Another spectacular year: the National Co-Convenors

2019 has been another spectacular year for the Australian Greens.  

 By Willisa Hogarth and Catherine Garner

2019 election

Over the past year we worked to prepare for and roll out an incredible election campaign.

This year was the largest, most well organised, well-funded and strategically dynamic federal campaign we have seen. The proof is in the pudding, with the party securing the reelection of six of our senators – an amazing achievement for a party powered by people, not corporate donations. 

Importantly, each election sees us grow and develop in the ways we manage our media requirements, online communication and times of crisis, just to name a few. The excellent work of our national office and the federal leader’s office staff has meant that our campaign teams and candidates were exceptionally well supported. As a major political party, we are agile and flexible and these are incredibly valuable skills in this turbulent political landscape.

Across the country we had an incredible group of candidates, campaign teams and volunteers going out and speaking to voters about the Greens’ positive plan for Australia. We saw them out at street stalls, going to markets, door-knocking their electorates and finding innovative ways to recruit and involve fantastic volunteers and supporters to power those campaigns. Without this people power, at every level of the party, we couldn’t have achieved these spectacular results. 

Internal work

Our national conferences continue to be events that inspire and encourage members and supporters to redouble their efforts to elect Greens at all levels of government across Australia. There have been fantastic workshops and panels about some of the big issues like the potential to hold the balance of power in the next federal parliament and the federal parliamentary leadership. We certainly encourage members to discuss these issues at branch or local group meetings.

National Council

National Council continues to work in a positive and collaborative manner – sometimes in very challenging circumstances! Every year each member of National Council – and National Council as a whole – becomes more skilled at tackling the tasks of running the third largest political party.

National Council undertook a tremendous body of work in the lead up to the federal election, including a much stronger involvement in the design of our policy platform and communication strategy. It has been an incredible and rewarding project, and we look forward to continuing this work as we begin preparations for the next federal election.  

The work of National Council continues to receive invaluable support from the Campaign Management Team, the federal party room team, and the Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee. National Council work continues on improving the mechanisms for member engagement in important party issues like federal balance of power and federal parliamentary leadership.

National Council is an ever-dynamic group and the work produced by this body continues to grow – it is hard to imagine how we got anything done before. It’s an honour to work with a dedicated and committed group of people working on our national project together. 

Office bearers

The office bearer group have worked to support the work of National Council and the member bodies. The Joint Office Bearers meeting in February has helped to continue the work of intra-party collaboration and building trusting working relationships across the party. Thank you to the whole office bearer group – there have been a few changes in the past 12 months, but everyone that has been involved has put in their best selves and we have worked really well together.  

And we can’t finish our annual report without a huge thanks to our National Manager, Brett Constable, and to our staff Mark Quinn, Shirin Dawood, Susan Griffiths-Sussems, Joana Partyka, Andrew Beaton, Eva-Victoria Bates, Michelle Sheather, Andrew Cormick-Dockery, and John Twyman. They do a tremendous amount of work on a shoestring budget and bring a world of knowledge, expertise and dedication to the Australian Greens. 

Willisa Hogarth and Catherine Garner are the Australian Greens’ National Co-Convenors.