Jordon Steele-John

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Jordon Steele-John
Jordon-Steele-John-2019 (cropped).jpg
Steele-John in 2019
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 26)
Northampton, 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. Previously a disability rights advocate, Steele-John was first elected in 2017 on countback to replace Scott Ludlam, before winning his seat in his own right at the 2019 federal election.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in the United Kingdom, Steele-John migrated as a 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.[1] Steele-John renounced British citizenship at age eighteen in preparation for the 2013 federal election, and currently only holds Australian citizenship.[2][3]

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.[4] 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[5] at age twenty-three, making him the youngest sitting member in the Australian parliament and youngest senator.[1]

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.[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 2018, Steele-John introduced a bill to lower the voting age to sixteen.[13] He argued that age would be in line with Austria, Argentina, Brazil and Scotland. The bill was not passed by parliament.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "'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.
  3. ^ Donovan, Samantha (21 July 2017). "Jordon Steele-John ready to take Scott Ludlam's Senate seat". ABC News. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Ludlam's likely replacement Steele-John wants to open doors for people with disabilities". ABC News. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ 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.
  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]