Interview with Alana Galli-McRostie
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Thursday 21st April 2:30pm
Q: How old are you, if that’s not too personal?
Alana: I am currently 25 years old and I'll be turning 26 in a couple of weeks.
Q: Have you lived in Goldstein all your life?
Alana: Yes, I grew up in Bentleigh. I went to Tucker Road Primary School and then Brighton Secondary College. I would say I am well versed with the area now having been here 25 years. I also spent some time on a Greek island called Lesbos as I have some family over there, and I went over there to spend some time helping my Auntie set up a charity for the Syrian refugees.
Q: How long have you been working as a politician?
Alana: I wouldn't say that I'm a politician as such, I have been volunteering at elections since I was about your age handing out how to vote cards on election day and chatting to politicians at the time. I put my hand up to become a politician at this election around June last year.
Q: When you were my age what did you want to be when you grew up?
Alana: I always had an idea that I would be the Mayor of Bentleigh. I know that that's not something that exists but that's what I wanted to be and that's what I told people but I think that I found the right track to do what I loved and to do what I wanted to pursue.
Q: What was your most rewarding job?
Alana: The most rewarding job I ever had was the time I spent volunteering with the refugee crisis a few years ago, when I did go over to visit my family and end up staying to help them at the time when they were fleeing the war. I wouldn't consider that really a job but definitely the most rewarding time I have ever had.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests?
Alana: Apart from my daily exercise which I love doing with my dogs, I love to cook. I have come from a very large multicultural family. I have learned so many cooking skills and techniques over the years, I love having family and friends over, I love having large dinner parties where I get to design the menu and cook up a perfect feast. There's nothing better than a home cooked meal!
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Alana: Well I grew up with two dogs, two cats, fish and my cousins had some horses, so I'm definitely an animal person but currently I do have my own little dog who I love very much, and is obviously the cutest dog in the world [smiles]. She is an Australian Shepherd Cross Kelpie and I adopted her during Covid from a family who couldn't take care of her at the time. So..... Dog Person [laughs].
Q: Do you like children?
Alana: I love children. I love that the upcoming generation have so much to say and are so well informed and educated on so many topics. When I was at the School Climate Strike I was rallying and spoke to so many great kids who were coming up to me, they wanted to chat. Honestly [laughs], if we threw out all the old grumpy politicians in parliament at the moment and replaced them with these well-informed, smart children, we would have a better parliament.
Q: Do you think children should have a vote?
Alana: I think the voting age should be lowered with optional voting at 16 and 17 and then compulsory at 18. If young adults are well-informed and want to have a say about their future and politics, then I think they should have the option to.
Q: Voting is compulsory in Australia. Do you think that’s the best way?
Alana: Yes, I do think so. It ensure the greatest participation in the democratic process. I also think we need to provide more information about how parliament and our voting system works. Many people still don't understand how the preferential voting system works and each individual voter decides where their vote actually goes. This, in turn, pushes people away from wanting to vote or participate. As with anything you tend to not want to do something that you do not know all the details about.
Q: Would you like to be prime minister one day?
Alana: Honestly? No. It would be a very hard job. I don't think that being Prime Minister would be for me, specifically. If I was to get a seat in the Parliament House, this year maybe, or in a few years....? I'd like to stay local. I know the area and I'd like to govern on the topics that I feel very strongly about. There are so many other important roles in the government that are not just the Prime Minister, there are so many Ministers governing different bodies of the country, there are so many people supporting the Prime Minister in so many ways, I think maybe one of those roles would be better for me.
Q: If yes, which year do you aim to become prime minister?
Alana: If Politics were to take a shift for the better and we start to see a change of the political figures from those currently standing in government to what we will see of the new generation coming up, the diverse and fresh minded, I would actually hope to see someone your age in the role of Prime Minister in about fixteen, sixteen years. We need new faces, we need new people, we need fresh minds, who'll be having to deal with climate change and making the decisions that directly impact them, and you.
Q: Why should someone vote for you?
Alana: I think our community deserves a liveable planet and if people vote for me they know that I will fight for our future and for your future. I am running because, like many people, I am frustrated by the inaction from Canberra on the issues that matter most. I will be fighting for climate action and progressive policies that benefit us all, and the government, currently, is not doing enough to make the difference.
Q: Why do you think your party is the best party?
Alana: I think we're the best party because we base our policies on science and facts. We don't take donations from dirty fossil fuel companies or large corporations, like the two big parties do, so our decisions are based on putting people before profits.
Q: What do you think are the most important things in Goldstein over the next few years?
Alana: A few key things are addressing Climate Change, we can't do anything else if our planet is cooked tackling the housing crisis as it's getter harder and harder to be able to afford somewhere to live; addressing inequality as we've seen the gap between rich and poor get bigger and bigger every year which causes further problems; and ensuring that all members of the community are looked after, this is you, me, this is everybody, whether it's those in aged care getting decent food and care, or providing free childcare, or lifting the payment for those looking for a job or lifting it a certain number of days, so people don't have to live in poverty.
Q: I'm growing up in Goldstein. How do you think that growing up in Goldstein helps you be the best representative for Goldstein?
Alana: I think it does help to have grown up in Goldstein as I have a really good understanding of local issues. I have a good understanding of the area and the needs of the local communities. It is important to recognise that we are not all the same, though, and I recognise the wonderful diversity and that people have a wide range of different needs across the electorate.
Q: Is it harder to be a woman in politics than a man?
Alana: Yes. Unfortunately most positions in parliament have been held by men so far, over the years, but hopefully this is going to change. This has affected the culture which is often hostile to women in parliament. I am proud to say that 60% of elected Greens politicians are women and by electing more women across all parties the culture in parliament will change, hopefully soon. We need to stand up and demand change so that this unfair behaviour is stamped out.
Grace: That's all my questions. I think you might have some questions for me?
Alana: [Smiling] I do have some questions for you if you're happy to answer them.
Grace: [Smiling] Sure!
Q: I see you are a very switched on young lady. Do you think you might want to pursue a career in politics?
Grace: I love being a child political journalist but I love animals so I'd like to be a vet.
Alana: [Smiling] Ok! I like it. I love animals too.
Q: If you did want to be a politician, or if you wanted to back someone, what issue matters to you most, what issue is it that you would stand up for?
Grace: Trying to help the indigenous people around Australia, and Climate Change.
Alana: [Laughs] Amazing, I love it. I'm fighting for Climate Change too. We need to change the world here Grace!!