Avery Howard

When the basic necessities of life become a luxury, there’s little time to pay attention to the out of touch politicians who are making life altering decisions that profoundly affect the likes of me.

That’s exactly the position I was in just 3 years ago. If you’d told me then that by now I would be studying my dream degree whilst standing as a candidate for the federal election at 20 years old, I wouldn’t have believed you.

At 17, I was moving from shelter to shelter, trying to keep a roof over my head while also attempting to get through Year 12. Youth Allowance gave me enough to eat but nowhere near enough to provide a stable place to live. I was living in poverty, it was incredibly stressful, demoralising and no way to succeed in my final year of high school.

COVID changed everything for me, as it did for many people. It showed that we could end poverty in a day. The Coronavirus Supplement put a focus on the wellbeing of the population without pretending it’s too expensive. It also gave me time to find my voice and start to fight for the things I cared about. And it helped me find the Greens.

I saw the Greens stand up and be passionate about making things better for people like me, something I’d never seen before. With both sides of politics always seeming to pander to their corporate donors, it was refreshing to see a party that doesn’t take corporate donations.

The Greens’ Liveable Income Guarantee and our plan to build one million homes are concrete policies that will help reduce the inequality crisis that we are facing as a country. The security that they will create will allow people like me to stop having constant anxiety about whether or not we’ll be able to pay our bills and have food on the table, they’ll remove the punitive hoops that we have to jump through to get payments, and help combat the decades-long queues for somewhere affordable to live.

I want your vote so that together we can create a government that represents all its constituents, not just the privileged and giant corporations.

I’ve stood outside Parliament House to fight for change, and I will stand inside and fight even harder. I want to show young people that together, we have the power to make change happen.