Marie Claire Australia
In February 2020, while the air was still thick with bushfire smoke, Dr Sophie Scamps received a letterbox survey from her local MP asking residents to rate the issues that mattered to them most. Two words were missing from the list: climate change.
Scamps, who’s lived in Mackellar on Sydney’s northern beaches for more than 20 years, was outraged. “I went along to a community event with our MP, Jason Falinski, and said to him, ‘If you’re truly a moderate and want action on climate change, we need to hear your voice in the media,’” she remembers. “He looked down and said, ‘Well the problem is you can’t mention the words climate change within the party room because all the Queensland MPs jump up and down.’ I thought, ‘Well how on earth can you represent this community? You can’t even mention the biggest issue to face humanity in centuries. You can’t represent our community.’”
Fast-forward, and Scamps is now stepping up to the plate. While new to politics, she comes with an impressive résumé: she’s Oxford educated, an Olympic-qualifying runner and has worked as both an emergency doctor and a GP.
Her platform and policy areas echo those of her fellow independents, blending environmentalism with economics and choosing compassion over corruption. “The fact that a lot of what we [independents] are talking about aligns, shows that there’s a broad mood for change,” she says. “We can no longer stand by and watch this slow-motion train wreck happening in front of our eyes. It’s time to take it into our own hands.”