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.
Cr. Moo D’ath, Shoalhaven City Council
G’day and welcome from Ulladulla on the South Coast of NSW. I’m Moo, one of eight new councillors on the Shoalhaven City Council. How I got here surprises me to this day and I attribute much of my success to lessons learned from the UNSW Pathways to Politics Program I attended in the lead up to the elections for our City in 2019.
My background in politics began at a very young age. My father was a highly political and passionate activist, my mother has a Masters in Political Science and dinner conversation was never boring. It was expected that I would finish high school in 1987 and be off to uni to study politics. I didn’t. I ran away to the Gold Coast from Brisbane and started a gypsy life that didn’t really end until I had my children in 2002. That is not to say I wasn’t interested. I read voraciously, mostly non-fiction. I followed the political theater both in Australia and abroad and always had an opinion when my father and I spoke about the goings on in politics.
Children changed me. I became involved with sports, theater and music groups. I found myself on most committees for these and then other groups in the area. In this time I advocated for many and varied requests to our Local Council, State and Federal Government and any business large and small to hand over money or land or services to help our community thrive and prosper.
“What made you run?” you might ask. With my children now grown, and both in apprenticeships, I had more free time. I remember being at the evacuation center on the 4th December 2019 when the Currowan fires raged through our city and thinking, I’ve got something more I need to do. I’m going to run for Council!
When I was accepted to Pathways to Politics I doubted that I belonged. I’m formally uneducated, older and was quite sick at the time. Once we started the program I ebbed between ‘I belong’ and ‘I’m a fake’ constantly (heads up, that now happens to me regularly in Council!) But it became clear to me that life experience, an active interest in the political machine, and wanting better for your community – local, state or federal – really is enough and does qualify you to pursue the seat.
People to follow – Annabel Crabb and Dr Simon Langstaff
Annabel Crabb, ABC presenter, and Dr Simon Langstaff, founder of The Ethics Center, were both presenters on Pathways to Politics. What they said really resonated with me and I never miss a post or update from them both. Follow them, you won’t regret it.
The Ethics Centre Podcast
Covering a broad range of issues, this podcast will make you question those in power and even yourself.
The Conversation – Books + Ideas
For the time poor this is a great resource for short articles to get you thinking and also a go to list of books to read.
Political Troglodytes and Economic Lunatics: The Hard Right in Australia by Dominic Kelly
Never limit yourself to reading things you already agree with. This is sobering and disturbing.
And another thing…
Watch lots of animal reels on your socials. Seriously. We all need a laugh.