WHO ARE WE?
Voices of Tasmania is a grass roots community organisation with three core values: integrity in politics, solutions to climate change and representation by independent voices at all levels of government.
We are not a political party and do not represent any candidates. Rather, we are a movement that aims to bring people together, discuss the issues that matter to Tasmanians, develop solutions – and then take the step from talk to action.
We want to engage people in the political process and harness the ideas, energy and passion of Tasmanians. We will do this by supporting and encouraging people to get involved at every step of the process, from conversations around the kitchen table through to standing for election to parliament or their local council. Through this, we hope to increase the representation of people and communities in the democratic process and, ultimately, to give Tasmanians a stronger voice.
We believe in taking a positive, optimistic and constructive approach. We believe that politics should be about inspiring people, generating hope and having the ambition to work towards a better future.
We also want to get rid of the hostility and negativity in politics, which deters so many people from getting involved. We believe that the political process should be informed, inclusive and follow principles of integrity, openness and transparency.
We are open to anyone who shares our values, regardless of whether they’re independent or members of a political party. We will work together, across political boundaries, to build a better Tasmania.
WHAT WILL WE DO?
The first step in engaging people is to organise kitchen table conversations around Tasmania. These are small, informal conversations with friends and neighbours, taking place in homes, cafes, pubs and other social venues. Participants are encouraged to talk about the issues that are important to them, learn from others and discuss ideas.
Based on these conversations, we will identify the key issues that concern Tasmanian communities and develop solutions. We will then work to ensure that these proposals are turned into reality. These efforts will include working with parties and candidates to ensure that the issues that matter to Tasmanians are represented on the ballot paper in future elections.
We also want to see more independent voices at every level of government, from local councils through to the Australian Parliament. We therefore welcome anyone who represents the values and concerns of Tasmanians, and who has the passion and desire to contribute towards their community. We will support them, mentor them and encourage them to run for election.
An important initial target for Voices of Tasmania will be the local government elections, which will take place in October 2022. However, we will also work to develop suitable candidates to run in future state and federal elections.
More broadly, we want to support and mentor anyone who wants to engage in the political process. Before, during and after every election, we will continue in our mission of engaging people, generating ideas and giving a stronger voice to Tasmanian communities.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Voices of Tasmania comprises a diverse group of people with a broad range of personal and professional experience.
Dr Steven Phipps lives in Hobart and is Convener of Voices of Tasmania. He is a climate scientist with over 20 years of research experience in the university, government and non-profit sectors. The main focus of his research is on past, present and future changes in the climate system, with an emphasis on Antarctica and global sea level rise. He has a strong interest in public policy and international relations, currently serving as President of the Australia-Japan Society of Tasmania, Vice President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs Tasmania and Secretary of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. Above all, he believes in inspiring people, telling positive stories and striving for a better world. Steven co-founded Voices of Tasmania out of a desire to engage people in the political process, to promote positive and optimistic approaches towards politics, and to involve the wider community in the process of building a better Tasmania.
Image credit: Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia by Noodle snacks, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons