I’m David, and I’m your Reason candidate for Western Metro.

I’ve lived in Victoria for fourteen years having grown up in Perth. Over that time I can safely say that Melbourne has become my home and my favourite place in Australia. During my time here I have grown my family to include two young children, Henry, 12 and Oliver, 8 and have become active in trying to have a positive impact on my community. Much of this has been focused on the local school community where I served as a member of the school council. This allowed me to advocate for both the educational outcomes we expect from schools, as well as for the care and wellbeing that provides a safe and happy environment for all students.

I have a PhD in molecular biology, with much of my work focused on developing techniques to help understand how to protect people from highly toxic chemicals. I also work closely with first responders to find ways of using science to protect them and the community. I have also worked on fentanyls, which are a massive problem in Canada and the US, killing thousands of people each year. I am passionate about the need for drug law reform and the application of harm reduction strategies, the decriminalisation of drugs, and moving from criminalisation to a health-focused approach.

My work requires me to make sense of complex concepts and ideas and plan for the future by breaking things into short-term achievable milestones. As your representative for Western Metro, I will apply these skills to advocate for reforms beyond short-term political 'wins' to those that work towards building a sustainable, prosperous and happy Victoria. This means recognising that bandaid solutions don't work and that real reform must consider housing, education and mental health, which underpin many other issues. Taking steps to address these will have lasting and long-term social and economic impacts.

In parliament, I will be a strong advocate for First Nations people and policies that provide support for self-determination. I will also look at ways to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to promote and celebrate their culture with the community.

I have a passion for music and have played in bands for many years. As an independent musician, I understand the challenges artists in our community face. While Melbourne is quite rightly seen as a place with an incredibly vibrant arts culture, there are significant barriers for people who look to build a career in this sector. Artists need to be supported, especially when they are just starting out. Reason policies such as the redistribution of funding to small and medium institutions, scholarships for emerging artists and affordable public liability insurance will assist artists in building their careers.

Reason and Fiona Patten have an incredible track record of achieving outcomes that benefit the community and people who have been traditionally forgotten and left behind in our political system. I am proud to stand with Reason as your candidate for Western Metro.