September 21, 2023

An Interesting Eight Hours in Canberra


I had an interesting eight hours in Canberra last week. I was there for an International Women’s Forum event which included an opportunity to attend Question Time at Parliament House.


I had seen snippets of Question Time on the news, but I always assumed we were just being shown the highlights… or the lowlights in this case. But NO!

For the whole 70 minutes that the two major parties spent asking questions, they heckled the entire way through any attempt to answer. Their behaviour was an absolute disgrace. At one point, the woman next to me said, ‘They are acting like kindergarten children’.

Behavioural Expectations

Except they weren’t. Because this behaviour would not be tolerated in kindergarten. If any individual showed that type of behaviour in the corporate world you would expect them to be sacked immediately.

The only time leadership was shown was when the crossbencher Kylea Tink used her time to remind them,

“There are Australian public sitting in this chamber at the moment watching this behaviour and I do not believe this behaviour is fitting of this chamber.”

She went on to plead,

“If we could please have this debate and have it reasonably without yelling at each other I think that would be in the best interests for everyone.”

Unfortunately, it only took about ten seconds for the yelling, jeering and immature behaviour to return. This behaviour was being predominately displayed by the males in the two major parties. The cross benchers did not interject or jeer or yell. In fact, they looked like the mature adults waiting for the two little bullies to fight it out once again.

What a Disappointment

If I could sum up my feelings in one word during that Question Time it would be ‘embarrassing’. Later upon reflection, it was ‘disappointment’.

That evening I had the pleasure of moderating a panel of four of the Teal Independents Zoe Daniel, Allegra Spender, Zali Steggall and Dr Monique Ryan.

This is where my faith in our elected leaders was restored. They were real, passionate, bloody funny (especially Monique Ryan) and inspiring.

It’s my belief that some members of the major political parties need to grow up and start behaving in a way that is befitting the role they have been elected to.

And if they can’t be leaders, can they at least pretend to be adults and not spoilt little brats.