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The Weekly Cheek
The Weekly Cheek

Episode · 8 months ago

62. This IWD, which voices aren’t being heard?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we interview Dhanya Mani, founder of Kate's List. When Dhanya Mani worked as a Liberal Party staffer under the NSW Baird Government, she was subjected to inappropriate conduct by a senior parliamentary staffer. On one occasion, Dhanya was indecently assaulted in her own home.

Dhanya reported what had happened to her, exhausting every available complaints process under the state Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Act. During these processes Dhanya was told it was her fault. She was told it was not true. She was told she was making up the allegations. She was told to enter into a relationship with her perpetrator. Those who did believe Dhanya told her that if she came forward, her political career would be over. 

Find us online at cheekmedia.com.au and on socials @cheekmediaco

Hello, I'm Christ and Parison Otto and I'm had a Ferguson and where co founders at Cheek mediac this is the weekly Cheek podcast. To me, really shows what the consequences are if you aren't like his daughter's if he can't relate to you. Before we start the PODCAST, I would like to acknowledge the lands that we are on today, the lands of the Yagora and terrible people, and acknowledge their elders, past, present and emerging. On International Women's Day, I would like to specifically acknowledge all of the feminist work done by first nations people for the last Sixtyzero plus years. Welcome back to the weekly cheat. Welcome. In this week's episode for International Women's Day, we interview Dania money. When Dania money worked as a Liberal Party staff are under the New South Wales bed government, she was subjected to inappropriate conduct by a senior parliamentary staffer. On one occasion, Danny was indecently assaulted in her own home. Danny reporter what happened to her, exhausting every available complaints process under the state, ministerial and Parliamentary Services Act. During these processes, a Danny was told it was her fault, that it wasn't true, that she was making up the allegations. Those who did believe her told her that if she came forward, her political career would be over. In two thousand and nineteen. She reported what had happened to her to the Prime Minister's office. She received a phone call from Scott Morrison, secretary, you're on Finkelstein, who failed to act informing Danny that she could write a letter to the prime minister like any other member of the public. Right now, the conversation is changing in Australia. The me to movement has rocked our nation's capital, but there's something missing from these conversations. Women of color are being raised. Minority groups are rarely heard, let alone centered, during these milestones. Our feminism must go beyond this. I know you put up a tweet about this, about the Scott Morrison's grand apology to women of Parliament House, and that was something that you were excluded from or, you know, perhaps an afterthought. I'll let you put your own words to it, but would you be able to kind of explain what happened and how you felt about it afterwards? Yeah, well, I think I think Scott Morrison's like quote unquote apology, you know, comes in a certain like context that a lot of people still like aren't really aware of, both as it relates to me, but also, you know, just this broad a narrative of accountability when it comes to what's been going on in politics and what the issues have been to staff. Is So, when I first told my story in two thousand and nineteen, one of the facts that wasn't a part of the story and I haven't really spoken about much publicly was the fact that there was a complaint that I made to the premier's office in two thousand and eighteen, and sort of in two thousand and eighteen before the state election, and that was about what my perpetrator had done. And for additional context, that wasn't the first complaint I made. Like after every incident of her rassment and after the assault, I had made complaints to my supervisor who said things like you should just be flattered. Why don't you enter a relationship with him? Just give him a kiss, like why don't you want to be with him? This includes like after the assault as well. This was still the narrative, O my God, from him. Yeah, and so I'd been making ongoing from blight, and one of the things that was already extraordinarily really traumatizing and which meant that it took me some time to build myself up to making this complaint to the premier's office, was how every single attempt to make a complaint had been dealt with. There was no mirroring, there was no validation. It did not even feel like we were having the same conversation, because how can I be saying the words I am experiencing trauma, I'm experiencing ongoing harassment and violence, if the response is pretty such a good guy should just be flattered. Why don't you want to be with him? You know, it just didn't it didn't feel like we could...

...possibly be having the same conversation, and so when I finally made that complaint, I initially get a phone call from the chief of staff and my perpetrator was working in the premier's office at the time that I made this complaint and I, you know, sort of outlined what had happened. I'd like a number of requests, including like conversations about things like warform, changing the mops act, which is the name of like the legislation that applies to political staffers and the legislation is very, very similar at a state, territory and federal level. They basically analogs of each other because, you know, no politician wants a better version of that legislation and one jurisdiction, because then people are going to start arguing and being like well, why do I have rights? Some other people don't? So they've just maintained like a really shit basic standard for everybody. How Nice and you know. So I made requests around that, like meetings with the premier, conversations about law reform at like different jurisdictional levels, and I have one phone call and I'm told they'll definitely be an investigation. Will definitely talk about all of these other steps, and I say that you know, I want to ideally engage in advocacy with the kind of cooperation and support of the premier's office on these issues. So for me, the sort of starting point for my like formal campaigning was like in two thousand and eighteen, because that's when these key events for me were occurring. It's just not a part of a public narrative right now. And then after this first conversation we're in the chief of staff says, I'll definitely get back to you, it'll just be a few days. I hear nothing for three months and then after three months I get one email that doesn't really say very much at all but basically just confirms that, like the Premier's office kind of has unilateral jurisdiction over like what it chooses to investigate. Like the department doesn't really have a say. They can provide very broad guidance, but you know, the premier's office does what they feel that they've got to do and they have every right to do that. So at that point I sort of send an email saying, hey, be great to sort of touch faith and talk about like next steps. Can you please give me a call? And I never hear anything again. And we cap through just an August now of two thousand and nineteen. After I've told my story and I put in a call to the premier's office and say how I'm happy, I end that nothing ever happened and give them like a last chance to sort of do something. Basically, I then get an email from the chief of staff saying that how dare I miss characterize our communication when I had withdrawn my complaint? But she had the audacity, in saying this, to hit reply to the email in which I say give me a call so we can talk at that next steps in the complaints process. And in my mind I'm just like if you could a fucking guesslight me, can you at least guess, like meaning new email for it, like honestly, and you know I obviously you know. Then sort of say like this is just not okay. I now have the complaint in relation to you, you have not done anything and now you're just gas lighting me on top of it all. And at that point I just feel like things obviously aren't gonna work out in the premier's office, regardless of what they've said, and I feel like the only hope that I have to get any outcome...

...is to go to be my senior person in the New South Walest Liberal Party who has got Morrison. And if I've failed at the highest level of a state leader's office, my only other option, realistically politically, is to go to the prime minister's office, because one of the really big problems with the MOPSAC is that you don't have any rights to legal recourse. So it explicitly strips you of your workplace rights and Industrial Industryal Action Rights and workplace off in safety rights that every single other category of employee can rightly and usually take the branches that they ll all let's have. So, realistically, if I always gone to have any chance, if any action, the best place for me to go, and really the only place for me to go, with the Prime Minister's office, because I don't have and didn't have any of the usual legal options to other people have that they can think about. And so, you know, I give a call to the prime minister's office and ask for someone who'd call me back and I get called back by, I suppose, somebody who's now rather infamous and is sort of known as a chief sort of fix it and as one of his seeing aid Zuron, thinkal steam, and like in the conversation that I have with your on he sort of says choice things like I don't understand why you didn't go to the police, I don't understand why other women don't go to the police, and I just sort of said I know that you don't understand. That's the problem. You know, your level of government and your government continue to produce research on why it is extremely difficult for women to go to the police. It's very disappointing to me you're not across your own research that you've funded and sort of saying I don't believe that you've received the number of complaints, for scale of complaints that you say that relate to stay to end federal territory politics, because I'd also said I received a number of complaints that relate to former and current the drummers of parliament, including current cabinet ministers. So, and that was in August, two thousand and nineteen. And he just said I don't believe that, because we have a zero tolerance policy. Like it. That even means what he's trying to say, like having a zero tolerance policy means you don't tolerate it when you hear about it, not that it never happens. And you know, just proceeds to also say, in spite of this, Oh hey, but you know, just send me all of the information and evidence that we say that you've received from these women. Anyway, that's like so I'll guess like you, I'll tell you that I think that you're a liar and I'll also ask you to break the confidentiality of these women and send me all of the evidence, even though I refuse to say that I'll do anything about it. I asked You p'd be willing to sort of meet with me or if there's any capacity to have a meeting with the prime minister about these issues, because the only way for anything to change, given that this like overarching infrastructure, is about employment law and that's a a federal issue. And you know, the only way for there to be real action in the party is if the most senior Lea in New South Wales and in the party nationally is willing to take a stand and do something about it. And I get the response from here on, you're welcome to send a letter to the prime minister like any other member of the public, and I just say so, wait you're going to help me or not you're going to do anything, and he promises that he's going to call me the next day to help set up a meeting, and I just know to hear anything. And in February last year, when all the coverage around Britt story was occurring, I spoke to thirty and they had I gave them a copy of the recording of this conversation because I knew that you're on, would always lie about what had happened in that conversation or would refuse to hold himself accountable. And even though there is a recording...

...that is held by thirty and a basic to prove what I'm saying accurate, nonetheless a statement from the Prime Minister's office was still that I had never brought up anything to do with federal politics. Even thirty plays a clip in which I say I received a number of complaints that relate to federal parliamentarians and finite ministers. And also what they just to flet lie that they'd offered me all of this help in my own circumstance. And at no point was there ever an effort to correct this statement, because even if they didn't know that that recording was in the possession of thirty, not that it was okay to guess like me anyway, but at the point that it was aired and they would have realized, I'll fuck, they actually have the full recording. There's no way we can get out of this one. There was no effort to correct the record or to correct their statement, and I had heard from you know, journalists it around this time that at the time that I had first got in contact with the Prime Minister's office and around the time that this thirty piece occurred, that people in the Prime Minister's office were meeting and they were talking about me and, you know like backgrounding on me, and I, you know, just find it really, really disappointing that this has never been something that people have cared about quite the same way they've cared about other issues. And I suppose there are comparative issues that I think people have rightly responded to. That highlight white's so important to talk about instances where the Prime Minister's office is a gas lit and lied to and lied about survivors. One of those is when there was a press conference about like how pretty Higden's allegations have been handled and Andrew Kline basically ask him a question that he doesn't like about how all of this reflects on him and his leadership, and he chooses to sort of respond to that with that infamost you know glasshouses commented and saying, oh well, there's actually some sexual harassment going on in your office. Like who are you to sort of Lexure me? That's like fix your own stuff before you choose to criticize me, and it turns out he's just made the whole thing up, and obviously people were rightly upset about that. But then where's also the anger when a already marginal eyes like woman of color is being openly, unapologetically gas lit and lied about in official, formal statements to a mainstream media outlet? Like where is the outrage? Where is he upset around that and hearing that they're like intention as well with all of this erasure and gas lighting was to essentially reach the position of well, we don't know what to do with her, like she's still a member of the Liberal Party and we don't know how to handle that. We don't know how to handle her advocacy, so just going to pretend that she doesn't exist and hope that she's said dispirited, that she goes away like that. Their entire stance was premised on erasure and gas lighting and that nobody's really ever said or done much about that. was just horrendous to me that these things could be reported on in the National Media and yet somehow it seemed like nobody knew that it was happening, nobody cared that was happening. was just so damaging and so in that kind of context when the apology happened and to add to that context as well.

In spite of that, I also sent to letters in February and April, like begging the prime minister's Office to have a meeting to not only discuss my case but all of the people who are coming forward to me and to try to have a constructive conversation about what trauma informed or reform looks like. I've never received any response and so you know, when we get to this apology. They've known about these issues and they've known that I have a campaign working on these issues since the for more public launch of that campaign, like since it's very earliest days in two two thousand and nineteen. They were put on notice that I was aware of many cases that related to cabinet ministers in their government. They heard my specific requests for help. They didn't follow through. They ignored or pretended that I was lying when it came to the issues that those drawing to their attention. They ignored letters summarizing my advocacy and the issues that I was exploring the years at that stage through my campaign, and to then sort of seeing extension of this apparent like policy of a rasure in relation to me and work in the campaign that I'm doing in this apology, by just not recognizing the existence of a campaign specifically designed to deal with the issues that are being discussed just kind of felt like the final sort of just wound that I couldn't like tolerate or handle anymore, like I had been putting up so much erasure and I just felt like it had reached a point where, if I if I didn't push myself, in spite of the trauma around that, to like act in a big way, I just felt like I was at risk of disappearing all together somehow, like this was just a final assault on my identity and I just couldn't bear to be pushed away and pushed away and have people pretend that I didn't exist, because it's just, it's just such intolerable, substantial gas lighting, and it was at that point that I reached out to a risk of waters. I also made phone calls to maries paint up for saying I'm too redraumatized to speak with the prime minister's office after everything that happened, but I wanted to be the opportunity to, I provide me with some support and work together on this like no many more responses ever been provided and you know, it's just to then sort of not only have that apology occur, but to only find out about it on the morning of the apology through an ABC journalist who is seeking comment on the apology, was really, really, really, really hard to handle and I think for me, reacting to that by speaking to a number of different politicians and pushing for this issue to enter into the conversation in federal parliament was very much a moment of trauma and feeling that I just couldn't bear that the eraser to sort of go on anymore, and even that it had gone on for that point. I think was the result of how traumatized I was by the eraser and also, an extent, of internalized like racism in a sense that I just felt, how can I be just being treated like this? How is nobody objecting...

...to it? Why don't people care? Do I deserve this? Is a people right. Do I deserve that this to happen to me? But it's a sort of like, you know, do I deserve this happening to me if no one cares and no one's doing anything about it either? If I'm speaking about it, even if I've started a campaign on it, even if I've been leaving the way on it, if still, even after all that, no one sees, no one cares, and politically as a treating you poorly. Do I deserve this somehow? And is my work as valuable as I think it is? And it just forced me to, you know, internalize all of these fears and biases about myself in my own worth that took a long time to like undo, and I think this sort of a moment in time with, you know, we're risks. Speech and my statement and the kind of responses to that can kind of only be understood with with that context in mind when it comes to like seeing just how like damaging and personal this is, not just for me, but in terms of just the antipathy and disregard of the Prime Minister Zombist for anyone who isn't. Why? And this his gender and able bodied and female, because it, to me, really shows what the consequences are if you aren't like his daughters, if he can't relate to you, if you don't look just like him and you don't act like his family members. Like this is the treatment that you get, and that was was really what spurred me forward as well, like I felt, you know, even when I'm also in the position where I have had the privilege and fortune of being able to do media stories with a degree of cut through, and I'm still holding my head above water, like, what does this say about what the reality is for you know, diverse like, you know marginalized gender voices more broadly, and the reality that it communicates is, if you don't look like one of his daughters, you will be guessed lit and you'll be punished and they'll just try to drive you mad. And I just really couldn't, don't handle that all, exit with that anymore, and I just felt, and still do feel, very much driven by justice urge to remedy that eraser and like try desperately to call it out, because there is a really, really grim reality at play here when we really examine how that office has treated me and people like me, because it's an indication of the exact level of disregard and hatred that they have for anyone it doesn't look like them. And we aren't talking about that and we really need to, because it is a reality that impacts every minority identifying Australian because he does not relate to anyone who is in member of a minority. Obviously a lot of people won't report assaults, harassment rapes to, you know, their superiors or to the police for a lot of good reasons, but you're kind of in the opposite you did so much work in terms of reporting and putting in these complaints and calling all of these people, and you know too, I guess, to what end really, if it was just continuously pushed back on? What kind of what kept you going when you just kept taking it to...

...the next level, in the next level, in the next level, like, how did you kind of keep that energy up? Well, one of the like. It was actually quite intentional to exhaust every single complaints process in the sense that I wanted to prove that whenever a politician responds with but why didn't they use the complaints process? There's just an uptake about complaints process, but that's absolute bullshit, because you can pursue those complaints processes to the very end. And what will it get you? And I wanted to make the point that you can make every type of complaint and you can give people time to process that and you can give them the opportunity to act ethically and they will not do it. And so I wanted to make the cook like the case in terms of, you know, making complaints to my supervisors, like to the premier's office, like to the Liberal Party, like, you know, to these advisors federally, that you can try literally everything. The process is a design to fail because the people who are in charge of executing those processes have zero interest in those processes actually working and support wanting a just and procedurally fair outcome. And I was just so sick of those lines being carded up because, let's be real here, like you know, as you point out, there's a really big reason that they just is an uptake of those complaints processes, because we all know that they don't work. And so I wanted to sort of provide that final nail in the coffin briving, like you know what, I'll call you on your bluff. I will visu every complaints process to the very end and I will prove that you have no interest in any of them working because, as well, it's a prime minister's office wants to claim that it takes the issues seriously and that it actually cares about acting. Like, where the fuck were they when I told them that I had multiple complaints for relating to members of their government? Like, did they show any interest in even figuring out who those parliamentarians were? No, and like, what does that say about how much they truly care about policing these issues in their government? They didn't even want to know who the MP's were or the WHO the cabinet ministers were, and that is a really telling thing to me that the prime minister's office would rather employer policy of being able to claim we didn't know about this, by refusing to ask the clear details from people, then to actually gather information and be proactive and act to solve a problem they drive been by Selfdefense. Like I don't want to hear it. I don't want to know because I don't want to then have to act on anything or feel complicit in an evening. Not I want to hear about it because I want to do the right thing and I've just felt that it's just beyond revealing. But every single action, that I mean not even only the prime minister's office, but also like the opposition leader and his office, like every action that they've taken as ultimately been an action to serve the interests of that political leader, because even with the apology, like the only meeting that any it has ever been reported on that, if any of us have ever heard about, was like three business days, I've including the Thursday, was three business days before the apologies from the prime minister in the opposition leadershook place, and that was like the first only meeting it's been reported on that relate to what should be apologies look like. Who should they be given by, when should they be given? And I think what is clear is that, given that the Jenkins report had been handed done months before, the fact that this...

...wasn't better planned is really telling. The fact that this was the first meeting that the public has better been told about is really telling. The fact that we justistics was still being organized like literally the day before and there still arguments between the opposition leader's office and the Prime Minister's office the day before is really telling. And I keep hearing this like line coming out of Alban Easy's office saying like Oh, you know, but we always wanted to apologize, like in what? Like? In what terms, though? Like by always meant to apologize, you mean after the meeting three business days before the apology, not even at the meeting. After the meeting, you get your staff to contact the Prime Minister's Office to provide last minute notice of your intention to give a speech. You haven't written it, you didn't plan it, you react to what's happened in this meeting at the end of what is three business days before an apology and you then try to frame that as I always wanted to give an apology. You didn't say this week a J I contended done her report. You didn't say it before the meeting, you didn't say at the meeting. Like this was opportunism. He wanted to try to like blindside the prime minister's office by giving him last minute notice, hoping that the prime ministers are has to be too busy or, you know, just disorganized to pull anything together with an actual apology from the PM, and Albo was hoping will I'll just be the only one to give an apologies effectual leader. Obviously Morrison's office was then not going to allow that political move to work and Morrison said okay, well, now I'm also going to do an apology. But this was never about survivors from either of them because the context for this conversation and what the conversation happened is also important. Like they picked the last possible minute to talk about this apology at that time because they knew that the press club address was scheduled for next week. The fact that they did their apologies the day before the Press Club address delivered by great in Brittany Higgins, is so important because they wanted to neutralize the negative press that they knew was inevitable and that was coming in the wake of that addressed. They wanted to claim h but we've apologized, we've done something, it's okay. And so, in a way as well, it's like an attempt to gas light, an undercut the messages coming from that National Press Club address. To pointedly schedule your apology for the day before a National Press Club addressed from these young women about the failures of the government like this was always like very calculating and very strategic. If you really care about the issue, you're also not so fucking toned that you organize for all of this stuff to happen the day before a National Press Club address. Because they all know how the media works. They know that they're diminishing attention and like singular focus on that address. If they make a big to do the day before, they're making the conversation about them. They're not just allowing the conversation to be about those women and what they have to say. They could have picked any other time. They could have consulted survivors, they could have asked what the apology should look like in order to be sufficiently healing. Neither the opposition leader's office nor the Prime Minister's Office, environment anybody was exally sedgle. So you know as well when Al but I wants to say like, Oh, you know, I only plan to apologize. You mean always plan to do little work, the world's shittest apology? Cool, and in the same film set, both of them have now potentially jeopardized for its legal proceedings by making statements about the guilt that was potentially reflect on the guilt of a perpetrator. Yeah, in you know, delivering that apology before there's been an actual trial. And so they've also just kind of been...

...so thoughtless in how they went about this that they've potentially caused like further harm to a survivor, both because and both of them did that because both of them delivered very specific apologies to her as an individual and neither of them is apologized. The irony right. Yeah, neither of them as apologized for their shitty apology that like, jeopardized her trial from going ahead of scheduled. How has your experiences of the last few years shaped your career, your aspirations for your career that you may have held prior to all of this happening, and how is it shaped your views of the Liberal Party? In terms of my career, I think that the past sort of like a few years of advocacy have been really, really, really really key in shaping what I feel like is urgent and how I think I can make the best possible kind of contribution to like advancing the agendas and rights of minority identifying a marginalized gender people. I think whilst when I started my focus was far more on but leaves the right and ideal policies that we need to be talking about now, I think because how I've been treated, the level of erasure, like just how crippling about that was the fact that these past few years have, you know, somehow just transcended and any other experience of races. I've heard and I've had some pretty bad ones in terms of just making me feel so completely conscious of my disempowerment as it relates to my minority status in race. Like I think I've come to feel that the first priority, before you even get to specific policy questions, is creating like visibility and representation, because, sadly, unless people relate to individuals who are experiencing these things and can see queer, visible examples of diverse people going through these things, they aren't going to care, and we need to provide visibility to marginalize voices for this reason, because it has always been true, getting relation to social justice and human incase issues, that people care about these things only when they feel like they can relate to, like, a sufficient number of diverse people being impacted by that issue, and it doesn't serve anyone's interests for it to be suggested that these issues only impact relatively privileged white women, because this also improvides immunition to those who are trying to make the case against reform by think this isn't really a big deal, this doesn't happen to that many people. It's an aberration. It's the exception to the rule. You can't make that case, when you are hit with a number of diverse examples, you cannot get away with saying that, and so it's also just throwing the cause under the bus the more that we allow a reality in which the voices who dominate and monopolize the conversation are not voices that are representative of the diversity in this country. And I think we really need to think hard about that, because we can't be successful with, you know, the issues that we care about within feminism if we're not making sure that our case is like a water tight and bulletproof and we only do that by making sure that we center like diverse experiences and in terms of I suppose how that's shaped what I'm doing now. I've sort of decided, after, you know, this erasure, that one of the big things that I...

...want to do is finally kind of allow myself to really have a go at the campaign like full time. I haven't allowed myself to do that because I kept fearing, due to this erasure, that it might not take off, that I might not be able to make the most of it. But I want to give myself that chance to like dedicate myself like full time to this work and try to make sure that I can make it work and, you know, engage in this advocacy in a way that's a financially sustainable for me. And so, you know, like that's what I've sort of decided. I want to be a big focus like this year, like I want to really take that, you know, investment and like invest in myself and try to really push this advocacy and see it through in a big way. And in terms of my political party membership, I like to say that I'm a member of the needs out basible party and not the Federal Libal Party, because, you know, I'm moderate and very socially progressive, like identify with people like Matt King, who's always been a mentor of mine's like a very, very feminist, very pro climate action and, you know, because, like Matt Kine, have been really, really openly criticizing the federal real government and saying you're not doing good enough work, you need to change. And the individuals who cross the floor on the religious discrimination bill will moderate so like to me, like those of the people in my faction. Those are the people I stand with, like socially progressive people who are willing to put their money with their mouth hears and like take a stand where it actually matters, and there are a lot of people who I identify within the Party and to that extent I think that there is a real issue and how the media covers like both large political parties. Like, instead of hearing about people doing constructive things within a political party who are fighting to make it better, we hear about the worst elements of both political parties doing really crazy radical things, because in the media's eyes, this makes it for a great headline and for a great story. But is that really responsible? I personally don't think so, because you aren't hearing about, whether it's the Greens, whether it is the way of Party or whether it is the Liberal Party, like the individuals who are trying to fight to improve the party. And there's a reason, for example, that you know, within the Federal Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull lost his leadership. First, you know, if I think it was one on two votes on an ets and then the second time again over climate action, with like under like six votes of because Bible. So like, there are a lot of US federally and there are a lot of us and we are a majority on a state level. It isn't that we don't exist and it isn't helpful that, you know, people in the party trying to do the right thing just because of the fact that it's like, oh, sensible people trying to do sensible things. Doesn't make a great story, that it isn't things spoken of, because I just think that there is this, you know, really misleading picture of what political participation looks like in the context of being a member of like either of the two largest political parties. And a lot of people in labor rights and in the liberal left or rint, you know, we call them the moderates, but it's a little left say. You know, have things gone slightly differently, I could have ended up in either faction. So there's enough in common between Labor right and the liberal left the people to feel like, you know, depending on these circumstances, they could have ended up in one or the other, because everyone in my faction like really admise people like Keating and see his huge merit in what he achieved. So there's more in common, I think, than people realize or think about. And I think one of the really big issues in politics broadly at a federal level is that we too rarely speak about how to take that shared common ground...

...and how to use it to further important policy agendas. Because at a state level in New South Wales, like bills on convent education, on like affirmative consent, on, you know, abortion, were kind of corresponsive by the nationals, the like Liberal Party, the Labor Party in the Greens or like, you know, the nationals, Liberal Party and the Greens. So it's it's been like healthy cooperation from key figures across all of those political parties who share values to like get important legislation across the line and I think like that's a really beautiful reality that reflects the diversity of opinion that can exist in political parties and it's a real shame to me that we don't see any of that sort of cooperation at a federal level. And I think the other part of why it's important to me to be a member of the party is, like no one, in my opinion anyway, is an ongoing member of a political party because it's perfect. And the reason that I'm a member of the party is because I don't want to just allow for you know, White Conservative decad that were just meant to maintain like a stranglehold over decision making, and the only way things to change, even though it's not fair for this burden to exist on people of color, like, unfortunately, the only way for things to change is for diverse people to join up and sign up two political parties and like force the you know, force different members to be pre selected as the candidates and like force through, you know, like a different policy positions than currently exists. And so for me, it's not that it's easy or that I necessarily enjoy it all the time, it's that I don't want to give up and I want to make sure that I fight for the party to improve. And I think that that's just always been a really big part of Lubal participation for me because, you know, my like family history and stories very much one of a response to colonization. Like nobody in my family attends ancestors was ever politically involved because it was ideal. It was well, we need to fight for our rights, and the only way to fight for our rights is to get involved in like messy, difficult, traumatic situations and might fight for better. And so to me, I think political participation in a major political party isn't a choice, it's like a necessity, because these parties like have to change so that the rights of minorities are truly respected, and I want to do my part to make sure that this political party, you know, changes for the better and that people in the party who believe in things like climate action and feminism are the voices that we're listening to and not the kind of conservative Christian voices. A really good first step is sort of unpacking this idea that I think a lot of white survivors and like feminists have of like scarcity, they can only be one, and also like I deserve to be here, like I deserve this, and yet not questioning the fact that there is no diversity and representation. I think that a lot of well meaning people have like definitions of racism and racism and like what they look like that aren't particularly helpful in the sense that I think they feel that raisism and sexism, of these like intentional acts, for you're intending to hurt someone from a marginalized razor and marginalise gender like. That isn't the case. You can think that you're doing the right thing and cause harm. So the point isn't intention. The point is, like, what is the actual outcome of my actions, like, are my actions resulting in an outcome that is causing a greater level of diverting and representation to exist, or are my actions resulting in...

...lest diversity and representation or no change whatsoever? It needs to be outcome focused. So I think the first step is for people to say the point isn't my intention. I am living in a society that is impacted by the genocidal colonialism and racism. It is inevitable that racism and sexism will interfere with an impact my actions. So I need to be constantly scrutinizing my actions, to think about whether they are benefiting minorities or harming minorities, and that needs to be like a constant exercise. The people engage in. I think, healthy ways to then take that exercise and turn it into a real positive results include like small, day to day things, like making sure that if and when someone from a minority background comes to you and it says that they're upset with something that you've done, do not ever be defensive, like it isn't about being differ sensive. The point isn't that you even need to feel guilty, but because if you accept that, it's inevitable. The your actions will be impacted, like you'll start to realize how silly it is to think that and how racist didn't of itself or sexy didn't of itself. It is to think that a marginized person is just trying to make you feel bad and that you need to defend yourself. The point is that they just not to speak for people but, like, I think one of the big points whenever somebody comes forward and speaks about these things is, I just want for my experience to be validated, I want for my trauma to be validated, I want to be pain and bias that is causing my experience to go away, and so I think people need to reevaluate and change how they provide a response to those you kind of come forward and saying what you did hurt me, and make sure that they react to those critiques in a way that is healing and validating for the person who's coming forward to them and have the humility to not take a step back and say, okay, well, what is my blind spot here? How can I understand the way that I've hurt this person? Like, how can I take responsibility for that? How can I find a healthy and constructive way forward. That needs to be the thought process. I think, on a broader scale, that there needs to be like a went ongoing commitment to making sure that, you know, you send to an uplifts of diverse voices if there are sort of like opportunities to speak and in a debate, or if there are media opportunities or like, if there are like any other like options that arise to sort of visibility. But the reaction and responsibility from those with privileges to say I need to make sure that I am making space for diverse experiences to be given sufficient representation. If you didn't find US completely insufferable, come back next Wednesday for a new episode. Could also find this on instagram at cheek media core or online cheek Mediacom donated. Yes, that's the one. That's the one.

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