Bryony Callander, Accountant and Tree Planter, born and raised in the electorate of Kew
Bryony believes independent candidates are best placed to advocate for a stronger response to climate change and biodiversity loss.
I'm concerned we are losing the whole ecosystem that supports our living planet.
We are already at close to 1.5C warming. The climate is changing, and we are losing a lot of plants and insects. You hear about the koalas, but you don't hear about all the biodiversity and ecosystems that are changing. Once you start to lose certain things, it becomes a feedback loop, which means you lose more plants and animals which rely on those things. It’s a disaster.
"Mainstream political parties are not doing enough to address the climate and biodiversity crisis. Some of the things Labor is doing are unconscionable. The fact they are continuing to log old growth forest is mind blowing. We've got these amazing organisations desperately conserving, rehabilitating, and regenerating lost habitat while the Victorian government is actively destroying existing native forests."
The Liberals and the Greens aren’t any better. Party politicians lose contact with community and the reason why they're in parliament. They have that need to remain in power above and beyond anything else. It’s a power thing.
People in Kew want someone that represents their voice, rather than someone who is representing their own interests.
I want more independents in parliament holding the government to account. If we have more independents, it will require politicians to work harder to make sure that they're doing right by the community and working collaboratively rather than just opposing each other.
Regardless of your politics, I think we'll end up with a better parliament if we have smaller parties and more localised voices who are connected to their communities.
Jacqui Lambie is a perfect example of this. I know a lot of people don't agree with her politics, but she represents her community and gives them a loud voice in parliament. Whatever community you're from, that's what you want.
We see Monique Ryan as our independent representative for Kooyong having a voice, being heard, and having significant influence. I really hope people can see Mon is making a difference and that the same can happen at a state level.
What do you love about the electorate of Kew?
I've really enjoyed being involved in Monique’s and Sophie’s campaigns. It’s been surprising to see the community coming together, engaging with each other, and finding like-minded people that maybe they didn't realize were there.