Melbourne – 14th May 2016
Two Oz Kiwi representatives attended the first day of the Australian Greens national conference held in Melbourne over the weekend of 14-15 May.
Local Wiradjuri elder Aunty Di gave the welcome to country, asking that visitors respect the land and the people and care for one another especially the children. Co Deputy Leaders Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Scott Ludlum opened the conference then Party Leader Richard Di Natale gave an overview of the Greens key policy areas.
Among the useful sessions our representatives attended were workshops on building and maintaining campaign teams, fundraising on a limited budget, and using digital campaigning tools such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
While the focus was on volunteer roles, and running an election campaign, there were many good tips and strategies relevant to Oz Kiwi’s much longer term campaign (three years and counting).
Joanne Cox spoke to WA Senator Scott Ludlum about the work Oz Kiwi is doing. Ludlum said that while this was not his portfolio area, he is a Kiwi (little known fact!) so this was personal for him. He said we should talk to Sarah Hanson Young, Greens’ spokesperson for Immigration.
Oz Kiwi has long wanted to meet with SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young; we have met with her Senior Advisor in Canberra and worked with her office regarding cases of Kiwis in immigration detention. Joanne Cox spoke to Sarah was the guest of honour at a function in Higgins Green’s candidate Jason Ball’s electorate office. Ball is running against Liberal Party Federal MP Kelly O’Dwyer. Sarah was very empathetic and is well aware of the issues for New Zealanders in Australia. Oz Kiwi will being following up with her after the election.
The real work for us will begin again after the election, continuing to advocate with the 45th Australian Parliament. Oz Kiwi is apolitical and will talk with any politician willing to talk to us.
Note: The Liberal Party’s national conference is only open to Party members thus Oz Kiwi has not attended, but several Oz Kiwi members did attend the Australian Labor Party conference in July 2015.