Zali Steggall isn’t comfortable having her photo taken. Standing on the corner of a leafy Northern Beaches street outside her local cafe, she smiles for the photographer but her arms are firmly crossed. It’s clear she wants this part of the story over and done with as soon as possible. Onlookers do what they do best: look. One man strolls past shouting, “Good luck Zali! You’ve got my vote.” With that, the candidate seems to remember why she’s here and responds warmly. The federal election is mere weeks away.
On January 27, Zali Steggall, former Olympic skier-turned-barrister, announced she would contest the seat of Warringah, against former prime minister and current sitting member, Tony Abbott. Only weeks before she was having another coffee with another woman, trying to tackle the seminal question for anyone who considers overhauling their life to pursue a career in politics: ‘Is it really worth it?’ The woman who Steggall sought advice from was Doctor Kerryn Phelps MP, another newcomer to the parliament, and her answer was a resounding yes.
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