Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Craig Christie - Getting to know you.

Craig Christie arrived in Coffs around a decade ago, leaving the corporate world and the city behind to spend quality time with his family and follow his dreams in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world.

What do you remember about your first election? 

I was born in South Africa in the early 70’s and my family arrived in Australia a decade later around the time Bob Hawke was elected. I remember the excitement and energy and was very interested in the Aussie version of politics. I have always been intrigued by politics and enjoyed many family discussions from a very young age about local and international politics, philosophy and religion.

Leadbeater’s possum or eastern long-neck turtles?

Eastern long-neck turtle – there is a turtle nesting area/beach only a few km from my local beach.

What’s your precious place and why?

Easily the beach - whether on the headland, sand, or sea, with friends, family or on my own. The sea and surrounds are so vast, powerful and hardy yet so soft and fragile also. I am always recharged and lighter after some time at the beach.

Favourite Greens policy? 
I think my favourite would have to be our asylum seeker/refugee policy. It is not necessarily popular, but I am proud that the Greens give a voice to those that seemingly have very little say in their lives. The Greens have emerged as the champions for the vulnerable, treating all with dignity, but processing asylum seekers’ claims on the mainland for example makes economic sense also.

Best part of your work with the Greens?

Communicating and working with others about how to make this planet a better place. There are a lot of problems out there, especially if you read the papers or catch the news etc; however there is a myriad of solutions with dedicated and clever people working on getting things done.

What keeps you going?

I am optimistic that Australians and humans everywhere will value our connection to each other and the world around us.  Keeping this vision in mind helps get through the tougher and more depressing moments.

Favourite political song?
Ben Harper – Give a Man a Home
Who inspires you? Why?

Nelson Mandela. Self-sacrificing political conviction coupled with a beautiful heart. He transformed such a terrible personal and broader tragedy into a personal and national liberation with patience, forgiveness and hard work.

Comfort food?
Curries and spicy foods – we usually have chillies growing at home so they get added to many meals!

What would you spend $20 billion on?

I would spread the money around various renewable energy ventures. Some money towards a manufacturing hub here on the Mid North Coast of NSW but also some seed money for various community co-operative wind farms. That amount of money would go a long way initially but these projects are sustainable and would also provide on-going benefits for many communities and the environment.

Secret vice?

Dark chocolate is normally always in the fridge.

Best coffee/drink in town?

I don’t drink coffee, however a banana smoothie made at home does the trick for me.

Three apps you can’t live without 

I can live without apps. I work in IT, so the more time away from technology in my spare time the better.
What did you want to be when you grew up?

Lawyer, physicist, footballer, writer… it changed all the time and it still does, more recently I have been writing children’s books and also teaching Tai Chi so I’ll get back to you when I am all grown up!

Morning run or night time swim?

Morning run for sure, with young kids it has been early mornings for runs on the beach or surfing for many years now – everyone is up so why not

What’s your greatest hope for the future?
That humanity invents the replicator in the next few decades. It is a technology from Star Trek that basically makes most things. A future where material things don’t matter would take care of a lot of insecurities and hopefully see humanity co-operate and take care of each other and our environment the way we should, rather than compete for everything.
Magic wand to solve one world problem — what would it be?

No more weapons or war. Even just half of the annual global military expenditure spent instead on social or environmental projects would make a massive difference.

What advice would you give a new volunteer?

Pace yourself and learn as much about Greens policies as you can. The Greens have great policies and the more you can share with others the better.

You can travel through time — where do you go?

Ancient China to spend time with the Taoists, I love the philosophy of ‘less as more’ and learning from the balance and harmony of nature as those ancient sages did.

If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you be doing?

I am a volunteer so I do other work to make a living, but volunteering with The Greens helps make life worth living. If we didn’t have a political party like The Greens in Australia I would be keen to join possibly an activist group nationally or globally such as GetUp or Avaaz that also do important work helping people stand up against corrupt or oppressive governments and dodgy corporations.

If you have specific questions for Craig please add them in the comments section.  There is also a facebook forum to enable people to ask candidates questions.  Coffs Harbour Electorate Candidate Forum and Craig will also be attending a number of Candidate Forums including this one.