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The Big Teal cover

The Big Teal: Simon Holmes à Court in conversation with Kate Chaney MP (Perth)

Please join us to celebrate the Perth launch of Simon Holmes à Court’s new book, The Big Teal, the latest in Monash University Publishing’s In the National Interest Series.

The author will be joined by Kate Chaney MP, the Independent Federal Member for Curtin, for a conversation about the book.

About the book

‘We will not achieve net zero in the cafes, dinner parties and wine bars of our inner cities.’ Little infuriated the forgotten people of the twenty-first century — women and younger voters, especially — more than Scott Morrison’s deluge of disparagement on the issues that mattered to them. The May 2022 election marked the great re-engagement of those ignored and patronised for too long on climate, integrity and gender equity.

The electoral map has been dramatically redrawn. However, the triumph of the ‘teals’ was not entirely unexpected to those assisting their rise, such as Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes à Court. As Australia entered its lost decade on climate action, he observed that conventional advocacy had become a case of diminishing returns, and that Cathy McGowan’s election as a community independent in 2013 provided a template for direct political engagement. The result was Climate 200, a crowdfunded outfit intended to provide the money and expertise to better match the major parties and turbocharge the grassroots movement emerging in thirty-plus electorates.

Despite a relentless and increasingly shrill campaign of vilification aimed at Holmes à Court and the candidates by the Liberals, assisted by their media mates, we saw the election of six new community independent MPs and one senator. It was a victory of facts over fear, priorities over prejudice. It was a blow to the unfit-for-purpose ‘majoritariat’, a rejection of the false binary choice between parties that no longer reflect the hopes and complexity of modern democratic Australia.

This is the story of how a team of inspired young tech-heads and older sages used their real and virtual-world experience to help a cluster of communities get the representation they wanted.

To pre-purchase your book ahead of Perth launch, purchase via Boffins Books website and add a note in “Additional Instructions & Comments” box at checkout: “For collection at the launch on 14 October.

Banner with text 'The Big Teal book launch' and a picture of hands holding a copy of the book on a teal background

The Big Teal – Book Launch (online)

Join Simon Holmes à Court in conversation with the Guardian’s political editor Katharine Murphy and the Independent Member for Curtin, Kate Chaney, to celebrate the launch of his book, The Big Teal, the latest instalment in Monash University Publishing’s In the National Interest series.

About Simon Holmes à Court

Simon is an energy analyst, clean-tech investor, climate philanthropist, director of the Smart Energy Council and the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, and the founder and convenor of Climate 200. He was co-founder of the Australian Wind Alliance and inaugural chair of the Melbourne Energy Institute’s Advisory Board.

About Katharine Murphy

Katharine Murphy is Guardian Australia’s political editor. She has worked in Canberra’s parliamentary gallery for 15 years. In 2008, she won the Paul Lyneham award for excellence in press gallery journalism, while in 2012 she was a Walkley award finalist in the best digital journalism category.

About Kate Chaney

Kate Chaney is the Independent Federal Member for Curtin in Western Australia. She is WA’s first female Independent Federal Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives.

The World Turned Upside Down event

The World Turned Upside Down

Cathy McGowan, Adam Bandt, Allegra Spender and others

The cross benches in our federal parliament got quite a bit more crowded at this year’s election. Will this Independents movement continue to grow? And how will they enact their agenda with the new government?

Live in-person event | Also available on Stream

How will the new politics change Canberra?

Voters in this year’s federal election made a historic move away from the two-party system, and a record number of Independents and Greens candidates have been elected. Labor was able to form government in its own right, but many suggest this might well be the last time a major political party does. Stitching together coalitions after an election in order to form a government is the norm in some countries – could this become the norm here?

Join these cross-bench trendsetters as they put our new state of affairs under the microscope. How will these new voices in power hold the government to account? What role will the Senate play, where the balance of power is in play?” to “What role will the Senate play, where the crossbench holds the balance of power is?

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Cathy McGowan came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an Independent in 2013.  The community backed her again in 2016.  In 2019 Indi made Australian political history when Dr Helen Haines was elected as Indi’s second, independent woman. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, constitutional change for first nations people and a solution to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. She is an Officer in the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm in the Indigo Valley in NE Victoria.

Adam Bandt is the Federal Member for Melbourne and Leader of the Australian Greens. Adam is the Greens spokesperson for the Climate, Energy and Employment & Workplace Relations. Adam was elected to the Federal Parliament in 2010, making history as the first Green elected to the House of Representatives at a general election.

The Australian Greens are now the third biggest party in Australia’s history after gaining an extra three seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the 2022 Federal Election.

Allegra Spender is the independent member for the federal seat of Wentworth. She is a mum, business leader, and renewable energy advocate, and was elected in 2022 on a platform of climate action, integrity, inclusivity, and a future-focused economy. Allegra has diverse leadership experience in the corporate, non-profit, private, and public sectors. She started her career at McKinsey & Company, before working at the U.K. Treasury and in a leading U.K. public teaching hospital. From 2008 to 2016, Allegra was the Managing Director of Carla Zampatti, a leading Australian designer fashion business. She was also Chair of Sydney Renewable Power Company, a renewable impact investment company that financed over 500kw of solar on the International Convention Centre. Prior to standing for Wentworth, Allegra was the CEO of Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) a social mobility not-for-profit. The network is made up of a group of forty leading corporations, including Macquarie, Microsoft, Lendlease, Optus and Bain, whose team members mentor over 5,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Allegra has a degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and has completed courses from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, the University of London’s Birkbeck, and Harvard Business School. Allegra is married with three young children and in her spare time is a keen runner.

Democracy Sausage

Grilling the Democracy Sausage

Does our country have a vision for a stronger economy, fairer society, and more environmentally sustainable future? Who dares to imagine and fight for a better Australia? Speakers include Jo Dyer, Stephen Charles, Mehreen Faruqi. Moderated by Chris Wallace.

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