20 Questions with Yesha Joshi

Even though she's only 25, Yesha has been involved with the Greens for nine years. Talented, hard-working, and passionate, she's now a policy adviser to South Australian MLC Tammy Franks.

By Emma Davidson
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Back in 2008, when she was just 16, Yesha Joshi was the Secretary for the South Australian Young Greens. Once she turned 18, Yesha enjoyed organising the Captain Planet Pub-crawl and going to the AYCC PowerShift and Sustainability Conferences. She's also been a South Australian State Election candidate, and been involved as a producer and presenter of the Your Rights at Night program on Radio Adelaide.  Now, she works as a policy adviser for South Australian State Parliamentarian, Tammy Franks.

Name: Yesha Joshi

Age: 25

Role with the Greens: Adviser to Tammy Franks, Member of the Legislative Council in SA

What do you remember about your first election?
In 2010, I spoke to voters about issues that mattered to them and they were often surprised to know that an 18-year-old was engaging in political discussion, let alone seeking their vote and support. I was the youngest candidate to be preselected at the time for a State Election.

Endangered Australian animal who's captured your heart?
Sadly, there are currently around 300 animal species listed as threatened under the EPBC Act. I have to say the Yellow Chat has certainly captured my heart simply because of its beautiful chirp.  

What's your precious place and why?
The Coorong and the Lower Lakes because of their significance under the RAMSAR Convention and the irreplaceable birdlife that exists there. According to Associate Professor, David Paton, over 283,000 waterbirds were recorded as using this region in the summer of 2013.

Favourite Greens policy?
Climate Change and Energy. We need a solution to this global problem and I think our policy is best placed to address the environmental and economic challenges imposed by climate change while also considering the opportunities that this problem creates.

Best part of your work with the Greens?
Campaigning on issues that matter: patient access to medicinal cannabis, improving our workplace relations and animal welfare laws.

What keeps you going?
Knowing that this fight is worth having.

Favourite political song?
"From Little Things Big Things Grow" by Paul Kelly

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by those who do not give up advocating on behalf of those without a voice — the people who, in the darkest hour, turn on the lights and showcase the spirit of humanity.

Comfort food?
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich — it is ready in minutes.

What would you spend $20b on?
I would create a green bank to support projects such as the Repower Port Augusta’s proposal to replace the coal plants at Port Augusta with six solar thermal plants and 95 wind turbines to create 1800 jobs. We need to transition and reboot our local economy and we need funds for jobs of today and tomorrow.

Secret vice?
Watching the Bollywood films of the 1940s, watching Indian TV ads both current, and from the 90s — check these out before you make any judgements!

Best coffee in town?
I don’t drink coffee, but I am a fan of fancy hot chocolates, so hot chocolate at Parlamento on North Terrace is 10/10.

Three apps you can't live without?

Gaana (Bollywood Radio), Instagram and TuneIn Radio.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be someone who would make a difference. I still remember watching the news of the Hindu-Muslim conflict unfolding in my state of Gujarat and, as a 12-year-old, I was upset about the mayhem caused by political instability and intolerance. I was so upset that I promised to always speak up against injustices and to never be inflicted with bystander syndrome.

Morning run or night time swim?
Definitely morning run — 6am along the River Torrens or at the beach.

What's your greatest hope for the future?
As the Nobel prize winner Brian Schmidt said, “... climate change is the great challenge of humanity over the next 100 years”. My hope is that we will overcome this great challenge and put in place some safeguards to sandbag our communities from the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Magic wand to solve one world problem — what would it be?
If only this was possible! Climate change because it is a health, education, security and a social justice issue — and one that needs to be urgently addressed.

What advice would you give a new volunteer?
Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty and get out of your comfort zone. Our party provides such a fantastic platform to grow and there are incredibly supportive people to guide you along the way, so be inspired and take up the challenge.

For young people thinking about getting involved in the Greens, there is a seat for you at the table — whether this is input through policy changes, campaign ideas or volunteering during busy election periods.

You can travel through time — where do you go?
I would love to meet Nikola Tesla and tell him that his alternative current theory has helped shape the 21st Century and that we are finally on track for an electric automobile future.

If you weren't doing this for a living, what would you be doing?
I would be advancing the Green project in one way or another.