Opinion

Alex Dyson a breath of fresh air in federal election

By Tara Whitsed

Among the swathe of political promises, television debates and Labor versus Liberal rhetoric, an amazing political story has been brewing under the surface of the federal election campaign.

Young people across the nation are turning their heads to former Triple J breakfast host Alex Dyson who has put his hand up to run for the safe Liberal seat of Wannon as an independent candidate.

For those of you who are not familiar with Dyso’s profile, his three defining attributes could be summed up as: incredible skill in interpretive dance; a solid love for raving; and being an all-round funny man.

To date, some of his political campaign gold has included an Instagram video parodying John Howard’s famous morning walk where Dyso donned an Aussie soccer jersey accompanied by his bodyguard-like dad, Ian.

Or a video where he was left stranded waiting for the V/Line train to Warrnambool which zipped past the station at which he was patiently waiting, leaving him there with ticket in hand.

But in all seriousness, Dyson’s tilt at Federal Parliament is the first time people of my generation have seen someone stand up and provide a voice for them.

Yes, there have been young adults elected before — just look as far as the Victorian electorate of Euroa where Steph Ryan has been voted as the representing member for two consecutive elections.

But it is the style in which Dyso communicates with his potential voters that has truly been a breath of fresh air to the political agenda — something the Australian public has been crying out for long before this year’s election.

Dyson, 30, admitted via social media that in his adult lifetime, he had never voted in an election where a prime minister had stayed on for a full term.

He said it was incredibly depressing that the current political make-up was having such a detrimental effect on people’s lives — on the lives of everyday Australians.

And it is Dyson’s shocking revelation about the current stance on climate change that really drives home why it is so important people like him are taking a stand and throwing themselves into the dog-eat-dog world of politics.

‘‘We’re in the same position on climate change that we were when I learned about it in Year 3 up in the Warrnambool Primary School portables back in ’95,’’ he wrote on his Instagram page, followed by an apt shoutout to his then-teacher Mr Ryan for informing him about the greenhouse effect.

He goes on to state his other key areas of interest — mental health, arts and enterprise in regional areas, and doing something about Australia’s shocking family violence statistics.

These are things that young people care about, the things that we’re sick of seeing no real change in — and people like Alex Dyson are the only politicians who will ensure we move forward as a nation in a way that reflects what the future generation actually wants for its country.

But poor Dyso is pretty up against it when it comes to taking the seat of Wannon which is currently held by Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan and has been in Liberal hands since 1995 — coincidentally when Dyso first learnt about climate change.

Regardless of the outcome, let’s hope Alex Dyson has paved the way for other young adults to do the same so we can end up with the parliament our generation wants — a bunch of progressive, environment-loving, rave cats.

Tara Whitsed is a journalist at The News.