Getting to know our new MPs: Emma Davidson


2020 has been a huge year for the Greens around the country – particularly in the ACT, where we tripled our representation in the Assembly at the October election. Over the coming few months we’ll be introducing our newest MPs, beginning with Member for Murrumbidgee and ACT government minister Emma Davidson.

1. What do you remember about your first election?  

In 1983, I was eight years old and living on my parents farm in south-west NSW during the worst drought in a hundred years. I saw footage of the Franklin River on our black and white TV and it was more water than I had ever seen in my entire life, and I couldn't understand why anyone would want to dam that river. So I told everyone to vote for the party that said they would save the river. Which all the adults around me ignored, as we were in the safest National Party electorate in the country.

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

Hard choice! Actually what I really value is biodiversity – we need all the species for the ecosystem to function as it should. So no matter how small or scaly or venomous, any species loss is unacceptable.

3. What’s your precious place and why? 

The stock route from Urana to Jerilderie, where I grew up. It may look like a desert (especially in summer), but there is an amazing range of bird life, insects, and tiny wildflowers that have shown remarkable resilience despite fires, floods, and agriculture impacts.

4. Favourite Greens policy?

I've never met a Greens policy I didn't love! My current favourite Australian Greens policy is establishing a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission.

5. Best part of your work with the Greens?

Gosh, I've only been here five minutes in the Assembly! But as a Greens volunteer before starting my new job, I have always loved the recharging of my batteries that comes from working on the things most important to me, in a team of people who understand and care about those issues as much as I do. It's like that feeling at the end of The Rise of Skywalker when the reinforcements arrive at Exagol, and Poe realises there's more of us.

6. What keeps you going?

Celebrating the small successes along the way.

7. Favourite political song? 

Change by Mavis Staples.

8. Who inspires you? Why?

My grandparents, my parents, and my kids. I look at the strength and resilience the previous generations of my family have shown to get our family to where we are today, and the hope and the energy for change that my teenage children have for our future, and it inspires me to play my part in connecting the generations and supporting the younger ones to keep us going on the right track.

9. Comfort food?

Apples. Fresh fruit is always a winner.

10. What would you spend $20 billion on? 

Ending homelessness by building environmentally sustainable social and community housing, so that nobody is homeless. Great for mental and physical wellbeing, creating meaningful work, and freeing up time spent earning money to pay unaffordable rent so we can put more time and energy into caring for country and for each other.

11. Secret vice?

Yeah, right – like I'm telling you... ;P

12. Best coffee/drink in town? 

Hot chocolate in a bowl at Bite to Eat cafe in Chifley.

13. Three apps you can’t live without?

Signal for encrypted messaging, Pocket Casts for podcasts, and Calendar because oh wow there's a lot of meetings in my life right now...

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

All the things! I'm a naturally curious person, which is how I ended up with majors in law, software development, and journalism before graduating. And I've been able to use all of them at various points in my career.

15. Morning run or night time swim?

Morning skate!

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

That we take real action on climate change and save the planet.

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

Economic inequality.

18. What advice would you give a new volunteer?

Be clear about what your capacity is, ask for opportunities to do things you're interested in, and be willing to try something new.

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

To the future, to find out if we saved the planet.

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

Social research and advocacy in the community sector, or something in software development. That's where most of my career has been before starting this job.

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