2020 was 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. In this latest installment of our series that introduces our newest MPs, we speak to Member for Brindabella JohnathAn Davis.
1. What do you remember about your first election?
It was the 2007 federal election and I'd volunteered to staff a polling booth all day. I distinctly remember getting heat stroke and fainting because I failed to prepare and bring supplies. Moral of the story: Always bring water, snacks, sunscreen and ideally, a chair when you're volunteering on election day.
2. Endangered Australian animal that's captured your heart?
Brush-tailed rock-wallaby. Sadly, the wallaby has lost more then 70 percent of its habitat in the most recent bushfire season.
3. What’s your precious place and why?
My Dad's house. Because I can live anywhere, but Dad's house will always be home.
4. Favourite Greens policy?
Our entire policy platform and campaign around political donations reform. The insidious influence of donations from profitable corporate interests and the wealthy elite is slowly eroding public faith on our democratic institutions. Our strong and principled opposition to big money politics is one of the many things that make me proud to be Green.
5. Best part of your work with the Greens?
It's a cliché, but it's the people. Every day, I get to work with the most wonderful humans who all work so hard to contribute to the shared project of making our city and our world cleaner, greener and fairer. I'm inspired by them everyday.
6. What keeps you going?
The fight for economic justice. To see so few with so much while so many have so little inspires me everyday to balance the scales and do whatever I can to make sure all people can live a good life of dignity and personal fulfilment.
7. Favourite political song?
‘We shall be free’ by Garth Brooks.
8. Who inspires you? Why?
Those who make do with little. It's all well and good to be philanthropic when you have the means to do so. But seeing those with limited financial means or limited time still find ways to contribute to their community and their world always inspires me.
9. Comfort food?
Kingsley’s Chicken and Goodberry’s Frozen Custard. You’ll find both at the Erindale Centre in the heart of my electorate.
10. What would you spend $20 billion on?
I’d build as many sustainable, energy efficient homes as that money could build.
11. Secret vice?
Spicy fruit rolls aka squished fly biscuits. If I open a packet, I just know I'll polish them off in one sitting – I can't help myself.
12. Best coffee/drink in town?
Vanilla latte from BrewBar on Anketell Street in Tuggeranong.
13. Three apps you can’t live without?
Facebook, Instagram and Google Maps.
14. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a politician, but I achieved that before I’d grown up. Though I’d argue that a youthful sense of idealism is exactly what more politicians need.
15. Morning run or night time swim?
Night time swim – ask anyone I work with, I'm not a morning person.
16. What’s your greatest hope for the future?
That my unborn children have as good a life as I had.
17. Magic wand to solve one world problem — what would it be?
Knowing that so many who've some before me will likely use their magic wand to fix climate change, I'll use my spell to end homelessness.
18. What advice would you give a new volunteer?
Don't let the busy work consume you. You're not here for the busy work – you're here to make the world a better place. Remind yourself of that daily. And drink plenty of water!
19. You can travel through time – where do you go?
Honestly, I don’t think I’d use the ability. We’re too good at dwelling on the past and pontificating on the future. We should all try harder to live in the moment and try to be as effective as we can be right here, right now.
19. If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you be doing?
I’d find a way to pay my bills, but I’d stay fighting for a better world. I’d still consider that my purpose.