Covering Labor National Conference 2015

In July the Australian Labor Party held their 2015 National Conference at the Docklands in Melbourne. Claudia covered the conference in collaboration with her colleague Rachael Ward for SYN Media’s flagship politics program REPRESENT.

In conjunction with a radio special the following week they covered the event live on Twitter, below are a selection of Claudia’s Tweets from the conference.

Border Disorder: Protestors Derail ‘Operation Fortitude’

In late August the Australian Border Force announced they would be implementing ‘Operation Fortitude’ over the last weekend of the month in Melbourne’s CBD. What followed was a snap protest resulting in chaos at Flinders Street station and the operation eventually being cancelled amid criticism that the operation was a step too far. I covered this event in collaboration with my colleague Katie Coulthard and have included some of my tweets and video footage below. You can read the rest of our coverage here and here.

Talking ‘Gayby Baby’ with The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, 2UE and the Melbourne International Film Festival

After controversy recently engulfed Maya Newell’s documentary ‘Gayby Baby’ in light of alleged (and now confirmed non-existent) parental complaints about the film being shown during school hours I was invited to take part in discussions regarding the film and life as a ‘gayby’.

Photo: Penny Stephens

Neelima Choahan from The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and I chatted about where things all got started which you can take a read of here.

In August I joined Justin Smith for drive on 2UE to talk about the realities of life with queer parents (spoiler: it’s not all rainbows, motorbikes and flannel).

Photo: Dan Cahill
Photo: Dan Cahill

During the Melbourne International Film Festival I also joined a panel with film maker Maya Newell, Roz Ward of the Safe Schools Coalition and Amelia Basset of the Rainbow Families Council to discuss the film and what it means to be both a ‘gayby’ and a LGBTIQ+ parent.

MIFF will be releasing the recording as a podcast in the coming months so keep an eye (or rather an ear) out if you’re keen to take a listen!

Hey Gayby!

Originally Published at BIRDEEMAG.COM

tumblr_m8e6cey1hz1qkt4wko1_500If I had a feather for every time someone has asked me how I was conceived I’d have a boa collection that stretched for miles by now.

It seems like an odd question but a surprising number of people ask me about it and other issues related to my upbringing because I’m what’s become known as a ‘Gayby’: the child of same-sex attracted parents.

Sometimes questioners are surprised when I try to tell them how average my life is and that, despite having a lesbian mother and a gay father, I don’t sneeze glitter. I know, right? SHOCKING.


Youth Affairs Still Front and Centre in 2015 Budget

11225568_889899434379994_1408785850_nOriginally Published at

Youth affairs has been revealed as a key policy area in the government’s second Budget after it’s release at 7:30pm this evening.

The coalition’s new jobs and small business plan is a centrepiece this year with a new Work Experience Programme to be introduced in a bid to reduce to youth unemployment rate.

The programme, available to jobseekers on youth allowance, will see young people placed in a month long work experience program earning $20.80 per fortnight on top of their benefit.

Each placement will have a “likelihood of employment” at it’s conclusion but it is unclear how that  will be decided.

The Coalition has also backed down on one of it’s signature 2014 welfare policies of making Newstart and Youth Allowance Recipients wait six months to receive their payments.

The wait has been shortened to four weeks with recipients still required to conduct an “adequate” amount of job searching per fortnight.

After higher education reform was blocked twice in the senate last year the government’s focus has shifted to TAFE and VET training with little mention of university funding in the treasurer’s speech.

Putting a spotlight on the earning after the learning Treasury has allocated $18 million to weeding out unreliable and potentially exploitative TAFE courses with a new reporting and screening program for HECS HELP TAFE loans.

Young downloaders and TV streaming fans will be saddened to hear that the government has decided to extend the GST to cover digital downloads and streaming from overseas owned services such as Netflix.

Streaming services have increased in popularity exponentially in recent months with a number of new services coming on to the market and many will be watching to see whether a 10% price increase will have an effect on this.

Richard Di Natale Elected as Leader of The Greens


Image: The Guardian

Victorian senator Richard Di Natale has been elected as the new leader of The Greens after the resignation of Christine Milne this morning.

Di Natale has been elected unopposed with Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters taking up two co-deputy positions.

At a Press Conference this morning Di Natale has said the leadership is “an enormous responsibility”.

“It’s an honour” he said “it’s a privilege and I’m going to do my best to pay back the faith they’ve put in me”.

When asked if he knew Milne would be standing aside this morning, as Scott Ludlam reportedly did, Di Natale refused to comment saying “I’m not going to tell you what went on internally”.

Former Deputy Leader MP Adam Bandt is no longer in a leadership position despite being a firm favourite before the ballot and has not been available for comment.

The Greens’ MP has offered his congratulations to Di Natale, Ludlam and Waters via Twitter saying he is “happy to hand over Deputy to focus on new baby”.

Before entering the Senate in 2010 Di Natale acted as a health spokesman for the Greens following on from his career as a GP.

Di Natale has been a key figure in the clash between the Government and The Greens in the senate over the now discarded GP Co-Payment.

Outside of health the new leader’s portfolios have included Multicultralism, Youth, Sport and Gambling and positions on multiple Senate committees.

Former Leaders Christine Milne and Bob Brown have both praised Di Natale with Milne saying he “will be an outstanding leader for the party”.

“He’s been a stalwart in the last few years” she said “I know that Richard brings a lot of experience and will be a wonderful asset to the Greens”.

There has been no word yet from Senator Sarah Hanson Young who after 2013 leadership ballot criticised the party room for re-electing a leader she claimed would send the party “marching to a slow death”.

Christine Milne Resigns as Leader of The Greens


UPDATED: Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne has resigned as leader of The Greens triggering a leadership ballot that will be held at 11:30am today.

In posts to her Facebook page and Twitter Milne said she was resigning with “a mix of optimism, pride, excitement and sadness”.

Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale has put his name forward for this morning’s ballot while former Deputy leader Adam Bandt has declined to comment on whether he will do the same.

West Australian Senator and leadership favourite Scott Ludlam was unavailable for comment.

Both Ludlam and Bandt are reported to have put their names forward however neither has confirmed if this is the case.

The announcement has taken many in Canberra by surprise with Treasurer Joe Hockey saying he hoped Milne’s retirement was “for all the right reasons rather than anything else”.

The Prime Minister has taken the opportunity to respond during a press conference about a new 500 million dollar road project in W.A saying he has “respect” for Milne.

“It takes a great deal of commitment and patriotism to offer to serve in the parliament” he said “it is a testament to her commitment to Australia”.

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has also spoken out on Milne’s resignation saying he “would like to place on record that she has been a distinguished public advocate in public life for 25 years”.

“I can certainly respect the conviction and the passion with which she has advanced her issues” he said “I congratulate her on two and a half decades of distinguished public life”.

There has still been no official word on whether Adam Bandt or Scott Ludlam have put their names however there are unconfirmed reports that Milne had given Senator Ludlam advanced warning of her resignation.

Greens Senator Lee Rihannon has tweeted that she believes party members should have a say in who leads the Greens with Labor MP Terri Butler calling on the Greens to “have a rank and file vote like we do”.