Retired concert pianist Liz Glab has turned herself into a walking billboard. “I don’t leave the house without my Kooyong Votes Climate t-shirt,” she says, “and I take any and every opportunity to engage with people on the street, in shops or on public transport.”
The 64-year-old, who has an MBA, is deeply concerned about the lack of action on climate change and is doing everything she can to encourage people to vote for the climate this election.
“We are facing a possible sixth massive extinction on earth and I’m worried about the irreversible nature of what I call the Climate Emergency. There are many issues in our society, but this is all encompassing.”
Liz is one of an army of volunteers who are distributing the Kooyong Votes Climate Candidate Scorecard to voters. The scorecard is a non-partisan, objective summary that highlights where each candidate stands on a range of important climate initiatives such as evidence-based policy and strong clean energy targets.
Volunteers have been busy doorknocking in Kew, Hawthorn, Canterbury, Camberwell Surrey Hills and Mont Albert and handing out Candidate Scorecards at local shopping strips or train stations.
Getting people to volunteer for doorknocking or street conversations is the hardest ask, but Liz and her fellow volunteers believe they are one of the most important things they can do, as person to person conversations have been proven to be the most effective way to engage with people.
“When I’ve done door knocking or street conversations, what has struck me is the variety of responses. One older male over the weekend said he doesn’t have children and he’s going to be dead soon, so he doesn’t care. On the other end of the spectrum, we get people who are enthusiastic and want to volunteer and help us. As a generalisation, younger people seem to be more aware than older people, however, when older people are made aware, they are often keen to help in whatever way they can.”
Despite the amount of time that Liz is putting in in the lead up to the election, she says being involved with Kooyong Votes Climate is very rewarding.
“It’s really interesting meeting people and all the people I work with are fantastic. There’s never a dull moment. I find the variety in human nature very interesting and the way people think, and feel is fascinating. I feel I am contributing to the possible solution and find it is a positive way to channel my anger and frustration.”
While Liz has been heartened by how many people are receptive to the scorecard, she is surprised how many people feel disengaged from politics, or don’t realise how urgent the climate issue has become.
“The U.K. Conservative Party led parliament recently declared a Climate Emergency. I want people to realise that climate action is not a left or right issue, it’s a human existence issue. I really hope this election, voters send a message to all politicians to think about your children and grand-children, and act.”