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What’s The One Issue That Could Change The Way You’ll Vote?

We ask 10 women from all over Australia to share what matters to them

Felicity Robinson

Unsurprisingly, the election is dominating the news but here at PRIMER, we’ve noticed that so-called ‘women’s issues’ – like child care, gendered violence and gender equality – haven’t received top billing.

What are the issues that will influence women’s votes? Does anyone actually care? We do, so we asked 10 women from different cultural backgrounds all over Australia to tell is what matters to them. And you can tell us, too, in the super-short survey at the end of the story.

Georgina Nikitaras, 49, executive assistant and finance officer, Greek-Australian, Hobart

“Climate change is my number one concern. With the fires and floods we’ve had, you can see that it’s already affecting us. I’d love to see better policies on renewable energy and subsidies for electric cars, particularly as fuel is so expensive now, too.”

Top three issues: Climate change, cost of living, housing affordability

Hannah Blaine, 34, clinical neuropsychologist, Alice Springs

“I live in Alice Springs, so there are many issues affecting remote parts of Australia that I was completely ignorant to, prior to moving out here. The biggest is the availability and access to community-based healthcare, as well as the very long waitlists for safe and appropriate housing. The waitlist in the Northern Territory is six years for some people to get a government-supported residence.”

Top three issues: Healthcare, housing, youth programs in rural and remote areas

Amy Nyugen, founder of Zen Tea Lounge Foundation, western Sydney

“Child care is the big issue for me. I work with women who’ve fled domestic violence and it’s very hard for a single mother with no support to work and pay for child care. Some of them have even returned to their abuser because they can’t copy financially. Child care should be free.”

Top three issues: Child care, the mental health system, employment opportunities for women and people with disabilities

Zoe Simmons, 26, journalist and author, Melbourne

“I’m a member of a very subjugated culture — the disability community. I only realised I was disabled last year, after years of suffering with chronic pain, fatigue and mental illness. It opened my eyes to a lot of the issues disabled people face — so this is mostly what I’m concerned about for the election.”

Top three issues: Disability, bush management and climate change, cost of living

Sonia Shoukath, 39, program coordinator, Sydney

“Having two young kids, climate change is the number one issue for me. I find the current government’s position really concerning, particularly the fact they’re still advocating for coal mining in Queensland, for example, and putting short-term financial gain ahead of the long-term effects on the environment. I have two young kids, and I worry for their future. What will happen in 15-20 years’ time?”

Top three issues: Climate change, cost of child care, health care

Sabina Patawaran, 19, student, Sydney

“I moved here in 2009 from the Philippines, which is a country where you can’t rely as much on the government for help, due to long-standing issues with corruption. Here, the government does have the capacity and resources to further improve people’s standard of living. I’d like to see them address the rising cost of living, along with enacting policies that support better health care and education. I also want to see a pivot to renewable energy.”

Top three issues: Climate action, living standards, political corruption

Janet Curtain, 67, Aboriginal muralist, Ballarat

“I’d like the government to make it easier for people with healthcare issues to get financial support. My granddaughter has low-functioning autism and received a letter from Centrelink asking her to let them know when she was better. There’s a lack of sensitivity there, and you have to jump through so many hoops to get help.”

Top three issues: Health care, disability support, politicians’ behaviour in public life

Lizzie Townsend, 48, management consultant, Melbourne

“I’ve been unimpressed by the current government’s response to the crises we’ve experienced over the past few years, particularly its slow rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination program. While I don’t know if Anthony Albanese is the silver bullet, ScoMo certainly isn’t shining for me. In this next term, I’d also like to us to reconsider our reliance on UK and US foreign policy, and think more about our neighbouring countries.”

Top three issues: Climate change, gender equality in the workplace, foreign policy

Alice Bacon, 53, Lebanese-Australian, transformation coach, Adelaide

“I have come to know several homeless people around Adelaide in my time, and we desperately need more affordable public housing. Even tiny homes are worth exploring. It’s an affordable way to extend dignity and provide protection for our most vulnerable.”

Top three issues: Homelessness, education, cost of living

Alicia Young, 54, writer and speaker 

“I want to see more funding to fight poverty. Low-income families buckle under the pressure of putting food on the table and keeping the heating on. It’s a slow grind that wears away at the soul. This extends to more funding for women and children needing to escape family violence. Gloria Steinem said the most dangerous place for a woman is still her own home. These women deserve more options.”

Top three issues: Poverty, initiatives to fight gendered violence, more funding for libraries

Which issues matter the most to you? We’d love to hear from you, so we can make sure we’re bringing you the stories you want to read. Please tell us here in our super-short (ie three question) survey.











BY Felicity Robinson

Felicity is the co-founder of PRIMER

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