Kathryn Barnsley

Franklin Candidates

As a resident of Kingston for over twenty years, having spent time as a child living in the Huon valley and attended Huonville Area school, as well as being a shack owner, a regular visitor to Bruny Island, and with many friends on the Eastern Shore, I have strong connections and a love for the area and concern for the people and environment in Franklin.

For over two decades I have been a public servant, researcher, writer and advocate on public health related issues, with a strong focus on preventative health, and tobacco control. Currently I am an adjunct researcher, School of Medicine, at the University of Tasmania.

In 2016 at the age of 66, I completed a PhD within the School of Medicine. Age is no barrier to new challenges.

As a long-term advocate in preventive health and a researcher, and having spent two decades in preventive health, I am concerned about the inability of the current government to undertake evidence-based action on health. Not only have they made cuts to hospital services, but they have demonstrated a complete disregard for undertaking effective well-funded prevention programs.

It is important to have a few older and wiser heads in Parliament, because we know about the history of people in the baby boomer age demographic, and what has influenced our lives. We know what went wrong in the past, can help avoid making the same mistakes. Older politicians can help put in place systems to overcome some of these injustices.

I lived through the time when women were kicked out of the public service when they got married, were not given equal pay and were discriminated against through lack of job opportunities.

Now these older women, my peers, are:

  • Retiring with little superannuation or none,
  • At risk of homelessness or housing stress,
  • At risk of eviction if they cannot afford rent when their husband or partner passes away, and they are forced to survive on a single pension,
  • At risk of suffering elder abuse.

As a candidate, I am committed to keeping these issues at the front of people minds. It is important to remember that there are many, many women living quietly in our community doing their best to live a full life in very challenging economic circumstances.

I am a mother and grandmother, have children and grandchildren and am concerned to see that there is a strong education system, properly paid jobs and health services for them and their families.

The Liberal Party has shown contempt and disdain for older people in their Pembroke campaign. I want to restore some respect. I was the public servant responsible for establishing the Seniors Bureau and Seniors card and want to see the words “The holder is a valued member of our community” restored, as the words have disappeared from recently issued cards. Seniors should be treated with respect and esteem for both their past and continuing contribution to Tasmania.

Senior Tasmanians are still working hard, even into their sixties, seventies and eighties in paid and unpaid work, running businesses and farms, building communities, caring for grand-children, raising money for charities, growing vegies and gardens, volunteering and contributing to the economy. They should be appreciated.