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Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll - My Unlikely Journey from Sex Worker to Member of Parliament

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Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll - My Unlikely Journey from Sex Worker to Member of Parliament

Fiona Patten

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Sex worker, fashion designer, anti-censorship activist, fierce campaigner, political lobbyist and Member of Parliament – Fiona Patten’s life has been nothing if not eventful.

From her early days as an AIDS-HIV educator and activist and CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association, Fiona has always fought hard for what she believed in. But all too often, she has come face to face with apathy and deeply-roooted conservatism. Frustrated and deeply disappointed by the lack of social change and progress around censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and same-sex marriage, Fiona set up and registered the Australian Sex Party in 2009.

The Sex Party led with a strong focus on civil libertarian and personal freedom issues, and Fiona became the first Leader of a political party to call for a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in religious institutions. In 2014, Fiona contested and won an upper house seat representing the Northern Metropolitan Region in Victoria. As one of five crossbenchers, she currently holds the balance of power in Legislative Council.

Since her election, Fiona has successfully instigated landmark parliamentary inquiries and legislation, including Australia’s largest public inquiry into drug law reform, voluntary assisted dying laws, the legalisation of ridesharing, safe access zones for abortion clinics and the introduction of a bill for a medically supervised injecting centre. In August 2017, the Australian Sex Party was dissolved to make way for Reason, a movement of radical common sense.

Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll is the entertaining and inspiring story of how one woman used her own radical common sense to speak truth to power and fight for change.

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