Anyone who has read, watched, followed or chatted to comedian, author and activist Mandy Nolan knows she’s not afraid to get political in her work. Now she’s upping the ante by getting political on a whole new level, by running as a candidate for the Greens in the federal electoral division of Richmond in far Northern New South Wales.
Historically, the division has been a Nationals stronghold, a pattern Mandy is seeking to disrupt.
“Australia needs leaders that represent their community, not their corporate donors,” she says.
“The Greens don’t take donations from corporations trying to buy influence, so by voting to put a Greens MP in Parliament, you’re sending a message to the Nationals and Labor that inaction on the climate crisis and skyrocketing economic inequality isn’t good enough.”
Mandy has lived, worked and campaigned in the region for over three decades. She has been a vocal campaigner on the housing crisis on the North Coast, which has the highest rate of homelessness in NSW and is the author of a weekly column in the Echo.
“I love this region a lot,” she tells us. “I believe we’ve been left behind at a regional level and at a local level. I’m excited about getting things happening, particularly looking at our housing issues and our coastal erosion issues, as well as bringing more of the arts and embracing all of the amazing talent that we have in this region.”
Blank has written about Mandy’s work in the entertainment sector many times over the years, and although we’re an apolitical publication, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t think this move was a good fit for her. As followers of her writings, we felt certain she was going to turn her boundless energy into major action at some point.
Mandy believes also, that things have been building up to this moment.
“Look, I can write about change and I can talk about these issues. It’s like a natural progression in a sense I’ve been here for over 30 years and for over 20 of them I’ve been having these kind of conversations with my local community.
“People have been saying to me for years that I could do something about it all.
“You know I’m not a career politician, I’m not a lawyer, I’m coming from a place of grassroots political activism, and I’m committed to making a change.”
Mandy knows she’s got a big job ahead of her, but she’s prepared to tackle it head on.
“I may be a comedian, but politics is no joke,” she says. “For years, I’ve fought to give a voice to the voiceless in our community, now I’m going to take that fight to Canberra.”