By Laura McLean
A Murdoch University student has found herself a spot on the 2019 Senate ballot.
After spending the last six years volunteering for The Greens (WA), 28-year-old Jordan Cahill decided it was time to do even more for the party and her community.
“It’s hard to sit and watch the government fail to change anything. One day I sat down with my partner and said ‘what have I got to lose? If it’s not me, then who?”’
Cahill isn’t the only millennial looking to make their way into parliament this election. On Thursday, the ABC confirmed almost 120 of the candidates are under the age of 35.
Murdoch University lecturer and doctor of Political Theory, Ian Cook, credits the rise in political engagement from young people to the growing awareness of issues like climate change and same-sex marriage.
“I think it’s really important that young people are getting active in politics because there are lots of issues that affect them more or differently than how they affect other people,” Cook said.
“Old people run politics. If young people don’t get their acts together and start doing stuff, old people will sell their future out from underneath them.”
For Cahill, witnessing the everyday struggles in her community inspired her to stand up for what matters.
“My campaign focuses are on the environment, improving the conditions for refugees and bettering education in Australia.
“I’m also pushing to have dental care covered under Medicare.”
But, Cahill says she wouldn’t have this opportunity without the support from her friends, family and the Greens.
“My support network is amazing. The people around me are always making sure I’m not taking too much on and everyone is always asking if they can help out in any way.”
And as far as how she manages to juggle the final year of her law degree, working part-time and managing her own campaign: “There’ll be time for sleep later.”