The Dunkley federal byelection on 2 March was a great win for the Labor candidate Jodie Belyea. The byelection followed the untimely death of widely respected and much loved member Peta Murphy. Peta was also a member of ABC Friends (Parliamentary). 

Peta had known Jodie and had been impressed by her work for women. She encouraged her to join the Labor Party.  

Jodie is an excellent person to replace Peta, having strong roots in the community and having in 2018 founded the Womens’ Spirit Project. She shares Peta’s love of the ABC.  

More than twenty ABC Friends and supporters each gave many hours letter boxing, door knocking, phone banking and staffing street stalls, as well as manning the election booths during pre polling and on polling day. ABCF was even represented on the dawn shift at local railway stations.  

Southern Bayside Group called for volunteers and then passed their names and phone number to Jodie’s organisers. Times and places were then agreed with the ABCF volunteer. 

Many donned the red T shirts while others by choice wore an ABC Friends T shirt. The latter attracted positive comments with some saying that they must rejoin ABC Friends. 

Even while wearing the red T shirt members made it known to those around that they were there due to their appreciation of the ABC. The responses, as the reader can well imagine, varied. The Liberal Party member who stated that the Q&A audience was stacked now knows the selection process chapter and verse. 

Colin from SBG handing out fliers

During pre poll we handed out a “How to vote for the ABC in Dunkley” but due to Coalition objections and Electoral Commission direction it was stopped at that booth. 

The objection centred on a technicality relating to the lack of numbers in squares. 

Nevertheless one member continued to hand them out at a more remote location while wearing a hat and dark glasses and was not recognised nor challenged by Tim Wilson, former member for Goldstein. 

Other members, on their initiative, immediately letterboxed the area surrounding the booths. 

This is the fourth occasion that Southern Bayside Group have supported the Labor candidate in Dunkley based on their personal and their Party’s attitude to the ABC. 

All ABCF members who participated gained insight into their community and thought it was a wonderful and enlightening experience. And now more in the community know of ABC Friends. 

Ivor Donohue