Comedian and writer Mandy Nolan is now having trying politics.
Comedian and writer Mandy Nolan is now having trying politics.

Nolan: ‘In Canberra, I will be dealing with the misogyny’

Greens candidate for Richmond, comedian and writer Mandy Nolan, thinks she will face misogyny in Canberra if she gets elected.

The artist-turned-politician said she will continue doing comedy and writing if she is elected, and that the main issue she will have to work on if she is elected is housing.

- What is, personally, the biggest challenge you face as a candidate?

I think from what I am watching in Canberra, I will be dealing with the misogyny and this political machine that just wants to turn you into what they perceive as a politician.

I am not a career politician.

I was actually loving my career as a stand up and as a writer.

I am doing this because I believe we need the Greens at a federal level to make a difference, and to bring our government to account on climate change.

The thought of so much time away from my husband and almost 12 year old daughter is a bit heartbreaking. But they are so supportive.

- Do you agree with every single current policy by the Greens?

Actually I do. Before I accepted candidacy I sat down and read all their policy about three times.

If there was one I didn't believe in I think it would have been hard for me to proceed.

The Australian Greens have a Policy and Principles document that has been developed for over 30 plus years. It's so humane, it is about protecting the rights of the vulnerable - that being our planet, our first nations, women, people from migrant backgrounds, people with disabilities, the young, the aged, our non human species. It is common sense.

The policy does not exist to enshrine the rights and entitlement of the privileged - the captains of industry would struggle. This is a document of humanity and hope for us. The ordinary people who would like to see some change.

 

Mandy Nolan .
Mandy Nolan .

 

- What will happen to comedy and writing? Would you stop at some point? Can they coexist?

I believe they can coexist. I am really careful to keep my roles as separate as I can.

My values are absolutely aligned with the Greens, which is lucky, so I can continue to write my regular column.

I am a fierce believer in independent journalism and would never use that platform to spruik my candidacy.

I will just keep doing what I do - pointing out ironies, having a laugh, provoking conversation on topical subjects.

It's the same as a comedian. I won't sanitise myself or become this cardboard corflute of a woman on a stick in your front yard. I am a passionate, outspoken, funny, sometimes outrageous woman. That is my authenticity.

That is what people want I believe - something or someone they trust because they have the courage to be themselves. For workload balance I have to start making decisions about what I do and what I say no to, but I don't intend to stop.

The only change I want is from our major parties. I'm me. I won't be wearing a suit and getting a nice bob.

- If you became the member for Richmond, what would be the main issue you think the constituency would like you to work for?

Without a doubt housing is the issue of most pressing concern in Richmond.

It is the one issue that unites our entire region.

People are being pushed out of their communities, businesses are struggling to find staff as lower income people often can't live here. Both our major parties have abdicated their responsibility in this department. They are 15 years behind in building social housing.

We have wait lists in this region of over 1000

people. Housing should never be seen as welfare. It is social infrastructure.

Building social housing is also good for our local economy. For every $1 spent, we get $2.90 back into our local economy.

We have been forgotten, and now we have families living in their cars. I get emails every day that break my heart.

Women in their 80s are being evicted. A 28 year old mum in Ballina with a 7 year old who reached out to me because she has had nothing but rejection. It's cruel.

Housing is a human right, and I will make sure that we get money allocated at a federal level and a solid commitment to programs that give our community of Richmond equity in their housing.



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