So Who Am I?
My name is Luke Daniel Hinsley.
I was born in Melbourne in 1984, on the 25th of January, the day before Australia Day. My family were lower middle income which resulted in us moving frequently, for my parents to find work. To their credit, they worked hard to make sure we never felt poor. I became an Uncle at 15 years old, which added meaning and importance to my life. My niblings give me reason to fight for a better future for everyone.
I have Depression (Dysthymia), I’m trying to be more open about it to combat the stigmas around Mental Health issues. My Physical Health could use some work too, not going to lie. I’m not fragile though, I’ve worked hard and taken hits anyway, but I keep going.
I lived in Corio for a couple of years as a child, and my family moved back when I was 20. I’ve changed houses a few times but I’ve never left Geelong, or the Electorate of Corio. It’s been my home since.
I am resilient, and I have the drive and motivation to see this through. I believe in Social Democratic Policy Making, towards the universal benefit of the populace.
I want to help the 99%. I want to advocate for you.
My Work Life
My work life has been predominantly in the Retail Sector, with a brief stint in IT, and periods of unemployment. Working in Retail teaches you the difference between a Manager, and a Leader. That profit is King but cashflow is King maker, making 90% of your budget in December is meaningless if you can’t keep the lights on in July. The importance of Teamwork is in our nature, we are social animals and need other people around us, for our own wellbeing. Working towards a common goal builds friendships, comradery, and community. I learned Logistics, and resource and time management, through operating the Receipt & Dispatch Department. Learning how things work behind the scenes. The more intimately involved you become in the operations, the more you see a lot of things are simpler than you may think, and the talking heads at the top have no idea what they’re doing. People rise to the level of their incompetence. I worked a few specialist positions but not in management, so I have no Industry ties or loyalties.
One of the hardest things to learn at work is your own limitations, I had peaked where I was, and pushed myself beyond my breaking point.
I am currently on Jobseeker, and was trying to get the Disability Support Pension. The legislative nightmare of that is part of the reason for my run.
My Lived Experience
I’ve been through the ringer in life. I don’t blame anyone, feel entitled to compensation, or feel I’ve had life harder than anyone else. Experienced Trauma builds genuine Empathy, I believe.
– I had a pretty chaotic childhood. I was bullied a lot at School, so I don’t tolerate Bullies now. I’ll call bullshit out to it’s face. By the time I was 18, I had lived in about 20 different houses, I have since lost track of the exact number. Moving a lot teaches the importance of stable finances and secure housing.
– From the time I started working and earning my own money, I’ve pretty much become the Bank of Last Resort for my family. I’ve learned to live below my means, to budget for emergency savings. For me, or for others.
– I lost my home when a storm partially ripped off the roof, it’s a mind blowing thing to see happen, and the resulting damage made the unit unliveable. I became Homeless in an instant. Family kept a roof over my head, but losing the sense of Home and Safety is not something easily gotten back. Even now that I’m in public housing in a place of my own, I don’t always feel at home.
– Centrelink, the social safety net designed to not help anyone. Virtually everyone has their own horror stories of having to deal with Centrelink, so I won’t go to details of mine. I have a published article you can read for that HERE. Suffice to say, as I write this I’m stuck in a legislated Catch 22 of improper support. I know firsthand the NEED to Reform Social Security.
My Mental Health
Additionally to the Above, there’s ongoing Mental Health issues. There are added challenges to daily life, most of which are small and trivial, that have to be managed. Some can even have odd benefits. When you feel like you’ve lost everything, you can feel resilient in knowing you’re still here, and have nothing left to lose and still everything to gain.
Everyday can be a trial of self determination and discovery. I learn about who I am, of what is important to me, and what I value. It can be a struggle at times. Diseases of Despair like mine are on the rise globally, and I feel part of the cause is a Hopelessness for the Future, because of Climate Change. It’s a factor in my life. Put simply: To help my own Mental Health, I’m going to have to Save the World.
Life has knocked me down, and gotten in a few kicks. But I’ve always found something worth getting back up for, something Bigger and Better than before.
Now it’s here, my chance to do something more.
This journey started for me while I was really struggling with my mental health, and rather than getting help from Centrelink (our Social Safety Net) I was getting rejection and aggravation. I reached out to the Federal Government and Political Parties for help, and hope of reform. I received some verbal support from my local MP’s office but ultimately nothing changed, they weren’t going to fix the issues because they didn’t see them as issues. I learned that I wasn’t alone, people worse off than me were getting the same or even poorer treatment. This was the system working as they intended it to work. I realised if I was going to get the change we all needed, I was going to have to do it myself.
I reached my “Put up or Shut up” point, and decided to make a stand. I’m sick of the lack of choice in politics, and the lack of long term vision from the main parties. Progress by inches or Regress by miles, it’s hardly an inspiring choice. I’m tired of feeling hopeless for the future, the frustration of having solutions to problems be so plainly in front of us, stifled by the lack of political will to make the tough decisions. Or worse yet, corrupt individuals taking us down the wrong path.
I want my niblings to have a better world than the one I was born into, and I’m pissed off that our society is actively making sure it will be worse. The stubborn refusal to change the unsustainable Australian way of life to preserve the planet for future generations is infuriating. The lack of curiosity about science, technology, and the benefits of change is unforgiveable.
I’m all for diversity of representation, more women, more people of colour, more Indigenous people, and I also think we need better representation and better role models than the current Stale-Pale-Male majority.
I want change. I want the chance to vote for it, and I want to give you the chance to vote for it too. I’m willing to devote the rest of my life to this. I’m willing to be the villain to all the powerful special interests that stand in the way of progress. Because whatever the outcome may be, at the end of the day at least I’ll know that I tried.