Politics Done Differently is a ‘no frills’ political podcast for the everyday voter where host Caterina Sullivan interviews federal, state / territory and local politicians across Australia. In these casual, fun and engaging conversations, Caterina talks to political figures about how to engage Australian voters in the political conversation.
Episode 036 - Ms Elizabeth Lee MLA
Warning: this episode contains mature content and topics that may be distressing for some viewers.
In this episode, we talk to Elizabeth Lee MLA, Member for Kurrajong in the ACT and Leader of the Opposition, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- Reflections on a bittersweet rise to Leader of the Opposition
- The importance of diversity in politics and in leadership positions throughout other aspects of life
- The difference between being political and being party political
- How to regroup and refocus after an election loss
- The balancing act between being a local member and Leader of the Opposition
- Managing relationships with federal politicians
- Putting Canberra on the map
- The housing affordability crisis
- The role of a robust opposition
- Tackling the issue of the Parliamentary Boys’ Club
- The reason some women do not feel comfortable speaking up about sexual assault
- How to engage men in the gender equality conversation
- Tips on addressing conflict, especially in political discussions
About Ms Lee:
Elizabeth Lee is the Leader of the Canberra Liberals, and the Liberal Member for Kurrajong in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Prior to entering the ACT Legislative Assembly, Elizabeth was a successful lawyer and lecturer at the Australian National University and University of Canberra.
Since her election to the Assembly in 2016, Elizabeth has been a leading voice for improving local schools, protecting our environment, better support for Canberrans living with a disability, and Canberrans from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
Having migrated to Australia from Korea at the age of seven, Elizabeth moved to Canberra when she turned 18 to study Law and Asian Studies at The Australian National University.
Elizabeth is passionate about creating a more connected capital; and empowering every Canberran to reach their potential.
Elizabeth lives in the inner south with her partner, and young daughter.
Outside of politics, Elizabeth is passionate about fitness having taught Sh’Bam and Body Balance classes at various gyms around Canberra.
Episode 035 - Senator Gerard Rennick
In this episode, we talk to Senator Gerard Rennick, Senator for Queensland, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- How to juggle family life and political life
- A vision for the future of Australian Parliament
- The issues around privatisation of essential services
- Pros and cons of making healthcare a federal responsibility
- The future of income-generating infrastructure
- How the Constitution can evolve
- What a constitutional convention would look like
- Senate estimates
- Advice for young people
- The dangers of social media
- The concerns of regional Queenslanders
- The complexity of the renewable energy sector
About Senator Rennick:
Gerard was born and raised on a family farming property just outside Chinchilla, on Queensland’s Darling Downs. Thanks to his upbringing and childhood experiences, Gerard maintains a deep appreciation for the land, its people and the challenges they face.
Gerard completed his secondary education in Toowoomba, before moving to Brisbane where he completed a Commerce degree at the University of Queensland – and later a Master’s degree in Taxation Law.
Gerard has extensive experience in senior finance roles across a range of industries, business types and countries. His experience gives him a strong understanding of our economy and how it affects consumers, investors, employers and employees. Gerard also understands the importance of reward for effort and will always strive to ensure that Australia’s small to medium-sized businesses are given every opportunity to succeed.
Gerard’s background means that he understands sound business principles; and as an LNP Senator for Queensland, he recognises the value of strong economic management, property rights and a just legal system, while he is also passionate about land management and ensuring the delivery of critical infrastructure. Gerard wants to ensure that the next generation of Australians have better opportunities, security and living standards than even we have enjoyed.
Episode 034 - Mr Brian Mitchell MP
In this episode, we talk to Brian Mitchell, Member for Lyons in Tasmania, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- What an early pre-selection means
- The biggest issues for citizens of Lyons
- What happens behind the scenes between parties working together
- Why the media sells the debates as opposed to the agreements in Parliament
- How to expand your understanding of the world past what your experiences of the world are, especially through social media
- The role climate change will play in the next election
- Some of the processes of Parliament House
- The benefits of democracy
- The rise of fascism
- What economic security looks like
- The toxicity of social media
- How to get more women into politics
- How too much choice has led us away from compromise
- Juggling work and family life
- What sustainable agriculture and the future of agriculture looks like for Australia
About Mr Mitchell:
As someone who lives and works in Lyons, and who's raising a family there, Brian Mitchell is personally invested in making the shared community the best it can be.
Brian wants the children in Lyons to have the best shot in life, and that means great schools and training opportunities and access to secure jobs that pay well.
According to Brian, everyone in the community deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare, telecommunications and transport.
As an active member of Labor's Country Caucus and the Deputy Chair of the Agriculture and Water Resources committee, he is proud to be a strong voice in Canberra for regional communities and towns.
People often forget that Labor was born of the bush, under a tree during a shearers' strike for decent pay and conditions.
The mission for fair pay, safe, secure work and more equality in society continues today.
Episode 033 - Senator Scott Ryan
In this episode, we talk to Senator Scott Ryan, Senator for Victoria and President of the Senate about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- How the President of the Senate gets elected
- The President’s relationship with public committees
- The differences and similarities between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House
- Managing debate in the Senate
- The untold successes of the writing of the Constitution
- The role of the media in Parliament
- What life lessons are most important when applying them to a political career
- The need for everyone to have access to opportunities across Australia
- The impact of single-issue movements on the political party system
- What drives party policy behind the scenes
- The benefits of greater citizen in engagement in politics and political issues
- The history of media releases in Parliament House
- How technology has changed Parliamentary processes
- The push to table speeches
- Top book recommendations
- Federalism in Australia
About Senator Ryan:
Scott Ryan was elected as a Liberal Senator for Victoria at the 2007 federal election. He was re-elected in 2013 and again in 2016.
In November 2017 Senator Ryan was elected by the Senate to serve as its 25th President. Immediately prior to this, from August 2016, he was Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet.
He previously served as Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and Deputy Manager of Government Business in the Senate between February and August 2016, and as Assistant Cabinet Secretary from September 2015 to February 2016.
Prior to that, and following the election the Coalition in September 2013, Senator Ryan was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training.
Senator Ryan was a member of the shadow ministry from 2010 to 2013, serving as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Fair Competition.
Senator Ryan has previously been a member of numerous Senate and Joint Parliamentary committees, including serving as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration.
He graduated from St Kevin’s College and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours at the University of Melbourne.
Before being elected to the Senate in 2007, he worked for international pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline and as a consultant in the health and insurance industries.
He has also served as a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, worked as a senior adviser to the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria, a speechwriter for Senator the Hon Nick Minchin and in the office of the Victorian Premier, the Hon Jeff Kennett.
He is married to Helen and they live in Melbourne with their two sons.
He is a member of the Essendon Football Club, the Institute of Public Affairs, the Centre for Independent Studies and the Samuel Griffith Society.
He is an honorary life member of the Melbourne University Liberal Club and the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.
Episode 032 - Senator Nita Green
In this episode, we talk to Senator Nita Green, Senator for Queensland, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- Adjusting to life in Canberra
- How to represent the views of regional Queenslanders in Australian Parliament
- Issues around insurance in regional Queensland
- The need to take action on climate change while focusing on secure employment
- The campaign for marriage equality and how it has impacted politicians of the future
- The impact of drought when it hits rural Queensland
- How to stay healthy during sitting weeks
- How to stay safe on social media
- The importance of gender equality especially when it comes to politics
- The role of the Senate
- Australian manufacturing
- Tourism in Far North Queensland
- The fight for housing for Indigenous Australians
About Senator Green:
Nita was raised in a single parent family by her mum, who has been a nurse for 40 years.
She understood at an early age the difference that access to public education could make to her life and future. Her first job after school was a traineeship, so she knows the role that a strong skills sector plays in giving working class kids a start in the workplace.
She worked in the retail and hospitality industry while studying and went on to complete a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Juris Doctor in Law.
Nita's working life has been focused on fighting for fairness and equality.
She was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 2015 and worked as an Employment Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, representing workers in sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal cases.
In 2017, Nita was the Queensland Field Director for the successful Equality Campaign and then worked as an organiser for the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union fighting for the rights of Queensland workers.
Nita was elected as a Senator for Queensland and was sworn in on July 1 2019 and will base her office in Cairns, Far North Queensland.
Episode 031 - Senator Catryna Bilyk
In this episode, we talk to Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator for Tasmania, about engaging the Australian voters in the political discourse.
Topics covered include:
- The important work of committees, especially in the healthcare sector, and how committees can give a place for Australians to tell their personal stories to Parliament
- How to engage more citizens in committee work
- The role of Senators and what it means to be a Senator in Parliament House
- How life has changed with the increase in technology
- The importance of reading
- The importance of pallative care
- How the Opposition can successfully campaign the government and achieve wins for the people of Australia
- The best way for people to engage in politics
- How local government can give people genuine connections to politics
About Senator Bilyk:
Born in Tasmania, and having lived there for most of her life, Catryna Bilyk was elected as a Labor Senator for Tasmania in November 2007, taking her seat in the Senate on 1 July 2008.
She was re-elected in September 2013, again for a further three-year term in 2016 and for a further six-year term in 2019.
Catryna’s previous work experience included a variety of positions and roles. Early in her career she worked as a researcher in the mental health field.
After more than a decade as an early childhood educator, Catryna started work with the Australian Services Union (ASU). She set up the first Union Jobskills Program, and represented the Union on many Industry Training Advisory Boards.
She was the ASU delegate to Unions Tasmania and held the position of Senior Vice President of Unions Tasmania. In the few years prior to her election to the Senate, Catryna was employed by the Tasmanian Government as an Advisor and Electorate Officer with Tasmanian Government Ministers David Crean, David Llewellyn and Ken Bacon.
In addition to her core duties as a Senator, Catryna has campaigned for a range of causes. She has been a strong advocate for protection of children from abuse and neglect, and for promoting online safety for children, including combatting cyberbullying.
Catryna has advocated for greater investment in palliative care and the need to make and discuss end-of-life care plans and saved Palliative Care Tasmania from closure.
As the lead Labor member of a Senate inquiry into the Government’s cuts to the Australia Council and establishment of a ministerial arts slush fund, Catryna joined hundreds of independent artists in successfully pressuring the Government to close the slush-fund and return $80 million to the Australia Council.
Catryna is a brain cancer survivor, and has continually campaigned for greater research efforts to improve outcomes for patients of brain cancer and other cancers with low survival rates. Her advocacy has led to around $170 million investment in brain cancer and disease research, and she has also organised events which have so far raised more than $160,000 for brain cancer research.
Catryna has also joined Labor colleagues in campaigning for more health funding for Tasmania, stopping the closure of the Kingston Centrelink/Medicare office, the reinstatement of Australia Federal Police to Hobart International Airport, improved access to workers’ compensation for firefighters diagnosed with cancer, making non-consensual sharing of intimate images a criminal offense, access to medicinal cannabis, expanded Medicare benefits for haemochromatosis screening, bringing forward access to the NBN for the suburb of Howden, obtaining Federal funding for the Rowallan Park supported accommodation facility in Kingston and government action to reduce the incidence of industrial deaths in Australia.