On May 18 CBD voters have seven candidates to choose between to represent them in the House of Representatives in the next federal parliament.
Three-term Greens sitting member Adam Bandt, 47, again starts as favourite, with the ALP and Liberal parties throwing up new candidates and minor parties also in the hunt for the federal seat of Melbourne.
Mr Bandt is a former industrial lawyer and first was elected in 2010. In 2016, he won the seat comfortably over the Liberal Party, with the ALP performing poorly in a seat which used to be one of its safest.
This time around, the Liberals have pre-selected self-described “global entrepreneur” Lauren Sherson and the Labor Party’s hopes ride on the shoulders of gay-activist and high school teacher Luke Creasey.
Ms Sherson, 39, summarises her LinkedIn profile as: “Investigating unsolved problems through entrepreneurship, psychology and politics.”
The profile also says she achieved a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship in 2007 and followed on with post-graduate qualifications in teaching and psychology.
“Lauren’s energy is her signature trait and acute focus is her approach. She uses the science of entrepreneurship to catalyse opportunity and applies context from her extraordinary life experience and life-long bonds to produce unimaginable outcomes,” her profile says.
She lists five years’ experience as “chief safecracker” at The Safecrackers Club and two years as “director of opportunities” for The Jade Lions. A company search shows that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is in the process of de-registering The Jade Lions.
Mr Creasey teaches health and food technology at Coburg High School. Before moving to Coburg High, he taught for four years at Princes Hill Secondary College. He has a science degree and a teaching qualification from RMIT university.
In August last year, the then 28-year-old told Joy FM it was his mother’s experience as a victim of Kennett-government education cuts that inspired his political aspirations.
“My mum was one of those teachers who was out of work and I’ve seen what that does to people,” he said.
He told the radio presenters: “I am a Labor leftie. I quite often agree with things that the Greens say. But I don’t just want to feel good about the words I say, I want to feel good about the lives we can change and I do think we can change lives through winning government.”
Mr Creasey lists his volunteering experience on LinkedIn as being co-convenor of Rainbow Labor Network Victoria and also being a member of Victorian Labor’s LGBTI Affairs Policy Committee.
He listed housing affordability, renters’ rights and the restoration of penalty rates for hospitality works among his top political issues.
Both Ms Sherson and Mr Creasey failed to respond to CBD News’s requests for interview.
Other candidates are the United Australia Party’s Tony Pecora, the Reason Party’s Judy Ryan, independent Dave Blake and Lawrence Pope of the Animal Justice Party.