Jordon Steele-John | The Greens (WA)

Jordon Steele-John

Senator for WA

Senator Jordon Steele-John is a Senator of WA and is a member of the Australian Greens parliamentary team. 

A passionate youth and disability advocate, I have always wanted to make a positive difference. My first political memory was of the Tampa Crisis in 2001. Six at the time, I might have been too young to understand the complexities of that sorry saga, but I did understand that desperate people were asking for our help and we were saying no. It was my first encounter with the power of politics and it had a profound impact on me. Over the next ten years I considered all the dream jobs usual to kids that age (palaeontology was the frontrunner for quite a while!) but I could never shake that desire to make a difference and, after living through the Howard era, the Iraq War and the Pacific Solution, the impact political decisions have on people’s lives was clearer to me than ever. So I decided to get informed and get involved.

Coming from a family of strong Labor supporters I had always believed that, as a young person, a person who journeys with a disability and a person who cares deeply about social and environmental justice, Labor was the party for me. So it was with sadness and disappointment that I watched as, from genuine action on climate change to ensuring that big miners pay their fair share of tax, they failed to stand up for what matters. The final straw came with the Gillard Government announcement of Malaysian Solution. I knew then that both parties had signed up to the type of cynical and dehumanising politics which always ultimately leads to cruelty, and I knew that I could not be part of it. Searching for a voice which spoke to me with authenticity and about the issues I cared about with courage, I found The Greens and never looked back.

Over the course of my life I’ve learned that to be a young person with a disability in contemporary Australia is to occupy the intersection of some of our society’s most ingrained myths and most damaging preconceived ideas. Far too often it seems as though these are the prisms through which our lives are viewed and our rights are framed. It can feel almost impossible to make your voice heard when the debate so easily casts aside everything from affordable education, housing and transport to the very state of the environment we will inherit. At every opportunity I’ve worked hard to bust these myths, challenge these preconceived ideas and be a strong voice for the issues that matter, working for the past several years as a youth and disability advocate at the local, state, federal and NGO level with a focus on rights and awareness training.

From genuine action on climate change to affordable housing, quality education, a properly funded NDIS and an effective transition to the new economy, The Greens embody the desire to make a positive difference that I’ve felt for as long as I can remember. We have the courage to authentically engage with young people and our issues, laying out a policy vision which truly meets the challenges and opportunities that face our generation. 

Jordon Steele-John

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