Six weeks before the election I met with the Independent Candidate for Davidson, Janine Kitson. "Why don't you run for the seat of Wahroonga?" she asked. "Me?" "Yes, you." In true Janine style she rattled off all the reasons why I should run. The very next day I contacted Stuart Crossman who worked tirelessly on Nicolette Boele's campaign and before that Carolyn Crossman's 2019 campaign for an Independent seat in the senate. They were both exceptional candidates. And that was that. We both wanted to same thing; to offer a credible alternative to the major parties so our community would be well served.
I want to share my learnings and reflections with you.
I'm pictured here with Kristen, Jackson, Osman and Campaign Manager Stuart. It was the first time we hit the streets of Wahroonga excitedly spreading the news 'We have an Independent Candidate, can you believe!' It was also the first time I'd approached complete strangers about my vision for our community. I loved it!
Our in-person campaign launch was inspiring! Hope was in the air! It was an opportunity to share what I stand for; Conservation, Integrity, Social Equality, Climate Action and being FAIR. We've strayed so far from being fair in this Country. Good leadership is required to get us back on track.
I learned more than I could have imagined by talking with the community. This platform provided many opportunities to listen to stories, share ideas, be inspired and inspire others. It's incredible how many 'deep' conversations I shared with complete strangers. Common good Values bind people together quickly.
It was wonderful to be interviewed by Neil from Radio Skid Row 88.9FM. Neil is providing a needed service to our community. We spoke about Integrity, or lack thereof, reforming the poker machine industry and how our local community can get involved with combating climate change. Neil was passionate about gambling reform. Let's hope the Labour Government get serious about doing something about NSW's Addiction Machines.
I stood side by side with other North Shore Community Independents Elizabeth Farrelly,(Upper House) Janine Kitson (Davidson), Helen Conway (North Shore) and Larissa Penn, (Willoughby) to voice our disgust at a Government that allows irreversible destruction of natural heritage. Over a thousand trees were destroyed in Cammeray to make way for the controversial Warringah Freeway Tunnel Project. Let's stay tuned to see what Labour do about it.
I'd read a few of Tina Brown's editorials from the local newspaper she founded 'The Post'. Her writing - raw and authentic. Too many journalists lose their authenticity by trying to cater to a large audience. Not Tina Brown! Our interview at Triple H was genuine and authentic. It was one of the many hi-lights of my campaign. Listen by following this link.
Thank you for being you, Tina.
I shared the stage with two Candidates when The Pennant Hills Civic Centre hosted a Meet the Candidates event. The sitting Liberal member Alistair Henskens, Labor Candidate Parsia Abedini and I shared our policy positions. I loved sharing my vision for the electorate which included my passion for saving our endangered ecosystems. I spoke of the importance of social equality and insisted the Government does everything to restore Integrity. This includes putting a stop the 'mates' culture that sees many ex politicians take up senior roles after their political careers have finished. I also spoke about the State Government's responsibility to act now to stem climate change.
I'm between two great local women, Janet Harwood on my left and Janine Kitson, Independent Candidate for the Seat of Davidson, on my right. Both women tirelessly work in our community without financial reward. They do it out of love for the community and our precious environment. You won't see these Community Leaders getting accolades for advocating for environmental protection. At Council Forums Janet speaks almost every month. Her warnings, backed up by indisputable scientific evidence, are ignored. I want to elevate her voice. If we don't listen to our Environmental Community Leaders we will lose our remnant forests.
What we save, saves us.
Whilst working on the campaign I continued my important work at The Sydney Adventist Hospital with the most inspiring of Healthcare Leaders. These Leaders work tirelessly to serve our community when they are at their most vulnerable. "Leadership is an Inside Job." you will hear me saying, and "It's about being crystal clear what you stand for and building up the courage choice point by choice point to act on your values." "There is no safe path to Leadership." Whilst I was growing on the campaign trail, they were (and still are) growing as Leaders. I'm grateful to serve these remarkable people.
I'm pictured here on International Women's Day 2023 with Janine Kitson, candidate for Davidson, and Elizabeth Farrelly, candidate for the Upper House. The amazing Nicolette Boele, independent for Bradfield in last year’s federal election was there to celebrate this momentous day. Lucy from The Post wrote an article about the event. Follow this link to read more about it. We were at Annie Forsyth Wyatt Garden in front of the Lemon Gum she planted decades ago. She is celebrated as the driving force behind the establishment of the National Trust movement in Australia, establishing the organisation in 1945 to protect Sydney's historic natural and built sites.
I'm pictured here with Stuart Crossman, my campaign manager. It was he who interviewed me as a potential Independent Candidate for Wahroonga. There was no way I could have run in this campaign without him. I've learned a lot from Stuart. He was the Master Organiser and Leader of the whole operation. He taught me to get over mishaps quickly, ignore pesky social media taunters, take every opportunity to get my message out there and allow others to help. Most of all he was supportive of me just being myself. Now that's a big difference in politics. Wouldn't you say? Thanks Stuart.
Pre-polling was fun! For seven days we asked community members to vote for a Community Independent for Wahroonga. I was signing and dancing on the footpath, chatting with Liberal, Labor and Greens volunteers and loving my conversations with community.
Anne, Jacqui, Howard, Beverly, John, Jackson, Sue, Jill, Stuart, Carolyn and others were so HAPPY to be volunteering for this important grassroots community campaign! Pre-polling was one of the many highlights of the campaign.
Stuart managed the pre-poll in Hornsby all on his own! What a Legend!
I had the time of my life on Election Day. I was supported by a passionate team of volunteers. We all wanted to give our electorate of Wahroonga the same thing - a choice to vote outside of the two party preferred system. It gave me such a thrill when people came out of the polling booth beaming, "I voted for you!" One of those comments made up for those who stormed passed me with looks of disgust like they were thinking "Who do you think you are?" Well I would say with my inside voice "I'm Kristyn Haywood and I'm a REAL person who wants to make a positive difference in our community."
The scariest pattern I saw throughout pre-polling and again on election day was women, young and old, being pulled, often by the wrist, passed me by their Dads or Husbands/Partners and into the polling booths. It was like they had control over these women and their choices. I want to tell those women now "That's not Okay." You are not a resource to be controlled. You are equal to every other human on earth and it's important we hear your unique Voice. There's no one else like you and YOU MATTER.
Below are photos from Election Day. We didn't get many as we were very busy! In the evening I walked into Stuart and Carolyn Crossman's lovely home to a beautiful reception. Surprisingly, after hearing their vibrant claps, I cried. 'Crying is a release of tension and perfectly healthy', I tell people during the Emotional Intelligence training I deliver. And so it was. Our small and passionate campaign team gave everything we had. This is yet another beginning, not the end.
Kristyn Haywood - Independent Candidate 4 Wahroonga. Authorised by S. Crossman, 16 Normanhurst Road, Normanhurst 2076