AGM 2023 Committee Nominations


You will be able to watch nominee speeches at the recording of the meeting from 5 November here.


President nominations

  • Drew Wolfendale

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

Fusion is now indisputably a Large Organisation. Definitions of Large for this vary from place to place, spanning a range between 100 and 500 staff/members. No matter which definition you pick though, we are no longer constrained to our branches, which were either small-medium, or just barely large organisations under most definitions. Fusion is now comfortably into the Large range, by a whole order of magnitude according to some criteria.

Which means, we cannot afford to keep operating as if we are a small organisation.

Small parties are often characterised by the idea of rallying behind a strong leader - someone who is charismatic and dynamic. If you take a look at other parties of any significant size though, the president of the organisation is not the leader, and this is for good reason.

A large organisation needs to operate on a model of facilitation. The executive functions of the party need to serve the needs of the party. To govern at scale, is to impart others with the tools, freedoms, and supports, to go out and act according to the needs of the party, without the direct management of the executive.

Anybody can be appointed to act as the charismatic spokesperson of the organisation - with whatever powers of negotiation or leadership the party wishes to assign to them. The executive has the authority to delegate almost any amount of power or responsibility to whoever they need to.

However, nobody can have the responsibility of governing the party organisation delegated to them. A president who understood the critical functions of delegation well enough to delegate that responsibility effectively, would not need to do so.

It is for this reason that the president needs to be someone with a servant leadership attitude. Someone who is not only capable of establishing guidelines and delegating actions effectively, but who is enthusiastic about doing so.

The president is not a "leader", they are an administrator. They must have an attitude to empower others, not to glorify themselves.

In many respects, it can be said that; if the average member has no idea who the president is, but the party is doing well, then that is the sign of a good president.

This holds, simply because a large organisation cannot do well without coordinated governance, and a large organisation cannot thrive without effectively empowered people. Thus, a president must be both capable of coordinating, and also empowering for a party to do well, and an effectively empowered group of organisers will receive the attention for their works directly.

As for why I think that I am the most appropriate person for the position?

Experience.

Almost my entire career has been spent working in a large business, spread across the length and breadth of Australia, with diverse and often competing internal interests - and I have spent that time almost entirely within roles where the work I have done has been in the aid of harmonising and coordinating disparate organisational processes into a coherent whole.

I have now spent almost a full decade learning and utilising precisely the skills needed to steer a diverse and multifaceted organisation of this size towards a cohesive future.

Facilitation and coordination is what an organisation like Fusion needs.

Facilitation and coordination is what I do.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

Through my time here as both an executive and non-executive member, and as an executive member of Science before that, I have had what I think is fair to describe as a key role in the development of Fusion.

I led the Science Party in the original process of developing a values framework. This framework, which was still in preliminary stages at the time of Fusion's formation, was the basis for establishing and agreeing on common ground with most of the original branches. I subsequently led the process of bringing everyone together to a shared values framework for Fusion, upon which our policy development process has been built.

The full scope of the framework has not yet been realised, but it has still also served as a basis for developing Fusion's vision statement - which is a process I did not lead, but still had a key role in making sure it got off to a healthy start.

In addition to these core contributions, I have also:

  • run as the lead SA senate candidate during the federal election
  • written blog posts which include an explainer that synthesises our values into a perspective on where we sit in the green environmentalist space
  • contributed to the state organising plans and strategies
  • administered the discord server
  • designed and coded the comms authorisation process used to great effect during the federal election
  • submitted substantial content on the matter of housing policy
  • performed as the remote volunteer coordinator for the Aston by-election - ensuring that booths were manned and supplied, and that everyone had safe ways home or to the after party at the end of the day
  • contributed through the constitutional committee to the initial constitutional changes to make Fusion feasible
  • though that, I have additionally been largely responsible for the design of the DRC conflict resolution process

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I have expressed a little on my relevant skills and experience in prior answers. To go beyond that: I am an Adelaide local from a (mostly) British background, born and raised in Australia.

I completed a bachelors of engineering in mining at around the same time the industry went into its downturn and instead ended up working in the rail industry, which is where my experience with large and geographically dispersed organisations comes from. I also studied an (unfinished) masters in finance, for which I spent one semester studying overseas in Sweden. I enjoy learning about culture and history, which has many insights that can be applied to various experiences today, and am moderately competent in both Swedish and Mandarin. Naturally, foreign policy, and the impacts of extra-national foreign policies on our domestic environment is an area of keen interest for me.

Over time, my professional experience has tended to focusing more and more closely on strategic management and planning, process and data governance, and effective process design and reform, with a side of assurance practices. This experience has been gained in cross-team, cross-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder scenarios.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

As previously mentioned. I facilitated the process which wrote them.

While I could write extensively on my personal alignment, I think it is more appropriate in this case to simply point out that nobody has a better claim than I do for having a full understanding of them - and in that sense, if I did not align with them, I would not be nominating to be president of the organisation that they serve.


  • Miles Whiticker

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

I have been politically active for over a decade, and have extensive experience in community organising, political organising, advocacy and philosophy.
How have you been contributing to Fusion?
I have primarily been active as in campaign and volunteer management. My main achievements in the party have included:
  • Primary author, Fusion Operations Plan 2023 and National Strategy 2023
  • Co-lead organiser, State branch initiative 2023
  • Engagement and membership support, AEC member audit 2023
  • Lead organiser, Member Drive 2023
  • Volunteer coordinator, marketing, media and comms, Aston by-election campaign 2023
  • Volunteer coordinator, marketing, media and comms, Victoria state election 2023 (including registration campaign)
  • Queensland campaign manger and national campaign support, Federal Election 2022
  • Lead negotiator for the Pirate Party, Fusion merger negotiations 2021-2022

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

In the past ten years I have engaged in a broad variety of community organising including for organisations such as The Wilderness Society (TWS), Queensland Community Alliance (QCA), Together union, Anti-Poverty Network Queensland (APN), and Extinction Rebellion SEQ (XR), Effective Altruism Australia (EA), AI Safety Australia/New Zealand (AISANZ), and the Australian Republican Movement (ARM). My political activities have almost exclusively been with Pirate Party Australia and the Fusion Party, although I've privately supported friends who ran as candidates for the Australian Progressives, Legalise Cannabis Australia, the Australian Greens and independants.

My key policy areas are technology enabled direct democracy, assembly democracy and climate change action, although as part of the Pirate Party I have also advocated heavily for privacy/anti-surveillance, freedom of speech, open source technology, Universal Basic Income (UBI) evidence based policy, as well as civil rights and digital liberties more broadly.

Professionally I work as a freelance web developer and do engage in paid youth work, with a completed Bachelors in Games Programming and I'm currently studying a dual Bachelor of Secondary Education/Science (Physics major).

In my spare time I volunteer as a youth worker and study political philosophy.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

I align closely with Pirate values of civil rights and digital liberties. I also consider myself a metamodernist and libertarian socialist.

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Convenor nominations

  • Owen Miller

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

Since joining the executive committee a year ago, I've been dedicating myself to getting real things done for Fusion, not squabbling over interpersonal dramas. There is so much benefit our party can bring to Australia and the world; and I still believe that I have a duty to use my skills to ensure this happens.

I think that if we elect Miles as President, I add a lot of complementary value, especially in terms of software and in compelling writing. As a political party, we need to be thought leaders, for there to be any point in us existing.

I’m very happy with the vision and mission statements we were able to craft (https://www.fusionparty.org.au/our_party), and I’m proud of the material we put out for the Aston election (https://www.fusionparty.org.au/owen_miller_aston). I feel I was able to make video pitches that were cohesive and convincing. With the help of graphics volunteers like Ling and Andrea, we were able to create a recognisable visual brand that I’ve continued to apply in subsequent media.

My campaign in Aston achieved our greatest ever result of 2.9% As we continue to score higher numbers, it increases our visibility, and in turn, the votes at subsequent elections.

On the day after the election, a Reason associate congratulated us and said we’d been able to do in months what Reason took 3 years to do. I think we’re on fire right now and I need to do all that’s in my power to keep it going.

After the election, I presented the August monthly members meeting and I created an advertisement introducing Fusion to potential members and voters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEgtPhTOAzE).

Since then, I’ve been creating content for Basic Income Australia and the Non-Human Party. I’m proud of a recent video, What Les Misérables Tells Us About UBI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBW8LGGqWtI).

I think it’s critical for all of us to make friends all around the activist community and while I enjoy helping out Basic Income Australia, I feel I have more to give Fusion. I am running for Convenor to have the formal recognition that I am now a spokesperson for Fusion. Recognition that I have value to bring to Fusion.

I think Fusion is being held back and that if we elected Miles as President, we can turn things up to 11.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

In planning to leave New York and move to Melbourne, I put my hand up to be Registered Officer and I’m grateful that members trusted me enough to elect me to this role.

Once I arrived in Australia, I was handing out flyers for Simon Gnieslaw in his state election campaign.

I threw myself into the renaming debate and worked with Petar Johnson to set up a voting system and thorough process so that we could end up with a conclusive, uniting decision on the matter. The opinions about the name and branding proved valuable later, when Petar and I participated in the focus group to produce our vision and mission statements (https://www.fusionparty.org.au/our_party).

In April, I ran for election in Aston (https://www.fusionparty.org.au/owen_miller_aston) and we achieved 2.9%, our highest result ever. Besides the time and cost involved, by taking leave, it also meant I was no longer working on critical projects, so I was included in a round of layoffs just before the election occurred. I have since been reinstated to my job in NFTs, but I guess that the experience has shown me that my involvement in politics is a very real threat to other aspects of my life, and I’m still coming back for more.

Besides creating content for the Aston election, I also wrote our submission about digital platforms (https://www.fusionparty.org.au/submission_digital_platforms); I created a video ad for us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBW8LGGqWtI); and I created the content around our August monthly members meeting: Housing Crises Throughout History (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOzJwGRtS88).

As the executive has gradually lost our National Campaigns Coordinator and Convenor, the remaining executives have inevitably had to do more, and I’ve still been actively engaged in the meetings. When Andrea Leong stepped down as Secretary, I took on this role, in addition to my duty as Registered Officer.

The AEC audit proved to be a significant amount of work for me to undertake and it was a great relief a few weeks ago to get the call from the AEC, saying we'd passed − with Reason and the Democrats not managing to pass the audit, I think this puts into perspective the difficulty for us, as well as the immense potential ahead. We are now the logical choice for a bigger choice of the voting public.

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I was born in Newcastle and lived there until I was 7, then I grew up in Sydney. As a teenager, I was very interested in robotics, especially the works of Isaac Asimov.

I ended up studying mechatronics and computer science at the University of Sydney, finishing with first-class honours.

During university, I dealt casino games at parties, then after graduating, I dealt Blackjack at The Star for 5 months before ultimately securing a mechatronics job. That company unfortunately went into liquidation soon afterwards and after 2 years of Sydney jobs, I moved to Seattle to work on the recommender systems at Amazon.

I moved to New York in 2017 to become the lead engineer for a consultancy, then moved into small startups. I tried my hand at my own startup based around computer vision in bars, but ultimately people said it was creepy and Big Brother. Since 2021, I've worked in NFTs, writing smart contracts, as well as being a full-stack engineer for the marketplace side of the website.

Although my parents lived on the North Shore of Sydney, I don’t live with any pretence or entitlement. When I moved out, I lived in Enmore in a house with 12 people (mainly students and backpackers). I find I can get along with pretty much anyone, and this allowed me to succeed in my time dealing casino games. I was hired to enhance the night for a bunch of strangers celebrating their 40th birthday or their work party. It’s rewarding for me to be able to develop my empathy and in turn, the clarity of my thoughts.

In 2017, I became recognised as a Top Writer on Quora. I enjoy fleshing out ideas through writing and I feel that as I get better at it, I can better contribute to changing the direction of the world around us.

I became increasingly frustrated about the way the world was headed, in particular Australia's squandering of opportunities in technology. This nation that once cherished innovation so much that we put an engineer on the $50 note now had R&D spending below the OECD average; and Internet speeds less than half the OECD average. I was forced to leave my beloved homeland to pursue software in a dog-eat-dog world, and even there, people still saw cameras as spy equipment. Our rejection of useful technology was making our lives so slow, error-prone and just inferior.

In 2020, my political thoughts coalesced into the idea of “Nationality as a Service” (https://nonhuman.party/post/nationality_as_a_service/) and the creation of the Non-Human Party, fighting for the rights of robots and animals − intelligent actors who could benefit our society if we optimised their existence.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

When people ask about the Fusion Party, I tell them it's a party that cares about technological innovation; treating climate change as an emergency; and civil liberties.

I don't see any other party like this. Now with Reason and the Democrats gone, our closest party would be the Greens, but I've previously criticised them for being more interested in social justice issues than in the environment, plus their policies tend towards band-aids and authoritarianism.

As for Liberal and Labor, I think they've repeatedly betrayed Australia and they've locked in irreversible suffering through their habit of kicking big problems down the road, like housing, climate change, mental health and our dwindling innovation ecosystem.

We now have an economy based on digging things out of the ground, and exploiting each other with real-estate speculation. Our national defence is firmly in the hands of genocidal war-mongers who can more readily imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

Our universities have turned into rubber-stamping degree factories for immigrants who are being exploited in order to prop up our raw GDP and hide the fact that our GDP per capita is falling.

Australians still have a memory of our past values. We still have respect for innovation and a yearning desire for a harmonious multicultural society where we can trust one another. A society with a strong safety net, where people can have a second chance and where you're able to help out a mate who's down on their luck.

I think it's a tragedy that Australia and even the Fusion Party now routinely get side-tracked by culture wars coming out of the US, invented by the media as deliberate distractions. My biggest issue is with our support for affirmative action and quotas. I think they're band-aids and they endorse discrimination. I've written for years about accessibility in our built environment (https://czpakkkrrmggyvrt.quora.com/The-Invention-of-Disability) despite not having any disabilities myself. I've created a political party fighting for the rights of robots and animals. I think it's pretty silly to say that I would be no different to any other man with white skin, and that this is the only group of people I care about. To succeed in my professional life as a software engineer, I'm regularly forced to think of edge cases; exceptions and unlikely scenarios. Sure, I'm not going to be able to have the same insight for all people, but if we want politicians who have empathy with a wider group than just those who are already spoken for, I think I definitely fulfil this criteria.

I have donated blood 6 times, after coming close to death and receiving 3 packets myself. I believe that people can be good, and that my benevolent intentions will eventually become apparent. I love Australia and I think there's a duty on us as citizens to ensure the best outcomes for our nation.

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Secretary nominations

  • Adam Woodings

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

As an IT professional, my day-to-day responsibilities align seamlessly with the administrative demands of the secretary role. Managing minutes, database administration, scheduling, and paperwork are integral to my current role. I bring a proven track record of efficiently handling these tasks. This aligns with how I see the Secretary role within Fusion, however it is also a collaborative role, working with other Exec members, members of the party, the AEC and the general public. I feel I could perform this role adequately, and I look forward to the challenges it will bring.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

My contributions to Fusion include:

  • Running for the WA Senate in the 2022 Federal Election
  • Phone banking for the Federal Election
  • Providing remote assistance for the Aston by-election
  • Sitting on the name change committee in 2022
  • Organising WA meetups (to recommence soon™)

I see a bright future for Fusion, and I am eager to continue supporting us in whatever capacity I can.

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

Territorian born, I emigrated to WA when I was in high school in '96. I've lived in Perth ever since. I left high school to work in the liquor industry for over a decade where I learnt customer service and management skills. I went to TAFE after marriage where I got an IT cert shortly before the birth of our first child. I went on to work at the CSIRO in Floreat in IT support during which we had our second child, then went on to work at one of the WA Uni's just before the birth of my third child, first on the help desk then in the Technical Services team.

I've been a geek all my life, pulling apart to upgrade my first PC in the early 90's with help from a family friend, upgrading our 486SX from 4 to 8mb RAM and installing a CD-ROM!

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

My political journey began with the Australian Sex Party, before they pulled their efforts back to Victoria and changed to Reason. I then set sail with the Pirates in 2019, and moved into Fusion during the merger.

During the 2022 election I campaigned on the platforms of Future Focused, Individual Freedoms and Civil and Digital Liberties. The challenge during the campaign wasn't finding the platforms I aligned most with, but narrowing the choices down to just three! Fusions progressive and inclusive policies have a natural resonance with my own values, and I look forward to championing them further.


  • Timo Juntunen

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

I am nominating for deputy secretary to Kammy Cordner. I am in regular communication with Kammy and have held the position of secretary in a community organisation.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

I have been active within Vote Planet.

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I am committed to climate action, I have qualifications in Fine Art and Interior Architecture. I have worked as a technician and taught under four different Tafe systems. At present I work as a draftsman and continue to work in Fine Art in computer illustration, sculptural works and have a strong interest in the design of public spaces.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

I am particularly interested in sustainability and fair government.

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Treasurer nominations

  • Michael Maroske

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

I have been the treasurer of Fusion since inception and of Science Party prior. I have full knowledge of the currently processes and obligations, however I intend to leave the country early to middle of 2024, and will likely need to resign this position.

I am happy to continue in the role until then and do as much as I can to assist with handover.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

I have also been a member of the policy development committee this year.

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I am a software engineer by profession, but involved in minor party politics since approximately 2016.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

I was present in the executive for the formation of the party and the writing of its values. I have also been involved in development of various policy positions within alignment of the Party Values.

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National Campaigns Coordinator nominations

 

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Registered Officer nominations

  • Dylan James O'Brien

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

I am a person who enjoys improving projects from the ground up, and any contribution I can provide is satisfying to experience watching the outcomes of my efforts. I see no interest in other political parties anymore and look to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to Fusion, within the ranks or as a standard member.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to contribute to the party as I'm new, however, I am confident in supporting the fusion party in all possible ways I can.


Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I am an individual who has worked within the hospitality industry for 10 years, I have mostly worked within hotels and shopping centres as a supervisor and in management positions. I have experience in team leading, operations planning, and administration work and have a decent knowledge of OHS. I am currently studying part-time online, and the bachelor I have chosen is Government and International Relations, as I hope to one day have a bureaucratic or diplomatic background. I have been a Muslim revert for 8 years and a humanitarian well before that.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

I used to believe in a centrist approach to politics, however have recently come to understand I am much more leaning to the left than I thought I was doing. As I am a Humanitarian who believes that every human deserves the basic needs in society, I also believe in technogaianism, and want only the best for the environment with the implementation of such advanced technology. Overall Fusion's policies are what I whole heartedly agree with, and hope to one day see the party implement them for all citizens to experience.

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Dispute Resolution Officer nominations

  • Dylan James O'Brien (see above for details, as Registered Officer)

  • Liam Pomfret

Why are you the most appropriate candidate for the position?

Concerns over possible conflicts of interest with my position on the APF Board, as well as a need to focus on my academic work, have kept me on the relative outside of the party for a number of years now. At the same time however, this has also kept me well apart from any internal disputes and conflicts which may have occurred during that time. I feel this puts me in a good position to act as a member of the Dispute Resolution Committee, with the need to maintain strict impartiality on any issues that may arise.

I have been a member of the Fusion Dispute Resolution Committee since its inception, and have been a member of the Pirate Dispute Resolution Committee since 2018, and have been involved in all major decisions by both committees in that time.

How have you been contributing to Fusion?

I have been a member of the Fusion Dispute Resolution Committee since its inception. Due to the nature of the tasks needing to be done by the committee, I typically keep myself at arms length from most of the internal workings of the party, to ensure that I am able to maintain a strict neutrality in any and all disputes that I may be called on to resolve. As such, my only contributions to the party recently have been through my activity in the DRC, where I have been involved in all instances the DRC has been called on to resolve an issue or give feedback and recommendations to the Executive Committee.

Tell us about yourself, including info on your education, experience or skills background.

I completed a PhD at the University of Queensland in 2018, with my research focusing on the antecedent factors for consumers' privacy protection and self-disclosure behaviours in social media.

I am a current board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation (and chair of its technical committee), a life member and former Board Member of Electronic Frontiers Australia, and a founding member of Digital Rights Watch Australia.

Today, I am primarily employed as a boutique consultant for management and marketing of online communities, though I also still have my toe in the door of academia.

Can you describe your alignment with the party's values?

I thoroughly believe in the Fusion Party's platform and ideals. I consider myself to be a political progressive, with a desire for policies that promote equity of opportunity, and which can help society adapt to the rapidly changes being brought about by things like the climate crisis and the proliferation of AI. While I may sometimes quibble over specific implementations of how the party may implement our those sorts of ideals, I feel that is only natural in a party of our size and nature, and I have no issues with the current direction of the party.

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