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Kitchen Table Conversations

Kitchen Table Conversations (KTCs) where held with participants around Victoria.  Participants were asked four questions and the responses to each question were identify into common themes and the words relating to those themes. Susan will use feedback from the Kitchen Table Conversations to shape her election commitments. Below are the key questions and the common themes:

WHAT UNITES US AS VICTORIANS

What do you love about Victoria? What makes Victoria different to other parts of Australia (if anything?) What unites us as Victorians?

“It’s a smaller state so we can explore it more, therefore feel we understand other parts of the state and maybe therefore we are more connected”

  • Smaller state, friendly capital city
  • Diverse environment (coasts and mountains)
  • More tolerant of differences – cultural diversity, disability, gender, age
  • Climate conscious
  • We tend to think nationally
  • Progressive ideas
  • Equitability
  • Good government
  • Our state capital is accessible to most part of the state

WHAT MATTERS TO US

What are the federal issues that most affect you and the people you care about? Are there federal issues that affect Victoria in particular? What would you like Victorian Senators to do to address these issues?

“We need to see our potential and opportunities – we are blessed with renewable resources – we could be a green energy powerhouse”

  • Climate action – a greener future
  • Integrity and transparency
  • Addressing natural disasters and preparedness
  • Equality for women, refugees and people with a disability
  • Education and university funding
  • Connecting communities
  • Media influence in politics
  • Strength in science, technology, agriculture and research opportunities
  • Healthcare, Medicare, Aged care and NDIS
  • Pandemic preparedness and impact of Covid
  • Roads, safety and public transport
  • Economy
    • Tax issues – need reform
    • Low wages growth
  • Lack of Local government funding from Federal government
  • Housing affordability and cost of living
  • Refugee and asylum seeker treatment
  • Review of foreign investment of land

SENATE REPRESENTATION

What values do you expect senators to respect and consider when contributing to parliamentary discussions and decision making? How do you want to engage with, and be heard by your Senators? How would you like your Senators to keep in touch with Victorians?

“Senators have to develop engagement and consultation with smaller groups”

  • Connection with community – regular updates, moderated interaction, being kept informed, kitchen table conversations
  • Information and education that’s shared
  • Citizen juries
  • Integrity, respect, fairness – holding values to account
  • Sound public service
  • Consideration of all demographics
  • Open house in parliament for visitors, schools etc
  • Regular regional visits for ‘listening’ to constituents
  • Ability to bring about change and good governance – considered representation and decision making
  • Look at the bigger picture
  • Rational people deciding on legislation based on what’s best for the country and not just for one party
  • Environmental awareness
  • People before money and corporations

THE FUTURE

What is the best future for Australia? How can we be good ancestors? What legacy do you want the 2022 parliament to leave for communities and future parliamentarians? What do parliamentarians need to do and say to be good ancestors?

“Brave policy on climate change, sustainable and affordable housing”

  • Accountability – learn from our past
  • Stronger, vibrant and engaged
  • Innovation for the economy
  • Food security
  • Greener future – leaders in Climate Action
  • Housing affordability – more social housing
  • Wellness – mental health
  • Longer election cycle (4 years) – long term vision
  • Education system and funding
  • Placing people first
  • Listening to younger generations
  • Equality – first nations, gender, diversity
  • Meaningful, respectful relationships
  • Investment in research in development

The aim of the Kitchen Table Conversation Guide is to give you the tools to reflect on what is important to you and your friends and family, and ensure your voices are heard in my campaign.

I encourage you to invite a diverse group of people to participate in your conversation. The key to the success of these conversations is that all views are offered with respect.

I have seen the power of Kitchen Table Conversations in grassroots election campaigns. I know it is a huge challenge to capture views from across Victoria, and I can’t wait to hear about conversations across our beautiful state.

What happens with the feedback?

Feedback from Kitchen Table Conversations will directly shape my election commitments. I want to ensure that when I am elected to Parliament, I make decisions on your behalf.