The Young Nationals are gearing up for their Conference in two weeks’ time, which means that our Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson will be stepping down from her role as Patron. We couldn’t let Katrina leave before getting the low down on the event of the year and her take on how to get more young regional people involved in politics.
What does being part of the 2015/2016 NSW Young Nationals team as Patron mean to you?
It was absolutely the highlight of 2015! Nothing outshone that moment, and I was honoured and humbled to have been nominated. It's unfortunate that it must come to an end so quickly!
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Young Nats Conference?
I'm looking forward to catching some of the articulate and thought provoking debate that the Young Nats Conference is so famous for. I'm also looking forward to the Saturday night dinner - last year's conference dinner in Corowa was fabulous and I'm sure this year’s will be just as wonderful!
What do you think could be done more to engage young regional people in politics?
Likely Young Nationals are lurking around every corner! All big Nats - ie the mums and dads, grannies and gramps - need to notify their family juniors to sign up so they can get to the event of the year - Young Nats Conference!
Gender balance in the Party is a key issue that the NSW Nationals are currently addressing. Do you have any advice for young women who would like to engage with politics and in particular the NSW Nationals?
I don't believe that gender equity will ever be achieved until party electoral funding is tied to female nominations for preselection in lower house seats, as happens in Ireland. Young women aspiring for a life in politics should attend Young Nats conference and meet the movers and shakers, also grab some work experience in a MPs office or at Head Office - it looks great on your CV!
If we reintroduced a sporting competition to the Young Nats annual calendar, what sport would you pick?
Definitely mixed indoor netball.
For more about the 2016 Young Nats Conference: http://www.nswnationals.org.au/young_nationals_conference.