|Website:||Tara TRAN – Support Community- Healthy Mind Wealthy Life /Hỗ Trợ Cộng Đồng (Facebook page)|
|Social Media:||Facebook — YouTube — LinkedIn|
|Slogans:||Healthy Mind, Wealthy Life|
|Themes:||Integrity, Compassion, Environment, Innovation, Life|
Upper House: Victoria
Lower House: not applicable
Now available on Facebook – thanks to eagle-eyed reader Drago for bringing them to my attention.
Tara gives the bare minimum of below the line preferences, numbering only 12 boxes, all of them bar one other independents, which is at least consistent with her views of what an independent can achieve. After herself at #1, #2 spot goes to Paul Ross (commentary coming soon, but let’s just say this surprises me). #3, #7 and #11 all go to independents on my missing-in-action list (i.e. candidates I’ve been unable to find online): Allen Ridgeway, Bernardine Atkinson and Nat De Francseco respectively.
#4 is Bond, James Bond (commentary coming soon, likewise surprising for reasons that will become apparent), while #5 is Neal Smith and #6 is Max Dicks, both of whom have some common policy ground with her. #8 is Group B independent Damien Richardson (formerly on Neighbours, now headliinng anti-vax rallies) and #9 is Yolanda Vega of the Reason Party – and it’s interesting that in both these cases, only the first person in each Group has been preferenced, despite there being two candidates in each. #10 is Glenn Floyd (another anti-vax type) and #12 is Geraldine Gonsalvez. A really mixed bag, and not one I can easily find patterns in, other than they are almost all independents (although it’s also interesting that among the ungrouped independents, Joe Toscane and David John Dillon’s boxes are left empty), and that clearly, Tara Tran is not interested in currying favour with the big parties.
Policies & Commentary
Not a lot to go by here – there’s a Facebook page and a YouTube page, both of which seem to have the same videos on them. Fortunately, I found this article, which seems to be basically a transcript of her main campaign video.
Tara Tran is a Community Coordinator from the City of Brimbank in Melbourne’s North West. From a Vietnamese family, and proud of both her heritage and her nation, she has lived there since 2008, and been active in her community, among other things as the founder of Vietlove Inc – Vietnamese Community’s Love for Australia, a group which claims 20,000 members, and was formed as a community support network to help with the effects of covid in 2020. Sadly, their online profile is overshadowed by an identically named group in California, so I wasn’t able to learn much about them.
In 2022, Tara was named Brimbank’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of her community work. She earned a degree in Banking and Finance in 2007, and her policies as a candidate reflect her background, and cluster around three major areas: education, health care and China. On education, she states that our children would be more successful if we provide them guidance with efficient skills to prepare them for the real world, the kind of phrasing that usually indicates a focus on job readiness as the major goal of education. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that as a focus of education, but there is as the focus. Education should prepare our children for life, and life is more than just one’s role in the economy.
As a professional social worker, Tara has strong opinions about mental health. She believes that, if elected, she can reduce the suicide rate by 90% in her first two years, and cites a project that she is already working on to this effect. That’s a big swing, and unfortunately, there’s not much here in support of it. I’m all for reducing the suicide rate, but I’d like some more details, because a 90% reduction is an amazingly large promise to make.
She also has a lot to say about China, which will simultaneously have the ruling Communist Party weakened and its trade with Australia improved by Tara being in the Senate. Again, the details of this are not entirely clear. She also, offhandedly, claims will bring Australia economy (sic) performance to a higher level while reducing government expenditure to reduce the financial pressure to our nation, and this claim is even less well explained than her other claims.
So, I really don’t know what to think here. Her policies seem mostly reasonable (if a little bit overly capitalist for more liking), but they also seem to be very large and difficult things to achieve, especially for an independent. Honestly, they seem like things that governments would struggle to achieve, and that’s for a government that’s competent, possessed of working majorities in both houses and united. My heart says yes, but my head says no – Tara Tran will be somewhere in the middle of my preferences.
Just a reminder that Maz and I lack the necessary Eurovision knowledge to choose the songs that Catherine liked to include, but we’d love to see what you suggest in the comments below 🙂