Jordon Steele-John

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Jordon Steele-John
Jordon-Steele-John-2019.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
Assumed office
10 November 2017
Preceded byScott Ludlam
Personal details
Born
Jordon Alexander Steele-John

(1994-10-14) 14 October 1994 (age 24)
Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
CitizenshipAustralian
British (1994–2013)
Political partyGreens
Alma materMacquarie University
OccupationPolitician, disability advocate
Websitejordon-steele-john.greensmps.org.au

Jordon Alexander Steele-John (born 14 October 1994) is an English-born Australian politician who is a member of the Australian Senate representing Western Australia for the Australian Greens. A disability rights advocate and politician; he replaced Scott Ludlam, who resigned after realising his New Zealand citizenship had not been renounced.

On 27 October 2017, the High Court of Australia, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, ordered the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct a recount of senate ballots in Western Australia, and Steele-John was declared elected[1] at age twenty-three, making him the youngest sitting member in the Australian parliament and youngest senator.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in the United Kingdom, Steele-John migrated as a young child to Australia with his parents. Steele-John is a disability advocate who, as a student, stood for the Greens in both federal and state elections. Steele-John studied some politics at Macquarie University by correspondence. However, his sudden unexpected appointment to the senate cut short his undergraduate studies. Steele-John uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy.[2] He has an English accent,[3] but is absolutely sure of his single-citizenship of Australia, having renounced British citizenship at age eighteen in preparation for the 2013 federal election.[4]

Political career[edit]

Prior to being listed as third senate candidate for the Greens in the 2016 federal election (behind Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert), Steele-John had been a candidate for the WA Greens three times. He ran in the March 2013 state election in the electorate of Warnbro (receiving 8.8% primary vote), the September 2013 federal election in the electorate of Fremantle (receiving 11.9% primary vote) and in the April 2014 special half-senate election which followed the result of the 2013 election being voided by the Court of Disputed Returns (as the fourth candidate on the Greens' list).

Steele-John entered the Australian Senate in the wake of two Greens senators being forced to resign due to being dual citizens in contravention of section 44 of the Australian Constitution; in particular, Scott Ludlam in Western Australia.[5]

Steele-John was named the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year in March 2019 for his leadership as a disability advocate.[6][7]

Steele-John was re-elected to the Senate at the 2019 federal election, securing 11.8% of the state's vote, with a swing of 1.48% in his favour.[8]

Political positions[edit]

Disability rights[edit]

In February 2018, Steele-John called for a Royal Commission into disabled prisoner abuse.[9] In April 2018, Steele-John commented on Parliament House's need to become more wheelchair friendly, as he had personally experienced difficulties accessing parts of it.[10]

Video games[edit]

In February 2018, Steele-John expressed disappointment at the lack of government support for the Australian video game development industry.[11][12]

Voting age[edit]

In April 2018, Steele-John announced he would introduce a bill to lower the voting age to sixteen[13] in line with countries such as Austria, Argentina, Brazil and Scotland.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gartrell, Adam (20 July 2017). "'I want the job': 22-year-old Greens Jordon Steele-John to replace Scott Ludlam in Senate". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b McCauley, Dana (19 July 2017). "Meet the 22-year-old university student in line to become an instant senator". news.com.au. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  3. ^ "'I want the job': 22-year-old Greens Jordon Steele-John to replace Scott Ludlam in Senate". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  4. ^ Donovan, Samantha (21 July 2017). "Jordon Steele-John ready to take Scott Ludlam's Senate seat". ABC News. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Ludlam's likely replacement Steele-John wants to open doors for people with disabilities". ABC News. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  6. ^ Koziol, Michael (20 March 2019). "'She's quite remarkable': Penny Wong awarded major prize for political leadership". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Penny Wong and Jordon Steele-John celebrated for political leadership". University of Melbourne Newsroom. University of Melbourne. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Senate Results - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  9. ^ Butler, Josh (7 February 2018). "Disabled Australian Prisoners Raped, Abused, Kept In Solitary". HuffPost Australia. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Jordon Steele-John has the loneliest seat in the Senate, and it's locking him out of the parliamentary process". www.msn.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  11. ^ Beech, Alexandra (5 February 2018). "Video game developers express frustration at Government inaction". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  12. ^ Sadler, Denham (7 February 2018). "Game devs will now look offshore". InnovationAus. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  13. ^ "WA Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John pushes to drop voting age to 16". PerthNow. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Legal Voting Age by Country". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External links[edit]