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HomeARCHIVEIndependents’ Day author talk this Thursday

Independents’ Day author talk this Thursday

Whatever your politics,  the rise of the Independent or ‘teal’ movement is a fascinating study, especially here on the Northern Beaches where it has the greatest success.

On Thursday night, 19 January, at Berkelouw Books in Balgowlah, Good Weekend magazine editor Katrina Strickland will join Zali Steggall MP to chat with journalist Brook Turner, author of the new book Independents’ Day.

Published in November 2022, Independents’ Day examines the independent candidates and their community volunteers who shook Australian politics during the 2022 Federal Election.

The elections for the 47th Parliament of Australia, held on 21 May 2022, featured an upsurge in support for female politicians – not predicted by the male-dominated two main political parties – and were characterised by the social movement that’s come to be known as the Teal Revolution.

Author Brook Turner interviewed all the key players and analysed the social dynamics in place.

The teals’ grassroots campaigns, supported by Climate 200 (the community crowdfunding initiative), were politically centrist whilst focussing on issues like climate change action, women’s inclusiveness and political integrity.

They resulted in six formerly safe Liberal seats falling to teal independent candidates. Some constituencies had been held by the Liberal-National Party coalition for decades and were thought unshakeable.

Liberal incumbent Josh Frydenberg, then-Treasurer and Deputy Liberal Leader, lost his seat in Kooyong, Victoria, to a teal challenger (Monique Ryan), effectively scuppering his rumoured ambitions to challenge outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the new party leader.

On their website, Climate 200 claim that “11,200 Aussies donated over $13 million to help 11 climate-focussed community Independents get elected to the federal Parliament.”

Zali Steggall, independent ‘teal’ MP, will be in conversation with Brook Turner, author of Independents’ Day

Real deal Teal 

Of the six women most readily identified as teals – Zali Steggall (Warringah), Allegra Spender (Wentworth), Monique Ryan (Kooyong – Melbourne), Kate Chaney (Curtin – Perth), Zoe Daniel (Golstein – Melbourne) and Sophie Scamps (Mackellar) – two of them now represent electorates on the Northern Beaches.

The word ‘teal’ was coined because most of the new candidates (but not all) and their supporters wore teal-coloured shirts – to distinguish them from the red of Labour, the blue of the Liberal-Nationals and green of The Greens.

Some media pointed out that the colour teal is derived by blending blue with green, hinting at the economically conservative but environmentally-focussed policies that united the six candidates, a mix of Liberal and Green agendas.

The spiel on Goodreads’ book review website sums up the book: “As Australia headed into the 2022 election, the media focused on the usual two-horse race. … But in community halls and online forums, suburban streets and country towns, a very different kind of political change was already well underway.

“Brimful of enthusiasm, novice candidates, volunteers and campaigners were making it up as they went, with teams often working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not daring to believe they might succeed. … They wanted real action on climate change, integrity in politics, and gender equality. And they had found strong candidates willing to listen…”

Incidentally, Goodreads’ reviewers (the book-buying public) gave Independents’ Day an average rating of 4.43 out of 5.

Joining the conversation will be Katrina Strickland, Editor of Good Weekend magazine, the weekend supplement with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Event information


Berkelouw Books