From the national secretary: Jonathan Parry

By Jonathan Parry

I would like to acknowledge First Nations people across the land we now call Australia as the traditional custodians and caretakers of the land and waters we are privileged to live and work on. I would like to especially acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, on whose country I have spent confined for much of the past year. I pay respects to elders and ancestors and recognise the ongoing healing journey that must be addressed by truth telling, enacting treaty, and listening to First Nations voices.

This past year has in many ways been a year of reflection. Where 2020 was characterised by novelty, 2021 has presented the chance for us to think about how with the challenges and opportunities of uncertainty, we can improve, progress, and adapt. This year has demonstrated The Greens’ resilience, flexibility, and focus; though rising to the challenge is easy when you have the right footing

Since November, I have been honoured to contribute to our movement’s organisation and governance and have relished opportunities to meet and yarn with Greens members from across the country. Our members remain the lifeblood of the party and are its greatest ambassadors. 

Managing the online

National meetings have been held almost exclusively online this year, with the glimmering exception of our May National Council meeting held in Melbourne. Putting bodies to faces is a remarkably beneficial experience (as those used to online meetings will know) and set us up well for the remainder of the term. 

Meeting virtually can be demanding and disconnecting but I am grateful to those representatives from Member Bodies, our federal Party Room, and the First Nations Network for embracing the medium with good humour and diligence. Many in this term were initially new to the party’s governance but their immediate hard work and meaningful engagement in difficult circumstances was and is exemplary. 

A message stick

At the February Conference, the First Nations Network gave our party a message stick seeking that we rise to address white privilege and white fragility. The message stick, which will be returned with the party’s response at the November Conference, exemplifies ongoing work to decolonise our spaces and shows confidence in our party to engage with First Nations perspectives. The message, like the year, gives The Greens a valuable opportunity to stop, reflect, and listen. After our response, we will continue to learn and implement First Nations ways of being, doing, and thinking into our practice

Working Groups

Thank you to the members and volunteers of the national working groups who have tirelessly reviewed our organisation’s processes, governing documents, and policies. The literal hundreds of hours dedicated to this work is a testament to your passion and patience

This year seen the review or adoption of close to 600 policies, changes to our national budget setting procedures, and a suite of proposed amendments to our Constitution to support our organisational and strategic objects. Governance reforms continue into the new year and The Greens are well placed to finalise these reforms - even against the backdrop of an approaching federal election. 

National Team

The National Office staff must be commended for their extraordinary work supporting our party and working in shifting circumstances. A special thanks to our National Manager Brett Constable whose unwavering guidance and support furthers us all.

Finally, thank you to the Office Bearers team, Catherine, Heather, Sue, Willisa and especially the Deputy Secretary Gemmia Burden. I am privileged to work with you all.


‹ Greens 2021 Annual Reports