This is my journey into advocacy and why I joined the Greens Party.

Kate Ellis was the Minister for Employment Services in 2013 under the Gillard Government.

At the time i was on Newstart and wanted reforms to Disability Employment Services.

I started my advocacy journey with her office in 2012 & 2013. Once she blacklisted me and my reasonable suggestions fell on blocked ears, I then turned my attention to Mark Buttler’s Office as he was the Minister for Mental Health in 2013. His office were quick to dismiss me when I wanted to talk about how Disability Employment Services do not help people with mental illnesses. Apparently this was not part of his mental health portfolio. I asked his office three times how to make a complaint to which I got a sarcastic response from his staff that I could call the Prime Minister, so that is what I did. I rang Julia Gillard’s office. They asked me to put what happened in writing which I did and I got a lovely form feed letter from the Prime Minister’s office apologising that the processes were not explained to me properly. I wish I still had that letter.

I did manage to get this article published. I then met my friend Phin Meere through him interviewing me for his radio station when he interviewed me. Phin has been a good friend for ten years now. He is a great disability advocate.

It frustrates me that ten years later I am still fighting those battles and more.

Sime of the other reasons I joined the Greens is because of the commitment to raising Newstart by Sentator Seiwart (who has now retired from politics but not Social Justice and continues to be an inspiration to me).

Senator Jordan Steele John’s office made an ‘enquiry’ on my behalf that helped me get NDIS.

I also felt the electorate of Chiftley where I lived for over forty years was ignored by Ed Husic the safe Labor member. He promised to take some actions in the fight to raise Newstart (now Jobseeker), and he broke his promise to me.

I urge you to read the parties policies and join either the Labor or Greens party. Turn up to meetings and raise your voice to be heard. Together we can make a difference.


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