Trundle. The small country town in the central west of NSW, population 300, is where Jane Caro’s running mate, Hannah Maher, grew up. It’s still home to her parents and where she goes to recharge from the pressures of Sydney life. And it’s a place she thinks about when it comes to politics.
‘We need to change the narrative around climate change in the bush. Country people can see it happening first hand, and many of them are already adopting sustainable farming methods. I think many are disillusioned with the Nationals, who do not work in the best interest of the land.
I’m really committed to rural people’s lives and helping them to adapt to changing climate, like making it easier for small landowners to access the Emissions Reductions Fund.’
Maher left Trundle to study acting at Charles Sturt University in Wagga. Nearing her thirties she swapped her dreams of the stage for her growing interest in politics.
‘I first saw Fiona Patten on TV, eviscerating a member of Family First. I joined up straightaway.’
She subsequently met members of Reason Australia during a Marriage Equality rally and felt she belonged. As a trans woman, her work at a leading health promotion organisation specialising in HIV prevention and support dovetails with her commitment to inclusive service provision of healthcare, aged care and domestic violence support for the rainbow community.
A self-confessed policy geek, she is currently studying for a Masters in Public Policy at UNSW. ‘I love research, data, reading and citations so Reason Australia appeals to me very strongly because it is so evidence-based and rigorous on data.’
A keen gamer, she would like to see incentives for video gaming production as part of an arts policy, together with productions quotas for local content on streaming services.
Also: Maher is an advanced barista, so she will be monitoring the quality of coffee on the campaign trail.