October 19, 2015

Rachael Ward

The Sex Party. It’s a name that’s hard to forget.

In November last year Fiona Patten became first elected Sex Party politician in Australia as a Member for Northern Metropolitan Region (that’s you!).

Patten is a member of the Upper House Legislative Council in Victoria, advocating for her party’s “civil libertarian alternative” policy stance on the cross bench in the Victorian upper house Legislative Council.

Beyond the eye-catching name of her party and policy agenda including decriminalizing recreational drug use and abortion in all states, taxing churches, supporting secular education system and pushing for marriage equality, how does her policy agenda affect you?

Recently Truth 4 Youth sat down with Fiona Patten to discuss issues that will affect young people now and in the future.


Sex and relationship education

The Sex Party originated as an adult-industry lobby group EROS, and unsurprisingly doesn’t shirk away from talking about sex. Patten names gender and sexual equality as “the base of the Sex Party’s agenda.”

Patten is pushing for a comprehensive relationship education program in Victoria, costing around $43m over 4 years.

“I think we should be having sex and relationship education programs effectively from kindergarten through to year 12 – age appropriate, of course.”

“I actually think that is money very well spent if we look at the cost of family violence, the cost of homophobia, the cost of gender equality and obviously the cost of unwanted pregnancies etc. that this would be money well spent in prevention and I hope that it may be one of the things that I can tick off our to-do list at the end of the four years.”

Civic education

When you turn 17 one of the first birthday cards you’re likely to receive is from the government reminding you to enroll to vote. Sad but true.

Patten is a big fan of compulsory voting but is concerned Australians don’t understand enough about the parliamentary system and processes.

“I’m always amazed at how little, not just young people but older people in our community, how little they know about the parliamentary process and the government process,” she says.

“I think it’s really important that people do have an understanding of how their government works and I would certainly like to see more of that happening at a younger age” she said.

Culture of design

Patten has been vocal pushing for a Minister for Fashion to promote Victorian made products and showcase Victoria’s role in the textile industry, and sees design – beyond the traditional understanding- and creative thinking as the future direction of the Australian economy.

“The kind of large-scale manufacturing that we’ve seen with car manufacturing – that’s not what we’re going to be seeing further and further into the 21st century. We’re not going to be able to compete with some of the developing countries in that area where we are going to be compet[ing] and should compete with is in that design area.”

“Fashion sometimes dictates where we go in industrial design, where we go even in architecture, where we go in a whole rage of broader design, that that basic element of design will create sustainable energy design. [Fashion] will help us build you know new medical design.”

– Rachael Ward


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