Hi, I’m Jody Freeman, your Greens candidate for Baldivis this state election.
Like so many West Australians, I see so many worthy causes I want to support. I have volunteered and worked in animal welfare and social welfare charities and am passionate about mental health, caring for our environment, tackling climate change, youth unemployment and so many other Important issues. I realised that most charities are tasked with mopping up the after-effects of bad government policy. Together, with strong Greens representation in parliament, we can change those policies and address the core issues and ensure a more equitable and just society for all of us.
I am an Op Shop Manager for a local not for profit dedicated to helping support West Australians experiencing poverty. I lead a team of over 100 volunteers to raise funds through the the sale of donated goods to raise funds to provide housing, food, mental health support, and other essential services to people in need.
I love my job, but it shouldn’t have to exist. Every West Australian should have access to basic human rights like a place to call home, adequate health care and food without needing to rely on charities. If our Government chose to prioritise the needs of the communities it is meant to represent instead of spending millions of dollars benefitting their rich corporate donors, we could have a society where everyone has what they need to live a good life.
I am proud to live here in this electorate and was lucky enough to build my first home here three years ago. I love our beautiful bushland, our strong sense of community and the caring, compassionate people that live here. But the people here deserve more. Labor has taken the votes of our region for granted for so long and refuses to prioritise what our community really needs. We need strong action on climate change to protect us from bushfires, we need serious investment in affordable and accessible housing, more support for our struggling physical and mental health services, strong public transport networks, and large scale job creation through investment in a renewable energy economy.
Having previously worked as a Retail District Manager across this region, I have seen firsthand the hundreds of applicants that apply for every job. There are simply not enough jobs to go around and instead of investing in smart, future-proof job creation through the renewable economy, the government has chosen to demonise job seekers and further entrench income inequality, particularly amongst young people.
My partner and I both suffer from chronic pain and illness and understand firsthand the lack of support services, understanding from medical professionals and the desperate need for investment in the health sector. I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Vestibular Migraines and my partner is an amputee with a painful stump neuroma. Both of us have had times where we have been completely incapacitated by our conditions and have struggled with accurate diagnosis and treatment in the public system. We have been lucky enough to have been able to scrape together the money to be seen by private specialists and to have treatment in private hospitals, which has placed huge financial stress on us, but was the only way we could be diagnosed and treated.
The government needs to take chronic pain and illness seriously. Whether your conditions are accurately diagnosed and treated effectively so you can live your life well shouldn’t rely on your postcode or your bank balance. It’s time we have strong representation from within the chronic illness and disability community in parliament instead of decisions being made about our care without us.
There are so many things the Labor government can change that will make a huge difference in the lives of people in this electorate but they choose not to because corporate greed is being put before community need. Now is the time for community driven change.