20 Questions with Dale Clisby


Dale Clisby is the Digital Organising Coordinator for the Australian Greens. He shares a glimpse into what makes him tick – from his love for Phillip Island's natural beauty to his dream for a cure to chronic fatigue syndrome.

1. What do you remember about your first election?  

The amazing pace of it all! I went from attending my first phone bank and running doorknocks to organising a neighbourhood and then a field region. Combine this with constituent response and event management, and it was a fun whirlwind of learning, making new friends, and all the stress and adrenaline that comes with campaigning. I was instantly hooked.

2. Endangered Australian animal that's captured your heart?

The Hooded Plover. The small bird lives on the beaches near my home on Phillip Island. They are very elusive, but my wife has captured some amazing photographs of them as they strut along the water's edge at sunset.

3. What’s your precious place and why? 

The south-eastern coast of Phillip Island, Cape Woolamai, but in particular a small stretch of beach in the National Surfing Reserve called ‘Magic Lands’ by the locals. In the summer it is an amazing place to watch the surfers and the sunset. When dusk falls during late September/early November, millions of short-tailed shearwater birds come back to their nests in the dunes. You can sit on a trail and watch as thousands of the birds find their chicks in the dim light right around you.

4. Favourite Greens policy?

It’s a small one, but community solar.

5. Best part of your work with the Greens?

I get to design and implement the future of online campaigning! What is not to love? I am so happy to be working with amazing online volunteers as we gear up to the election, helping to spread the Greens message online and think of new and exciting ways that we can campaign in the digital world.

6. What keeps you going?

The volunteers that spend their precious time helping to create a future for all of us.

7. Favourite political song? 

Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs'.

8. Who inspires you? Why?

It might be cliche, but my wife inspires me more than anyone else, even though she would hate me for saying that! She suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) but doesn’t let it get in the way of her ambition and has continued to learn and grow even with the debilitating condition. She supports me and lifts me up, even when she is in pain and suffering extreme fatigue. I wouldn’t be anywhere near who I am now without her.

9. Comfort food?

Easy: roast potatoes, surprise peas, mint jelly, and gravy. Yum.

10. What would you spend $20 billion on? 

Bitcoin? No… completely universal healthcare (including dental and mental health), the creation of more national and marine protection areas, solar and battery subsidies and communal solar hubs for renters, free housing for the disenfranchised. I’m not good at budgeting – is that $20 billion yet?

11. Secret vice?

Working when I shouldn’t be?

12. Best coffee/drink in town? 

Homemade mojito.

13. Three apps you can’t live without?

Spotify, Gmail, and Google Maps (because my sense of direction is nonexistent).

14. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Musician (...fail).

15. Morning run or night time swim?

That sounds like too much work. Sunset walk.

16. What’s your greatest hope for the future?

Personally, a cure for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). More broadly, that we manage to not completely destroy our planet and the future survival of all the precious flora and fauna that is native to it.

17. Magic wand to solve one world problem — what would it be?

Get money out of politics. That would fix much of what negatively impacts our society.

18. What advice would you give a new volunteer?

Jump in the deep end! It can be scary at first, you might be nervous or unsure, but after that first phone call, that first door you knock on, the first comment you make or interact with on Facebook, or the first sms you send, you’ll realise how fun it is to be a Greens volunteer. You’ll gain confidence, meet awesome new people, and be helping to make a real difference.

19. You can travel through time – where do you go?

So many choices! I’d love to see Hannibal’s army coming down from the Alps to invade Rome, or what it was really like in the trenches at the Battle of the Somme. I think that means I've listened to too much ‘Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History’ podcast.

20. If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you be doing?

Probably not earning a living struggling to find a post-doctoral grant in philosophy.

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