Who are we?

Voices of Bennelong Inc. is an independent community organisation made up of residents of the Federal electorate of Bennelong. Our vision is for a political system which is fair, open, participatory and accountable to all Australians. We want elected representatives to reflect the values and concerns of their communities and government decision-making to be balanced, transparent and evidence based. The people and the planet should be at the heart of every government decision.

We are registered with NSW Department of Fair Trading as an Incorporated Association and we comply with all legal requirements of the Department and the AEC.

Our Voices of Bennelong Inc Executive Committee members are:

President: Michelle Rawson

Vice President & Treasurer: Joanne Colquhoun

Secretary: Paula Brodie

Committee Members: Julien Ronfeldt, Anne Youll, Lydia Hartmann, Edilia Ford

Our Objectives

  1. To strengthen active participation by the Bennelong community in the process of democracy
  2. To find and support a candidate for the federal seat of Bennelong who
    1. is a true political independent (i.e. not a member of any registered political party);
    2. accepts the reality and science of climate change and recognises the need for urgent action;
    3. actively consults the full range of communities in Bennelong to identify their concerns;
    4. gives voice to these concerns and actively champions them in the Federal Parliament; and
    5. acts ethically, with integrity, transparency and accountability to the residents of Bennelong.
  3. To advocate on issues of government accountability and climate change.

What is the Voices Movement?

In Australia, the political system is designed so that each electorate has a voice in Federal Parliament.  This is done through the election of a Federal Representative to champion issues important to the people in the communities they represent.  With the dominance of the two-party system, we believe this voice has been lost.

John Alexander, our current MP, votes 100% of the time as dictated by the LNP, which has moved far to the right.  Our Federal Member votes the same as National Party MP’s such as Barnaby Joyce, 100% of the time.  By electing a community Independent to a strong cross bench, which holds the balance of power, we can break the hold of the fossil fuel industry and other vested interest groups.  Returning decision making back to being in the best interests of the people.   Achieving real action on climate, and creating a better future for us all.

The Voices Movement is a grass roots and organic.  It aims at returning real political representation back to the people and giving them a voice in federal Parliament.  Through such things as increasing political engagement, so that people understand what their elected officials are voting for on their behalf, to identifying and electing Community Independents who give voice to the issues important to the community at a Federal level.

Young Voices of Bennelong (YVOB)

Young Voices of Bennelong (YVOB) is a Voices of Bennelong group for people under 30 who want to become more community and politically engaged. Our generation(s) are the most informed but least represented in parliament, and the decisions being made now are the ones impacting our future.

In Bennelong alone, 15 – 30 years old make up 22% of the total population!

From higher education reform to climate change to travel to the pandemic and employment, the impacts of current government decisions are showing in our day to day lives more than ever. And it’s time to make the politicians know, we’re aware of our power and know we can bring in change. Politicians rely on your apathy for their success. But we can change that.

We’re all about democracy in action, connecting people, educating about how politics works (agnostically!) and politics through community consultation.

So whether you’re a social keyboard warrior, a letter writer, a protestor or just unsure where you start in becoming politically engaged, this group is here to support you in becoming the engaged citizen we all want to be.

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