Skip navigation

Phil von Schoenberg

I am delighted to be a member of the Steering Committee for  Voices for Cowper (V4C), whose first task it is to listen to what community members wants for the electorate of Cowper and whose second task is to hopefully find an independent political candidate who reflects what ordinary community members want for Cowper. Rob Oakeshott showed us what an Independent can achieve for Cowper. Kazz for Cowper's campaign and policies made having an independent member for Cowper achievable in the next election. It is more than achievable, it's a good chance!

I was born and brought up in Melbourne in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, a first generation Australian son of German parents who migrated after World War 2 as displaced, internal refugees. My family's journey reflects those of other migrant, refugee families in our wonderful but troubled multicultural Australia. I value multiculturalism, inclusivity and the future we can shape for our next generations. The key to this future is being connected to the community; listening to each other and helping to shape how and what a positive democratic future will offer our kids and grandkids. All of us have contributions to share!

I am a retired public school teacher, still working part time outside of teaching, who has  brought up a family of 4 kids with my wife and fellow retired teacher, Jan, on Birpai country in Guruk (Port Macquarie) since 1985. I have  taught in many roles, across 2 states and the NT for 4 decades. As a long term resident of the Mid North Coast and as a friend and colleague to Aboriginal and Torres Islanders, I have come to appreciate that we are all custodians and that non Aboriginal Australia has much to learn from our fellow Indigenous Australians about country (traditional countries) we share. All of us share responsibility for the future we pass on. The better we get at it,  the better our future will be.

As a public education teacher, I believe in the power of education in shaping  a more equitable future. As a teacher I have learned the importance of democratic values and the power of citizens also becoming engaged voters, actively participating in the political process as community, rather than party members. Party politics reflects only one aspect of the democratic process, albeit an historically entrenched part. We need to defend and  strengthen our democracy. This is a core value of Voices 4 Cowper.