After years of fighting to influence politicians to strengthen sentencing and sex offender laws, Tania Maxwell is ready to stand for election herself.
The Wangaratta mother-of-two will run for a seat in the Victorian upper house as a candidate for Derryn Hinch's Justice Party.
“Somebody once said to me ‘you can campaign for the rest of your life, but the way to really make a difference is to actually be in Parliament and have a voice in there’,” she told The Border Mail.
Ms Maxwell’s political advocacy started when she was one of the co-founders of the Enough is Enough campaign, launched in 2016 following the violent deaths of Whorouly mother Karen Chetcuti and 11-year-old Wangaratta girl Zoe Buttigieg.
“My journey through Enough is Enough has now provided me with that opportunity to take this enormous leap of faith,” she said.
“People always say to me ‘have you made any progress?’ and I think so, just for the fact I’m always knocking on their door saying ‘I’m here to keep you accountable to the things you’ve promised, to recommendations that have come out, reports that have cost enormous amounts of money’.”
Ms Maxwell first met Senator Hinch when he travelled to Wangaratta for an Enough is Enough rally.
She said she supports the party’s platform for sentencing, bail and parole reform; reducing domestic violence; support for dying with dignity legislation; and the introduction of a public register of sex offenders.
“I grew up with (Senator Hinch) being on the TV as I think most people my age did … We both had those same passions and hence he has the justice party,” Ms Maxwell said.
“I really want to stand working on local issues now, identifying gaps in our local areas around the justice system.”
The Victorian state election will be held on November 24.
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