“It’s not designed to be easy, very often it’s advantageous for politicians if we don’t fully understand what’s going on,” Justine tells Girlfriend of Australia’s politics.
“Our goal isn’t necessarily to break huge political stories, it’s to explain them in a way that people can then go forward and understand what’s going on in their country and engage … particularly helping more young women engage in these conversations around politics,” she says.
“I have in my experience tended to shy away from it because I’ve been worried, like ‘what if I say something silly?’ Or ‘what if I sound stupid if I ask this question?’.”
“It is really embarrassing when you get to a point where you are left out of those conversations,” Elfy agrees.
“From my perspective … I felt embarrassed in the sense that everybody in politics and everybody who speaks around politics tend to be for better or worse – old white men,” she adds with a laugh.
“I have always felt like it’s important to have that sort of media representation, which not only speaks to young people, but also speaks to women specifically as people from diverse cultural backgrounds.”
And young women particularly have a lot on their mind when it comes to the impending vote.
We’ve lived through two years of a pandemic, the beginning of war overseas, and we can see evidence of climate change outside our windows – whether it’s relentless rain or dispersed smoke from bushfires.
On top of that, it’s been a big year for women and their place in Australian politics, with the likes of Grace Tame, Dhanya Mani, and Brittany Higgins calling out the prevalent sexism that exists in our country today.
“I think there’s a hell of a lot of work left, unfortunately,” Elfy says.
“We obviously saw this massive groundswell happening in the past year and the mobilisation of a lot of people to talk about this issue, which was fantastic.
“It’s an indictment on the politicians involved to be honest that it’s taken these stories where women have been victimised in such an appalling way, to get people to listen.”
“It’s been such a long and sustained change and it’s thanks to all these women’s bravery, that we are seeing results. We are seeing leaders have to sit up and listen to them, but we have such a long way to go,” Justine says.
“It took a year for the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to make public apologies for what allegedly happened in parliament … I think that is an indication of progress, but it needs to be happening at a faster pace.”
So, with so much going on, how do we know where to put our one precious vote?
While Justine and Elfy would never tell us how to vote, they’re here to help.
So far on the podcast, the girls have covered which party is best for women, and how voting actually works in Australia, and we’ll be staying tuned, eager to learn even more.
“Everyone’s priorities are going to be different at an election because everyone’s living different lives and having different issues affect them hugely,” Justine reflects.
“I think that what the younger generation care a lot about is climate change, because we are the ones who are going to be most affected by the decisions being made right now.
“Regardless of which issue you care the most about, I think that it’s about taking the time to really research the policies that parties are putting forward. And that’s something that we really hope with this podcast to be able to help people do.”
You can catch Justine and Elfy on Left Right Out, which drops weekly on Spotify.