NSW Policy Forum Candidates

Source: http://www.nswalp.com/policy-forum-election

Farid Ahmed

Marrickville Central branch


I am an active ALP member, and serve the Party in various capacities including as Vice-President and Assistant Secretary of the Marrickville Central Branch, and as a delegate or alternate to Marrickville LGC, SEC and FEC. I am also Vice-Chair and board member of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW.

My involvement in community works in numerous roles has given me a unique opportunity to mix with people from different backgrounds and understand their need and concerns.

I have a special interest in the community and wish to act on their needs and views with regard to implementing policy. I wish to present ideas for formulating policy to assist people in the local community and to attract more interest and support for our Party at this critical moment.

David Armstrong

Ku-Ring-Gai branch

An active member of the NSW Labor Party for most of my adult life, I feel the party is in need of new blood, fresh ideas, and to confront the real issues facing NSW society.

Rank and file members are important contributors to the party and their ideas, suggestions and beliefs should be debated and presented in a positive way to Party leadership.

A union member with a trade background I am not a power broker, union employee, nor do I work in parliament.

It’s time for rank and file members to be more involved in their Party’s future. Please make your vote really count and vote for me, let’s return the party back to the Party we all joined.

Edmond Atalla

Rooty Hill branch


I recognise that the rank-and-file Party Structure is the foundation stone of our Party.  I also believe that the rank-and-file sentiment expressed, is a major representation of the sentiment expressed by the general public, and by actively listening to the voice of the rank-and-file; I will also be listening to the voice of our Labor supporters.

I commit to actively listen to the rank-and-file, and to represent their voice at the Policy Forum, and to use my 20+ years of professional experience as a policy maker to help the Forum with the formulation of policy consistent with our Labor values.

Leanne Atkinson

Bega branch


Email Leanne

M: 0414 417 315

In the wake of defeat, NSW Labor has been presented with a real opportunity. We have a chance to redefine what we stand for.

During my campaign in March in the Bega electorate, I spoke to people about our policies. The common theme was that people in the street no longer understood what Labor represented.

For me, Labor represents, among other things, equity, social justice and compassion.  However, some of these values seem to have been lost in government policies of recent years. Those core Labor principles must provide the basis for our future direction.

We now have an opportunity to create policies that reflect the needs of both city and country and of the values we hold true.

Gayle Barbagallo

Rooty Hill

Gayle Barbagallo, Western Sydney mother, grandmother, SEC president, FEC president, true believer.

I have watched recognition of the rank-and-file of the Australian Labor Party decline alarmingly over the last decade in particular. I believe the rank-and-file are the Labor  Party, we are the voice of the people in the street, the average citizen. We live in the real world. If you want to know what the electorate is thinking, ask us, we are the electorate.

I would be honoured to carry our collective voice to the New South Wales Policy Forum where I will make myself heard.

George Barcha

Smithfield branch


Email George

M: 0426 042 649

Vote 1 for a voice for Western Sydney

As a delegate to the Policy Forum I want to bring the voice of Western Sydney to the table to turn the tide and reverse our fortunes in this crucial area by:

  • Holding regular public forums in Western Sydney, to gauge the views and ideas of the community, something which at present is lacking;
  • Fighting for increased funding for transport infrastructure projects which will benefit the people of Western Sydney; and
  • Tackling our youth unemployment problem by encouraging business to offer more apprenticeships through tax incentives and/or government funding.

By reaching out to the people of Western Sydney we can make a difference and ensure that our fortunes improve.

Carol Berry

Thirroul branch

Email Carol

Carol Berry has held senior policy and CEO positions across the non-government sector in NSW and has practiced as a solicitor specializing in health and human rights law.

Carol has been an elected member on the Board of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), and has well-developed policy knowledge across health (including mental health), education, disability and aged care.

Carol’s policy priorities are education, health and the environment and ensuring that Australia protects its tradition of a fair go for all. Carol is 35 years old and lives in Wollongong with her husband and three children.

James Brann

Bathurst branch



My name is James Brann and I’m the Secretary of Chifley’s Bathurst Branch.

I’m a country boy – I was born in Moree; I grew up in Dubbo, and now live in Bathurst, NSW.

I have worked as a teacher in regional and remote areas of NSW.

I’m nominating on the basis of education reform and issues directly affecting country NSW. I want to put these issues firmly to the forefront of NSW Labor policy.

It’s time for new blood in the decision making process of NSW Labor and with your help, I’m hoping to be a part of new voice for country NSW.

Darcy Byrne


As a manager of youth centres in disadvantaged communities and a local Labor Councillor I’ve seen firsthand that the best ideas come from the bottom up. I have also seen that good policy can help change the lives of people who need a helping hand.

That’s why I am standing as a rank-and-file delegate. We need to take control of our policy agenda away from political operators and give it back to our members and the broader social justice movement.

I am asking for your support but also for you to join in the renewal of our party.

Cassandra Coleman

Lithgow branch


I’m Cassandra Coleman. I work in the public service, I’m an active union delegate and I live in the Lithgow area.

With common sense, courage and commitment, I will work towards making NSW Labor the Party of choice for country people through improved policy on regional health, employment, infrastructure and services.

While raising two daughters and a husband, I work on a number of committees, I understand the importance of community spirit and that most country people want to pay their own way so they can improve their standard of living for future generations.

Please Vote 1 Cassandra Coleman, invest in Labor’s future.

Byron Danby

Enfield South branch


Policy and its development should always be our first priority. With all the focus on fighting short term battles we are losing the long term struggle.

While conservatives can say “things should stay the same” we do not have this luxury. We must constantly look to the future and to new ideas about making our state and country better.

It’s important we take the opportunity to directly elect forum members seriously. A belief in the importance of public healthcare and education should not be a catchphrase, it should be core Labor business and the people we elect should reflect this.

Policy is my passion. I want your support to bring this passion to the NSW Policy Forum.

Raj Datta

South Strathfield

Rebuilding Australia as a knowledge nation

The performance of Australian secondary students has been declining and the achievement gaps between students from wealthy areas and those from disadvantaged areas have widened since the Howard funding model was introduced in 2001.

Investment in each private school student is three times that of each public school student.

If this continues, our best talents won’t necessarily be in the competition, leading to eventual erosion of prosperity, social equity, mobility and integration.

To ensure our kids perform to their full potential, our system must be totally merit based and ensure that academic and sports excellence are revered equally.

Kieran Drabsch

Ballina branch


Email Kieran

Our society demands Labor policies which drive an equitable society. As a member of the Policy Forum I will review and formulate policies which drive social cohesion and economic prosperity.

My objective is to assist Labor in forming a modern and contemporary party platform with a focus on:

  • Regional employment – especially youth employment;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Economic management which promotes an equitable society;
  • Fostering new membership in the ALP; and
  • Promoting world class public education

By voting 1 for Kieran Drabsch you will be voting in support of a stronger NSW Labor Party.

Trevor Drake

Hardy’s Bay branch

If we are to regain credibility and respect, and win back government, we must differentiate our party by providing solid policy proposals reflecting Labor’s long held traditional values and beliefs.

If we cannot provide this distinction, the community will see no reason to change its vote at the next election.

The NSW Policy Forum needs individuals who can make a positive contribution to help steer the Forum to formulate the policies needed to win Government. I practice law on the Central coast, and I believe I am one of those individuals, and ask for your vote.

Lachlan Drummond

Randwick-North branch


My name’s Lachlan – I’ve been an ALP member since 2006. I’m President of Inner City Young Labor, and the Assistant Secretary of Coogee SEC.

I’m running for 3 reasons:

1. Our Party must promote equality and apply it to policy. Not just equality of opportunity, but greater equality in outcomes – in health, education, service delivery, infrastructure and employment prospects between regions; and equality under the law and in our justice system.

2. Our Party must speak loudly about youth issues, including unemployment, suicide and homelessness.

3. Our party needs fresh new faces who care – regardless of faction or region.

Marilyn Eade

Mayfield branch

I believe I have the track record to be part of this new policy direction; a key to returning Labor in State seats like Newcastle! And it’s great to be able to take part in a rank and file preselection…
Mathew Ferguson

Parramatta branch


Email Mathew

M: 0421 934 228

If the Policy Forum is going to work we need representatives committed to reconnecting the ALP to rank and file members.

I strongly believe in engaging members and advocating for what you believe is right.

I have a strong track record of engaging and listening to the community. I will focus these skills to ensure our party is developing policy that reflects our members.

As a project manager I have worked across a range of important policy areas including community funding, education, child protection and native title.

I understand the importance of getting policy right for our party’s future.

Nick Finch

Coffs Harbour branch

As a resident of a regional centre for the past 28 years, I have the lifestyle of my choice on the Mid-North Coast of NSW.

With a slower pace of life, a true sense of community and wide open spaces comes a down side; a lack of services, a sense of isolation for many, a lack of employment prospects and lower standards of living.

NSW Labor’s journey to reconnect with the voters of this State must include regional areas.

The policy focus needs to continue to develop secure employment with enforceable protections, affordable housing, social services and regional economic development.

Julia Finn

Harris Park branch


Julia Finn is President of Harris Park Branch and Parramatta FEC, a Parramatta City Councillor and former Lord Mayor.

She works for Housing NSW in Policy and Strategy and previously worked in energy and superannuation policy.

Holding masters degrees in International Development and Environmental Studies, as well as a BA in economics and government, she has carried out research projects in Africa on refugees and a large scale hydroelectricity proposal.

Her policy interests are international relations; urban and natural environment; and economics.

Julia is a strong supporter of direct rank and file involvement in ALP policy development and candidate selection.

Jennifer Golledge

Bankstown branch

I am enthusiastic about engaging in a real debate about policy.

New South Wales is a great place to live, and we need to develop policies that reflect the aspirations and needs of the people who live here. This must be policy generated from the “grassroots” that reinvigarates membership and engenders community support.

I have campaigned for the ALP in my area for 15 years at Federal, State and Local elections, I’m a member of the Bankstown Central Branch where I have held a number of postions including FEC delgate, SEC Secretary/Treasurer, Branch Auditor and delegate to ALP State Conference.

David Harris

Wyong branch


Email David

As a former regional MP and having lived and worked in regional areas all my life I have a passion for ensuring rural and regional NSW receives its fair share of resources.

Effective regional policy is good news for the whole of NSW.

As a former school Principal, I understand that education and training is the key to unlocking disadvantage. It creates better employment chances and lifts the standard of living for residents.

If elected to the Labor Policy Forum, I will be a strong advocate for youth, education and regional policy that deliver outcomes right across NSW.

Jodie Harrison

Adamstown branch

I have been an active ALP member since 1993, holding positions including Branch Secretary, Newcastle and Charlestown SEC secretaries and Newcastle FEC President.

Married with two children, I am an ALP councillor on Lake Macquarie Council.

I am an active union member, serving as a workplace delegate at Newcastle City Council before becoming an organiser with USU in 2007 and, since July this year, as an organiser with United Voice.

I want to see the ALP develop (and implement) progressive policies to support social justice.  I firmly believe the Hunter, and other non-metropolitan regions, need a voice on the Policy Forum.

Christopher Hepple


Email Chris

Policies to return regional heartland areas lost at the recent State election are very important to me.

Employment history, life experience and a strong interest in public transport, workers’ compensation, clubs, regional development and industrial relations are particular areas where I feel I can contribute.

Labor has a proud history of environmental policy and this is something that should be continued, it must however be balanced with looking after industries, especially in regional areas including my home area of the Hunter which needs to become Labor once again. Protection of family is an area of further importance.

David Hetherington

Erskineville branch


Email David


I believe Party policy should start with Labor values – fairness and community – rather than special interests.

To advance progressive ideas in the national debate, I co-founded the public policy think tank Per Capita where I’m Executive Director.

My published research spans education, health, disability, housing, climate change and tax.

I’m a regular commentator on Radio National and ABC 24’s The Drum.  I have a BA with first class honours from UNSW and a Masters in public policy with distinction from LSE.

I’ve been a member of the Party for 12 years and am Secretary of the Erskineville Branch.

Romola Hollywood

Mid-Mountains branch


Email Romola


I am the Secretary of the Mid-Mountains ALP Branch and a member of the Australian Services Union.

I work in Parramatta as the Manager for Social Policy and Advocacy for a not-for-profit community services organisation.

I will be a voice for social justice.  My priorities are:

  • Increasing access to early childhood education and care;
  • Support for children and young people who are at risk of disengaging from education;
  • Investing in healthcare and disability services;
  • Improving public transport and infrastructure; and
  • Protecting our environment.

I will support evidence-based policies that reflect the progressive values we share as Labor members.

George Houssos

Randwick-Coogee West branch


Email George


This Forum is a great opportunity to bring back traditional Labor values into our Party’s policies.

Good policy is more than just a good idea.

My 13 years of experience in the ALP, has allowed me to implement policies and reforms I believe in. Be it, mental health awareness in Young Labor, redesigning workplace practices as a Union Organiser to protect jobs or restructuring the NSW Transport fare system with MyZone.

We need to reconnect with our traditional base of working families and ethnic communities – the silent majority – who feel important issues have been neglected at the expense of special interest and fringe groups. This needs to end.

Traditional Labor values are something to be proud of, that’s why we should be passionate about developing, promoting and implementing them.

Nur-alislam Joarder As a proud member of the ALP, I believe our duty is to ensure that party policies, principles, & social activities are well maintained and developed.

I will try my best to formulate the finest strategic plans and policies possible for the whole nation to make this country an enhanced society, as I have developed a strong passion for our community improvement.

With a Masters Degree in Statistics, my qualifications have strengthened my skills, knowledge and experience in effective strategy planning.

Our main objective should be to strengthen and expand our party membership, supporter base and union membership to stand together.

Sue Kealy

Ourimbah/Narara Valley branch


Like most of you, I am an ordinary,‘rank-and-file’ member of our ALP.

I am really excited that we are being given an opportunity to be heard through the Policy Forum.

I have never been elected to office, nor have I served on any policy committee. I am passionate about many areas of policy, but especially the environment, women’s and children’s issues, regional Australia and industrial relations to name a few.

I believe we need to steer away from the ‘usual suspects’ and get some renewal happening. Please assist in this renewal by electing some ‘newbies’ like me!

Kathryn Landsberry


This election of rank-and-file representatives is a positive example of the kind of reform our Party needs. This ballot is a valuable opportunity for Party members to participate directly in developing our Party’s policies and revitalising our Platform.

My role as a local Councillor has reinforced my strong belief that good policy supports good governance. Since being elected to Kogarah City Council in 2004, I have worked on policy development in planning, health, community services, asset management, finance, environmental protection and local government sustainability.

I will be a strong and progressive voice for all Labor Party members.

Barney Langford

Charlestown branch

A member of the ALP since 1999, I worked as a teacher and then founded my  own theatre company 2 Til 5 Youth theatre. Since 1999 I have been the Coordinator of Newcastle City Council’s  Loft Youth Arts and Cultural Centre, where I am a workplace rep for the USU.

My interests range across the broad ambit of political concerns with particular interest in the arts, foreign affairs, labour market programs and young people. I have been a lifelong advocate for stronger ethical  behaviour in government and politics.

I am a member of Charlestown Branch. I am married with two adult children

David Latham

Ashfield branch



A fresh face for Policy Forum

Our Party needs fresh faces, with fresh ideas and energy to rebuild and drive a strong Labor agenda that will see us return to Government in NSW.

I believe that we need to build our Party in to a “mass party” once again that encourages vibrant, robust and energetic debate while reaching out to the community and understanding its needs.

As Young Labor President, my team and I have been working to re-focus NSW Young Labor on doing just this. I would be honoured to share my experience as a fresh face on the NSW Labor Policy Forum.

Marcus Mariani

Cardiff/Elermore Vale

Policy – not politics. Good governance – not spin.

When I campaigned as a candidate in March 2011, I did so on a platform of policies. I created half a dozen on issues such as housing, the environment, and regional development, which I promised to advocate if elected.

If Labor is to rebuild and offer itself as a viable alternative, only through our policies will we demonstrate to the people of NSW we are ready, we will put them first, and we have the ideas to address all the issues important to them. I have the ideas but I need your support.

James Marshall

Newcastle branch

I am standing to provide a voice for party members and for the regions.

I will fight for a return to traditional ALP principles of fairness and equality. The Party must challege the status quo. Holding ALP membership needs to be meaningful again.

I’m President of the Newcastle Branch and the Newcastle FEC. I was a delegate to NSW State Conference. I am a legal officer at a regional Council. I am committed to Party reform.

Vote for me and a return to Labor values.

Donald McAllister

Far North Coast Pottsville branch

I am the Secretary of the Far North Coast Pottsville Branch. Our branch is struggling since many discouraged members didn’t renew in 2011.  For many of them, policy failure lies at the heart of their disaffection.

But I believe that when the Party is struggling then it is time to be more involved, not less. Historical core values remain to be built upon.

I offer my passion for social economic justice, my twenty years personal background in public sector policy and management (particularly urban infrastructure planning) and my current Nortec Directorship (a major NFP employment services company) as witness to those skills and values.

Hugh McDermott

Central Policy Branch


Email Hugh


Hugh lives in Western Sydney with his fiancé Bettina. He is a Barrister and Senior Lecturer in Law Enforcement at Charles Sturt University’s Australian Graduate School of Policing.

As a rank-and-file Labor Member for over  20 years, Hugh has served in roles at a local Branch level, on NSW Labor policy committees, election campaigns, State and Federal Government committees and was a member of the NSW Australian Workers Union Executive.

If elected, Hugh’s top priorities are to:

  1. Rebuild NSW Labor to win future elections
  2. Encourage the creation of progressive policy to re-establish Labor values
  3. Represent the views of Labor members living in western Sydney and rural NSW
Kirk McKenzie

North Sydney branch

Most candidates will tell you what they claim to believe. With me you know – I have written more than 40 opinion pieces for the online policy magazine, newmatilda.com on (mostly) legal and economic issues over the last 6 years.

All of those pieces are available for you to read. The most recent argues for Constitutional change to prevent discrimination against indigenous Australians.

I have been a State and Federal Parliamentary candidate, electorate campaign director on multiple occasions, the Convenor of the NSW ALP’s “Our Economic Future” Policy Caucus and am currently an FEC and Branch President.

Alison McLaren


Email Alison

Labor needs a positive agenda that invests in people and local communities if it is to win back lost heartlands like Western Sydney.

We must provide a clear, believable plan to deliver quality education and health services, jobs and the infrastructure to enable people to travel safely and quickly between work and their homes.

Labor’s plan must also provide meaningful choices about how they travel, and how we will provide the other services people need for a decent standard of living.

At the same time, much more needs to be done for the most vulnerable: those living with a mental illness, disabilities or in social housing.

Ian McNamara

Mount Pritchard branch


Email Ian


As members we want our party leaders to focus on good policy, not distracted by mindless polls and internal politics.

It’s time for Labor to rise above polls and politics and to take on the big issues confronting our nation.

We need to rekindle the policy ambition of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

The new Policy Forum gives us a chance to take these views directly to party leaders in parliament, unions and party office.

This is your chance to vote for more policy and less politics.

Let’s work together to build a new Labor policy agenda we can believe in.

Patrick Miller

Murwillumbah branch

I have been an active member of the ALP since 1991 and I am driven by a passion for social justice and equity.

Our great party is on its knees because of the internecine warfare between factions driven primarily by the hunger for money and power. We have lost our way.

As our party slips off the edge of relevance the same names appear to desperately save it, only to fumblingly push us closer to non-existence. I stand for strong, principled leadership that will reinstate the labor movement’s core values of a fair go throughout our policy platform.

Michelle Miran

Jervis Bay/
St Georges Basin Branch

Living in regional NSW for the last 20 years, I have developed an understanding of the issues confronting rural communities. I want to ensure that Labor policy is developed that embraces the needs of regional NSW.

The Policy Forum offers an opportunity for rank and file members to choose their representatives and to have a voice – and we need a voice for regional NSW.

I joined the ALP in 1972 as a young radical activist. Since those early days I have remained steadfast in my belief in the values of Labor.

I will fight for balance, equity, transparency and integrity.

Lenda Oshalem

Maroubra branch


Email Lenda

M: 0406 244 356

Let’s have a chat – Lenda Oshalem for NSW Policy Forum

The success of this forum depends on the strong voice of rank-and-file members in policy development.

This position needs a hardworking person with a solid commitment to the role members play in our Party.

I can’t promise that I’m an expert on everything, but I can promise to represent the passion of hardworking Labor members.

I will build on my strong relationships with non-government organisations to combine evidence based policy with the value structure we have built our party on.

I will come to you, to ensure your voice is heard.

Together, we’ll create a platform to be proud of.

Huw Phillips

Glebe branch


Young people need a stronger voice in Labor’s policy development.

As a young person I bring a distinct understanding and experience to these issues:

  • Youth policy;
  • Social inclusion;
  • Juvenile justice;
  • Quality public education; and
  • Workers’ rights

I want to ensure that our Labor Party has policies which reflect our values of equality, social justice, human rights, and a fair go for all.

Labor should be the natural party of choice for young people – we are Labor’s future.

That’s why I want to be the link to give a young progressive voice to shape Labor’s policy for tomorrow.

Shane Prince

Malabar branch

Labor is about using our success to help those in need.

Mental health: The mentally ill and their families are the most vulnerable whom State Government can directly help. Policies should be directed at undoing the shameful Richmond Report and providing dignity and support to them.

IR: I want to see the once proud NSW Industrial Commission restored to its former glory. It is a house built by Labor- we should protect it.

Transport: We need to focus on taking simple measures, not announcing grand expensive plans. For example, more basic rolling stock can mean more frequent trains.

Paul Reid

Campsie branch

As a Party member for 28 years, I’m asking for your support as rank and file delegate to the NSW ALP Policy Forum.

If elected I will ensure that concerns and aspirations of members are heard. ALP members have been calling for reform.

Grass-roots democracy will bring real, not just cosmetic reform of our Party and bring back members who have deserted and attract more.

Labor has been controlled for too long by political operators who have brought our Party into disrepute.

We need to grow the Party, activate members and win back the political leadership of New South Wales.

Narelle Rich

Port Macquarie branch

As a Party, we need to return to core values of Labor, looking after those without a voice.

I have a passion for special education, members attending State Conference may recall me speaking to the Country Report regarding challenges faced by my son Oliver who has Asperger’s Syndrome and funding for multi-categorical support classes in NSW public schools, particularly in regional areas.

I am passionate about ensuring that people in regional areas have access to good public services, including health, transport, housing and good local government representation.

I am a strong voice for rural and regional members in NSW.

Amanda Rose

Dulwich Hill/
Lewisham branch


Email Amanda


The Policy Forum is an exciting opportunity to further rank and file participation in the Party’s policy-making processes. As described in the Rules, these positions should serve to facilitate greater partnership between the different wings of the Party to develop innovate policy approaches.

My motivation in standing, and my priority if elected, is to make this reform work as it should, opening up the processes of the Party to the aspirations of the membership.

We must cooperate with other Party units to renew and grow the Party, and with solid policy lay the groundwork for a return to government.

Linda Scott

Erskineville branch

Email Linda

As NSW Co-convenor of Labor for Refugees, I have worked across factions with grass roots members, campaigning to ensure Labor has fairness at the heart of its policies.

As a result, the NSW ALP unanimously affirmed its principled approach to asylum seekers this year.

If elected, I will work to ensure the Policy Forum listens to your ideas.

I am asking for your support so that together we can ensure Labor puts fairness back into all its policies.

I work conducting research at the Workplace Research Centre at Sydney University, and having a growing young family.

Sarah Shrubb

Katoomba branch

I am 59, an ex-primary school teacher, now freelance book editor.

I have worked in a federal member’s electorate office, and am secretary of Katoomba branch.

Like many, I want to revive the Party. I want to use a new/old process: sitting down with people and talking. About how to reduce inequality. About what government can do, and what we – as individuals, families, groups, neighbourhoods, agencies, businesses – can do.

I want to work with anyone who wants to join these conversations. We are all stakeholders.

The policy areas I’m particularlyinterested in are immigration, public education and the justice system.

Ross Smith

Redfern branch

I believe:

Policy should be developed in accordance with traditional Labor values to promote social inclusion, equity of application, and universality of benefit to the Australian community.

The function of Policy is to enhance the quality of life experienced by the Australian community and thus ensure the community’s well-being.

The focus of policy should be derived from the community’s knowledge of unmet and emerging need within the community.

The spirit of policy should not be influenced by fear, favour, personal allegiance, or vested interest.

Secure supply and access to food and housing, plus sanctity of life, should underwrite all policy.

Jay Suvaal

Cessnock branch

Email Jay

M: 0402 608 540

I believe the Labor Party needs to stand for something again. Party members should be able to talk to people within their community and say “This is what the Labor Party will do for you…”

We need a policy on things that matter to every day Australians. We need to be able to say to people vote for Labor because we will make your life better. The Your Rights at Work campaign was the best example of this.

This kind of policy doesn’t come from focus groups, it comes from talking with people in the street and engaging with the community and that’s what I intend to do.

Darriea Turley

Broken Hill branch

I believe that its time to return to Labor values and reconnect with the community if we are going to rebuild our great Party. I ask for your support in the NSW Policy Forum election this month.

I have served on numerous local, state and national boards including Councillor Broken Hill City Council, Vice Chair RDA- Far West and State Records NSW, National President ALGWA and Executive member LGA

I’m an advocate for rural and remote NSW and have recently been appointed to an Australian delegation to the United Nations in 2012.

It is vital that we appoint progressive people to this Forum and I believe my experience and skills will contribute to the future of our party.

Wendy Waller

Green Valley branch

Wendy Waller has been an active member of the Green Valley Branch of the ALP for Thirty years. In that time Wendy has been Vice President of the FEC, Vice President and Current President of the Liverpool SEC and secretary of her branch.

Wendy has been a delegate to State and Federal Conference on several occasions and committee member of the State policy committee on Local Government for several years.

Wendy works in the local community and is currently serving as the first popularly elected female Mayor of Liverpool after being a councillor for 13 years.

Wendy believes most strongly in members having a voice in the ALP and that the ALP needs to listen to its membership.

Leta Webb

Port Kembla branch


I was privileged to have worked under the Wran Labor Government. I learnt that effective governments need a clear philosophical position, policy framework and also an agenda for public sector management to ensure the bureaucracy has the capacity to deliver a government’s program.

I have extensive experience in public sector management, intergovernmental relations, policy and program development and a historical understanding of how NSW government has changed over the last 30 years.

As a party member for 28 years, I am committed to working to define what Labor stands for in a globalised world and how that translates into policy, programs and delivery.

Luke Whitington

Macquarie branch


I am running with one simple aim – to make the policies of NSW Labor more left-wing, more genuinely Labor.

Labor gains nothing by constantly moving to the right, and in fact it is one of the causes of our current unpopularity.

I want to help rebuild Labor through a politics of conviction and grassroots organising.

To do that we need policies that we can be proud of, that are popular and eye-catching.  Policies that advance equality, that people know are Labor.

We’ve seen what the alternative is and the community has rejected it.

It’s time to change direction.

Bryce Wilson

Queanbeyan branch


Email Bryce

It is important that the Forum has a good understanding of the issues facing regional people and provides a strong voice for country members.

I grew up in the Riverina and now live in Queanbeyan with my family. As a teacher who trained and taught in the country, I will bring a practical understanding to education policy that supports our teachers and schools in improving their communities.

As the chair of Country Labor, I think it is important that we find the balance in policy between food and fibre production, mineral exploration, water resource sustainability and protecting the environment.

David Wood

Newcastle day/night branch



I believe good policy will come about due to two factors; they are good people and a diversity of backgrounds of these people. If you have both of these factors than good policy will follow!

Good people are people who are highly competent and have high standards of moral and ethical behaviour. Diversity of background will be from both sexes of varying ages with a corresponding range of life experiences.

We should seek policy makers made up of teachers, caregivers, train drivers, small business and rural/mining/forestry workers as an example; basically the party needs real world policy and decision makers.

James Young

Hills/Baulkham Hills branch


Email James

Voters select Labor for more than a convincing election campaign.

The greatest Labor governments created prosperity and opportunity through a well-considered public policy agenda.

These and other shared values held by Labor members resonate with the community, as should our modern policy approach.

For this forum to succeed, I believe it must provide policy accountability to Labor members, and an arena for fearless, honest advice, and new ideas.

With your support, I will ensure that this forum is an avenue for constructive criticism and positive suggestions on the policies Labor presents to the people of NSW in the future.

Andrew Zbik

Lane Cove branch

The rank-and-file are the backbone of the ALP

We loyally assist in elections and the promotion of our party. We want to contribute to policy.

The Policy Forum is a great opportunity to give the rank-and-file members direct input to policy development.

As a nominee, I believe it is extremely important to recognise that time will need to be dedicated to engage with ALP rank-and-file members.

I will work to be that connection between rank-and-file members and policy development – policy that reflects the wishes of our membership for progressive policy that effectively balances social needs and economic prosperity.

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4 Responses to NSW Policy Forum Candidates

  1. Amanda Rose says:

    Thanks for doing it alphabetical by first name so I am at the top for once not down the bottom. 😉

    I’ve been involved in Our ALP and other reform things since the start (meeting in Tom Mann after Nathan Rees was deposed), signed the letter for state Conference (which made us Unabombers according to one speaker there, ha). Actually, my involvement in all that is my original motivation to stand, once you’ve done so much (justified) whinging it is only right to throw your hat in the ring to contribute when given the chance. Happy to answer anyone’s questions.

    Hope some of you will be at the candidates forum tomorrow.


    • Catherine Welch says:

      Hi Amanda

      I will be voting and so I was very interested to hear you are a pro-reform candidate – I am looking for candidates who are definitely not happy with the status quo and are prepared to do something about it.

      I wish to find out from all the candidates who is independent and not factionally aligned. I want to vote for candidates who will think for themselves and are not there to corrupt what should be a rank-and-file forum with factional jockeying.

      I note with concern that there are some candidates for the Policy Forum who are describing themselves as ‘rank-and-file’ candidates but who actually are staffers and factional heavies – I think this is contravening the spirit of this process and is to be condemned.

      So if any of the candidates are prepared to put it on the record that they are not part of a faction and will be thinking for themselves, they have my vote! Please let us know who you are!

      Catherine. Alexandria Branch

  2. Amanda Rose says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I am a member of the Left, although the extent of my involvement has been to go to the dinner they hold at Conference time. I must say I don’t think there is any contradiction between that and “thinking for myself” and acting independently. I joined the Left a couple of years ago after the Rees knifing because I was so infuriated by it I wanted to “do something” and felt like there needed to be a push back against some of the most destructive forces within the party. Prior to this I had no involvement with factions (perhaps if I had put myself forward for more positions before this they would have approached me, don’t know.).

    The factions formally agreed to stay out of the rank and file ballot and I am pleased to see (as far as I can tell) that that has held.

    My view of factions is that they themselves are not the problem. Indeed, they are an unavoidable and pragmatic way to organise affairs in a party that seeks to represent (or at least get the vote of) a majority of Australians. When you seek to be a popular party you are naturally going to have differences of opinion, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with groups around those differences.

    The problem comes – has come, we are living in it – when the factions become not about policy difference but just units to exercise power and become bigger than the Party as a whole. I definitely oppose this and won’t be part of it. If one thing the ALP teaches you is your mortal enemy on one topic can turn around and be your greatest ally on the next issue, so I don’t dismiss people just because of the faction they are in.

    My politics and left wing, reformist and progressive, I’m not ashamed of it and the best way to advocate for those within the Party is by being part of a collective of like-minded people. Those happen to be called factions. I agree that the way the factional system has worked has been destructive and needs serious change, but I don’t agree advocating for stuff you believe in collectively with like minded people is really the problem in and of itself.

    Hope that helps. 😉

  3. Amanda Rose says:

    One thing, I agree there’s no point to the rank and file group on forum if it merely replicates the same old processes and becomes just an opportunity for an additional 16 people within the party to have a privileged soapbox. I’m getting involved because I’m afraid that would happen. If I were elected to it I’d absolutely be acting as an individual responsible only to the rank and file.

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