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Josefine Ganko

‘A bright future is critical for mental health’: Dr Rachel Swift — Liberal candidate for Boothby, SA

If you could change just one thing about Australia, what would it be?

When I lived across Africa, I loved the positivity — in the most difficult of circumstances people believed tomorrow would be better than today. There is a lot that can be done to make tomorrow better, but a belief that we can achieve a bright future is critical for mental health and for delivering outcomes.

What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I met with a mother in Rwanda who tried to breastfeed her five-year-old son while we were talking; she said to me that she couldn’t afford to buy food in the market that day, so she hoped she was able to produce milk so she could at least feed her two children. That experience, along with others in my career in Global Health, has motivated me every single day to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive and prosper.

What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?  

Having the skills and experience needed to join the United Nations Ebola mission in 2014. To be able to deploy your experience to save lives and shape the future is an incredible privilege.

Who or what do you see as the biggest threat to Australia?

Biosecurity and cybersecurity threats and misinformation campaigns launched by hostile actors, and as the emitter of 28% of global atmospheric carbon, with an annual growth of 1.5% or more, China’s emissions are a global concern.

Which historical figure do you most admire and why?

Nelson Mandela: his ability to continue to strive despite incredible adversity, and to assume a leadership role, then step away from power in the best interests of his country and the people he represents.

What would your final meal be?

Mum’s bread and butter pudding, with some South Aussie Golden North Ice Cream.

Elect Me! is an ongoing Crikey election series. If you are standing, and we have yet to be in touch, please feel free to answer the questions in this article and send us the answers to

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