She’s the Greens candidate for the seat of Tarneit, but Beck Sheffield-Brotherton has no illusions about becoming an MP.
The Hoppers Crossing resident is well aware that the safe Labor seat – which has a 14.58 per cent margin – is unlikely to switch hands anytime soon, but she is keen to make the seat more marginal.
“[I want] to give others a realisation that it’s possible to have more than two alternatives,” she said.
“When you look at a seat like Tarneit, or Werribee, or Lalor, you kind of think it’s a really hard ask to be a candidate for a smaller party.
“The goal is always to chip away [at the margin].
“I don’t think being a safe seat anywhere does anyone any favours. On the other hand, it’s pretty terrible that it’s all about marginal seats; it shouldn’t be. But I don’t see it changing either.”
It’s the second time Ms Sheffield-Brotherton, a Greens party member since 2007, has run for public office, having first stood for the seat of Lalor in the 2013 federal election.
Having moved here in 1983, Ms Sheffield-Brotherton – who has four children, three step-children and four grandchildren – said while climate change was a key concern for her, at a grassroots level the pressing issue for Tarneit was the infrastructure lag.
“You can see, living in a place for a while, how much it’s changed, and how much people have changed … I know the area pretty well.
“I’ve probably walked all over the Tarneit electorate – save for maybe a few streets – and my kids grew up and went to school here, so I know what it’s like to live here.”