My father arrived in Australia as a refugee from communism. My mother is from Hamburg and survived Operation Gomorrah, an allied war crime where 20,000 civilians were incinerated.

My personal values are derived from humanism and are consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have a right to a job, a home, good health, social security. We should not be subject to discrimination. Our environment should be protected.

I am a keen student of religions and their histories and have concluded that religion should be kept away from government. This means ending the billion dollar school chaplaincy program and other subsidies of religion. The Royal Commission into institutional abuse found many religious organisation were complicit in and failed to prevent child sexual abuse.  We should remember this whenever they demand we submit to their moral guidance.

Papua New Guineans should have the same rights to live and work in Australia that New Zealanders have. It is only racism that prevents them from having this opportunity.

I have been active in a wide range of community groups all my adult life. I know how important community is and that it needs to be actively nurtured. The multitude of organisations that rely on volunteers need to be actively supported and receive a significant increase in government funding.

I was treasurer of the Lifelong Learning Council Qld for several years, secretary of the Humanist Society of Qld, president of the Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club, co-ordinator of a community garden and leader of a Bushcare group. I served for a year and a half on the Brisbane City Council biodiversity advisory committee.

However, I am best known as the Butterfly Man and have co-authored a book “Create More Butterflies” about 48 local butterflies. A passion for nature is something I inherited. When my mother as a child asked my grandfather why he didn’t go to church he said that “The forest is my cathedral”.

Although I am not a cannabis user I am a supporter of legalising cannabis.

People should be free to grow their own cannabis. Medicinal cannabis users should be allowed to drive unless real impairment can be demonstrated similar to alcohol. Past cannabis convictions should be removed from criminal records to begin healing the damage done by unjust laws. Australian farmers growing cannabis should not be disadvantaged by multinational corporations.

Too many politicians are letting us down. Many lie. Some are corrupt or cruel or selfish. But mostly they just don’t listen. I have a firm belief that no one should be left behind and that a stand needs to be taken against the creeping cruelty that is eroding the Australian tradition of the fair go.

 

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