Serge Killingbeck TNL (formerly The New Liberals)
I’ve called the Northern Rivers home for most of the last 40 years. I currently live in Goonellabah with my partner, Julie. Between us we have five children, one still at home, all born and bred in the Northern Rivers.
I was born in the Murray Valley at Kyabram. In the ‘70s I spent my childhood between wherever Dad was and a place called Montsalvat on the fringes of suburban Melbourne at Eltham, Mum’s family. Where I lived was dependent on which parent would have me. Dad came to the northern rivers in the early 80s.
School was never pleasant for me, thanks to my unusual name and divorced parents. I was already damaged goods and a target when I arrived at boarding school.
At 57 the greatest day of my school life still is the last time I left. I promised to finish, and I did.
Luckily that experience didn’t follow me into adult life. School taught me a healthy disrespect for authority, and the ugly face of bigotry. I learned why it is important to be fearless in standing up for others.
The difference was stark between what boarding school called leadership and when I learned what real leadership was in the bush, which requires no intimidation, badges of rank or titles. It commands respect, it doesn’t demand respect. A boss may be a leader, but a leader is not always the boss.
In the last 20 years I’ve watched politics shift from a vocation, the pinnacle of public service, to being about getting and holding power. There seems to be little real vision for the future by people who are bosses not leaders. I decided it was time to put up or shut up.
I joined The New Liberals because they stand for something different, policy ideals based on genuinely liberal, socially progressive thinking: human decency; transparent and accountable government; economic and environmental sustainability; and genuine ecological stewardship and respect for cultural heritage.