Welcome to the September edition of What Matters? New England Electorate (WMNEE) Newsletter. We aim to publish one each month to keep you in the loop with our progress. Lots of good news this month.
The Film is on limited release until 19 October, and we are very excited to have access to it for the 48 hour period 7-9 October. Craig Reucassel has partnered up with comedian Christiaan Van Vuuren to make the feature documentary Big Deal: Is our democracy for sale? Given issues of integrity and transparency in government have emerged as significant issues from the Kitchen Table Conversations, we think the opportunity to view the film is too good to pass up.
This film is going to be a game changer. It’s really tough to find ways of reaching Australians who care about good democracy, but have become cynical. Craig and Christiaan have nailed it, asking hard questions about the way big industries, big money, lobbyists and fossil fuels, influence our politicians. The political analysis is hard-nosed and gripping, but it’s also a hilarious, heart-warming and ultimately hopeful story of people power.
The first 100 people to respond to email@example.com will be sent a free link, and we encourage you to gather your family and friends (now that you can) and watch a truly funny, engaging, scary and serious film. Some of our members have seen an early release and thoroughly recommend it. It is a great chance to make reform of Democracy an issue every politician has to confront in the next federal election, while informing your friends and family of some of the issues that they need to consider.
Zoom Kitchen Table Conversations
Even though restrictions have eased in most of the electorate and face-to-face KTCs may be possible, you can also host a Zoom Kitchen Table Conversation (KTC). We will provide the Facilitator and Scribe and set the Zoom meeting up for you, so just contact Bar Finch, KTC Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org who will set all the wheels in motion.
For those who do not want to Host, but are still keen to participate in a KTC, maybe with a friend or two, we will be holding two Zoom sessions on the following days and times:
- Saturday October 2nd at 2:00pm
- Monday October 4th at 7:00pm
Just register your interest, specifying which day, with Bar Finch at email@example.com and we will send you a link.
Members Informal meeting
The Coordinating Committee has agreed to defer the Annual General Meeting until later in the year, or even early next year, in the hope that members can attend a physical meeting. However, given members are spread over the electorate, it has been decided to hold an informal get together for members by Zoom.
In an electorate that’s 450km from top to bottom, community contact was always going to be a challenge, but covid restrictions have seriously added to that challenge. Over a hundred people from Scone to Deepwater have already taken part in Kitchen Table Conversations, either in person or on zoom, but members have not been able to gather as a group, or put faces to names.
So on Sunday 10th October at 4:30pm, the What Matters Coordinating Committee will host a zoom for members and friends, with two parts: there will be a report on progress so far, and an opportunity for comments and questions; and there will be a discussion about the film Big Deal, following it streaming at a (free) ticketed event held just before. If you would like to attend the Member Forum, register at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive the link.
Member spotlight – Kyle Wellsmore
Kyle has lived in Armidale for nine years after he moved to study law and criminology at the University of New England in 2012. Kyle found his career passion in the disability sector three years ago. Originally a Snowy Mountains boy, Kyle is a keen snowboarder, and also plays and coaches field hockey.
Kyle has always been very interested in politics – he even remembers watching Question Time on sick days at home as a kid! In studying law, Kyle got to learn more about how political processes affect the lives of everyday Australians, particularly those in minority and disadvantaged communities.
Kyle says: “I volunteer with What Matters because something needs to change for our democracy to actually represent the people and keep the people’s interests at the forefront of decision making.