Appearing on a Q and A, a television show known for hosting heated arguments between politicians, Helen Haines delivered a measured performance.
Her debut on the nationally-broadcast ABC program on Monday night was a chance for the independent Indi candidate to prove she belonged alongside the big hitters of Australian politics.
It was the issue of the Murray Darling Basin Plan that gave Dr Haines the opportunity to criticise the Coalition, saying rural residents were in a "white hot rage".
"What I'm hearing during this election period in Indi is clear understanding that we're in real trouble there, a frustration around a lack of leadership and policy direction around this," she said.
Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham accused her of not answering the question of what should be done to address water security.
"Helen, we didn't hear too many plans there," he said.
Many of the questions directed to the panel covered a range of issues Dr Haines has already responded to on the record.
She reiterated she would choose a side in a hypothetical hung Parliament based on plans for rural health, infrastructure and good leadership; said the Newstart allowance should be raised; and praised the crossbench for its stabilising effect during the last Parliament.
As Senator Birmingham, Tanya Plibersek and Richard Di Natale argued back and forth during the program, Dr Haines chose to stay out of the bickering and wait for her turn to answer the questions.
She was mostly lauded on Twitter for being articulate and compassionate.
The independent's final word was on climate change, saying she would be willing to make sacrifices for her children and grandchildren.
"If that means some economic adjustment in order to transition to renewable energy, to reduce emissions in other areas including agriculture ... then I'm willing to do that," she said.
"There's real opportunity, but often when we're embracing opportunity we have to take some short term pain."
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