ABOUT VOICES FOR THE SENATE
Who we are and what guides us
Our members and the independents we support, must share these values
What is our purpose?
- strongly connected to local electorates with broad community engagement
- have goals and aims which are not contrary to the Values
- represent their community and not a political party or organisation
Fionn (Finn) Bowd is a successful businesswoman and lawyer whose legal consultancy, Bowd, has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
Fionn was a foundation member of her local ‘Voices’ movement and found herself in politics after becoming an activist in the legal community as lawyers began to experience their own ‘#MeToo’ movement.
In her legal career, Fionn has worked in and with organisations from Australia’s largest corporations and legal firms to medium sized and small businesses and private clients.
Fionn lives in regional Victoria with her partner, 2 young children and 2 teenage step-children, yet somehow manages to find the time to run her business and be involved in grass roots politics.
Fionn brings diversity, experience and drive to Executive Committee and our drive to get 1500 members for registration.
Jess Lane has 14 years of experience in education and has taught in Queensland secondary schools, the International Baccalaureate program and the university sector.
Jess is the founder of the Women for Australia community organisation. Around the time of the Brittany Higgins allegations and the March4Justice rallies, Jess and her two co-founders started a women’s policy Facebook group to see if other women and allies wanted to connect over these issues.
In 11 months, the Women for Australia online movement now has 11,000 followers and is growing every day. Women for Australia is now hosting online panels, fundraising and providing material support to progressive women candidates to further their advocacy for all women in Australia.
More than anything, Jess is driven by a core desire to make communities better. What she loves most about the ‘Voices for’ Movement is the increase in community engagement that it has inspired.
“I want to see people connecting over ideas again and I want our elected officials to reflect those ideas.”
Jess lives in Brisbane with her husband, two young daughters and their dog, Dee Dee.
Stuart has a fundamental belief in the wisdom and capability of ordinary Australians from all walks of life and their ability to deliver good decisions and thoughtful governance. He has co-authored a number of books about engagement, deliberation and collaboration. Stuart brings a deep knowledge of and passion for these issues to the Independent Voices movement.
His career has been about giving others their voice and the ability to listen to others. Independent Voices for the Senate is another step on that path.
A husband, father and part of the Wollongong community since birth, Stuart and his firm consult to business and government, building their ability to collaborate to solve complex problems with diverse stakeholder groups. He comes to this work after longstanding experience with deliberative democracy projects in Australia.
Hugh Chalmers is a retired corporate lawyer who has practised in Sydney, overseas and in Canberra. He has been actively involved in community activities and in particular assisting organisations which have a strong social purpose.
Hugh believes that the dominance and misuse of the two-party system at the Federal level has led to a significant decline in accountability, ethics, transparency and trust in our elected representatives which is damaging to our current and future generations and Australian society generally.
The election of community independents to the House of Representatives in our Federal Parliament has shown the benefit of having voices in our Parliament which are not subject to narrow party policies and strictures.
Independent Voices for the Senate aims to provide a further step on the path to restoring genuine parliamentary representation at the Senate level.
Sabin is a certified practicing accountant who has nearly a decade of experience in the higher education sector, RTO, and private tuition providers. He has a deep passion for solving business problems and currently pursuing a career change in taxation and superannuation.
Sabin is originally from Nepal and came to Australia in 2005 in pursuit of higher education.
He lives in Western Sydney with his wife and 2 young children. He is a passionate soccer player and represents Parramatta Park Football Club. Sabin brings his accounting expertise to manage the organization’s financial matters.
After a legal education and career in Canberra Matt pivoted to founding and growing businesses in the hospitality, tourism and more recently agriculture sectors.
A lifelong interest in politics and a growing despair at the continuing decline in the standard of governance in Australia has promoted a move to action aimed at being part of an ongoing improvement in the representation and governance of our elected representatives.
"I have a strong belief that Australians should be represented by their peers, that the rise of "career" politicians who join the blue team or the red team from youth to retirement do not represent normal people."