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Quickie with Fiona Patten "Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, & Chlorine"

May 3, 2017

 

EPISODE LINK 

 

Fiona Patten is the founder and leader of the Australian Sex Party, member of the Victorian Parliament, acclaimed feminist activist and bright spark in the halls of power.

 

Fiona’s expedition to her apex is one best described as remarkably unique. She studied Industrial Design in Canberra and went on to produce her own line of clothing, Body Politics. In the unforgiving economic climate of 1980s, disposable cash was a luxury few could afford.

 

However, not all industries were equally affected; Fiona found lifelong customers and allies in the sex worker and queer community.

 

Her relationships with these communities gave her an insight to the discrimination they bore and the unique and often heartbreaking challenges they faced.

 

Fiona become involved in a pioneering needle exchange program in Canberra, becoming witness to the devastating effect HIV and AIDS.

 

Fired by a passion for drug law reform, anti-discrimination, sexual and health education and anti-censorship, Fiona went on to found and run Eros, an adult industry association. She worked as CEO from the 1990s until she was elected to Parliament.

 

Part political lobbying force, Eros shaped her unmistakably charismatic campaign style and introduced her to the predicament of politicians; people who would support many of her policies behind chamber doors, and would speak vehemently against them on the chamber floor.

 

Not one for hypocrisy or inaction, Fiona then went on to found the Aus- tralian Sex Party. The catchy name spread quickly and the Sex Party inserted themselves into the political sphere by contesting the Higgins by-election in 2009.

 

Salacious slogans, bold policies and diverse candidates separated the Sex Party from other minors. The Sex Party contested several elections, however it wasn’t until 2014 that Fiona was ushered into her seat in the Victorian Parliament.

 

Since then, she has successfully converted talk into walk; since her election she has put forth the Bill which saw the successful legislation of Safe Access Zones around all fertility clinics in Victoria, launched Australia’s largest ever Parliamentary inquiry into drug use, initiated moves to have the Victorian Government legalise Uber and brought about he enquiry that caused the Victorian Government to draft laws around dying with dignity.

 

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