Hull, Deputy Convenor Damiya Hayden and National co-convenors Catherine Garner and Willisa Hogarth. We are very proud to be able to say the party is now led by an office bearer group made up entirely of women.

This is not an accidental or coincidental occurrence. The barriers to women taking up such large volunteer-based roles are immense. Changing the structure of the organisation, introducing assistant office bearers to support the growing workload, coordinating online meetings rather than an excessive amount of travel, and changing the culture within the organisation has opened this pathway up for women in our party over a number of years.

As a group, we are very proud to be in these particular roles. Not only because it allows us to work on making our party and our movement stronger, but also because it makes the value of strong women in our party more visible. Women often provide the feedback that politics doesn’t always feel like a safe space for them and that they struggle to find a seat at the table.

Our office bearers have always been forward-looking and compassionate, but through lived experience our team now fully understands the challenges faced by women in organisations such as the Greens. We truly believe the mantra ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and we hope to inspire women across the party, of all ages and backgrounds, that their voices are important and their contributions valuable.

As a group we also represent women of diversity, from our queer community and disability sector. With the inclusion of Dr. Tjanara Goreng Goreng as not only the interim convenor of the First Nations Network and now also the convenor Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee, we can definitely say that we are successfully doing politics differently.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our office bearers and recognise the exceptional work they do for us.

Willisa Hogarth is an Australian Greens National Co-convenor.

Hero image: Gillianne Tedder

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