Former Greens leader Christine Milne tells her story through 18 objects, interweaving the personal and political to recount a truly inspirational life.
An Activist Life is the story of an apparently ordinary woman – a high-school English teacher from northwest Tasmania – who became a fiery environmental warrior, pitted against some of the most powerful business and political forces in the country.
In it, Christine Milne tells her story through the objects that have symbolic meaning in both her personal and political life, from the butter pats in her kitchen that represent her journey from farm girl at Wesley Vale to environmental and human rights activist at the national and global level, to the Pride t-shirt she wore walking in Mardi Gras next to her son, after years of fighting for the legal reform of gay rights in Tasmania. She describes how politics actually works: the deals, the promises kept and broken, the horse-trading and treachery involved in some of the most controversial and difficult issues of our time, including the attempts to forge a workable and effective climate change policy for Australia, and our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
This is a fascinating insider’s account of what it means to be a woman in politics: the sacrifices of family life and relationships, the relentless misogyny and sexism that must be endured, the gritty conviction that you must never, ever give up the pursuit of the greater good. It is the story of Australian politics and the fight to save the world, and essential reading for anyone who cares about either.