Recommendations for your pathway to politics: Georgie Purcell

Photo of Georgie Purcell smiling, sowing off tattoos on her arms. Overlaid text reads, "Victorian State election 2022"
In this blog series, we ask our alums to tell us about their personal ‘pathway to politics’ and provide their recommendations for content that will help support, guide, inspire and engage other women on their political journey.
In October 2022, we spotlight alums running in the Victorian State election.

Georgie Purcell, Animal Justice Party candidate for Northern Victoria

I’ve always been interested in politics and the power it has to change people’s lives (my parents love to remind me I wrote a song called ‘polling booth rock’ when I was 7).

I studied law, communications and politics at university. My career took me to jobs that were always political – as a union official, working in superannuation advocacy and lobbying on animal protection issues.

But I always considered myself more of a spectator than a possible participant.

Soon after commencing Pathways to Politics in 2020, I realised that it was because I didn’t have the self-confidence to put myself forward, despite knowing I had a valuable contribution to make. I think this is the same story for a lot of women.

I’m a sensitive and feeling person – and didn’t think I could make it in the halls of power.

Pathways helped me understand what I perceived weaknesses were actually strengths. More compassion in politics is only a good thing.

Through the program, I also learned the power of my story. Importantly, it gave me confidence to take back the narrative on some of my personal experiences holding me back from public life.

So now, only years after saying I’d never run, I am the Lead Animal Justice Party Candidate for Northern Victoria in the upcoming Victorian election!

Georgie Purcell patting a sheep

Since I announced, the response has been overwhelmingly kind – with support across the political spectrum, particularly from Pathways alum, which has an incredible sense of comradery. I can say with confidence I wouldn’t be embarking on this incredible journey if I didn’t take part in the program.

My recommendations

In the House and in the Senate (Alisha-Aitken Radburn podcast)

This podcast speaks to women of Australian politics to move past sensationalist headlines and double standards to learn more about the contribution they’re making as parliamentarians.

Listen to In the House and in the Senate online

Logo for "In the house and in the Senate" podcast with a line drawing of Parliament House and photo of the host Aisha Aitken-Radburn

Rules for Revolutionaries: how big organizing can change everything by Becky Bond and Zack Exley

I learned so much from this book about grassroots campaigning and strategy. It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Find the book online

Cover of the book "Rules for Radicals"

Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech

Predictable, but it never gets old. Sometimes I mix it up by listening to the Australian Voices choir version.

Photo of Julia Gillard wearing blue blazer, delivering the "misogyny speech" in Parliament

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Not exactly a political book – but one that is so helpful to learn about belonging, vulnerability, integrity and authenticity in our communities.

Find the book online

Cover of the book "Braving the Wilderness"

Catch and Kill: the Politics of Power by Joel Deane

An interesting (and local) insight into power, vision and reform in politics.

Find the book online

Joel Deane is a regular guest speaker on the Pathways to Politics Program for Women. His speechwriting tips are also available on the Knowledge Hub.

Cover of the book "Catch and Kill"

Related Alums

2020 Alum (Victoria)

Georgie Purcell MP

Georgie Purcell MP was elected as a member of the Victorian Legislative Council representing Northern Victoria in November 2022. She was a mentee in the Pathways Alum Mentoring program in 2022, where she was mentored by Cr Jenna Davey-Burns.

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