It all started with a swim cap: Ian Proudfoot’s Rowing Club #MackellarVotes volunteer story

Posted by Jan Proudfoot | June 22, 2022 | #auspol, #ausvotes, #IndependenceDay, #MackellarVotes, Front page, Leslie Howard | 0
I don’t remember when I first heard about Sophie Skamps. I remember my friend Annabelle posted on our Paddle Facebook group an invitation to meet Sophie for tea at her house on March 13th.
Upon accepting her invitation, I learned more, liked what I read, and noticed the products on Sophie’s website. Because I swim three days a week at the Warringah Aquatic Center in Zali, swim caps came to me out of the blue.
Then my friend Harriet, who lives in Monerville, offered me a hat so I wouldn’t have to drive to Collaroy from my home in Newport. That’s how I found out that Harriet was volunteering for Sophie, when I was collecting hats, I saw her corflute outside her house. Harriet is married to Tim, another rower friend of mine.
While paddling and chatting one Saturday morning, I learned that Tristan and Dee also had a “Sophie Covert” sign outside their house. Then, over coffee after our meeting, Annabelle and Julia in Sophie T-shirts and baseball caps, I spotted Simon, Felicity’s partner, who was in charge of the many corflutes on display in our area.
This thing has momentum! I found out that many more friends/acquaintances supported the campaign – even Tom Carroll and Lisa Forrest!
The following week, I stopped by Collaray’s office on my way home from swimming practice to buy a hat for Alicia as a thank you for writing our swim lesson on Wednesdays. I don’t know if Alicia will be against my political instincts, but after that she wears it every time.
The next week I went to Sophie’s office, bought a few more hats, and got to know Seb. Seb used to swim with our team, but I haven’t seen him in a long time. He told me that he had taken an extended leave of absence from his teaching job to volunteer for Sophie.
Over the next few weeks I had high hopes for Wendy, Jem, Melanie and Robin. My friend Pat gave me money to buy five more to give to family and friends. Nobody questioned our motives; they took their hats and said they had read about Sophie and liked what they had read.
On March 12, Annabelle announced that Sophie had contracted the new corona virus, so afternoon tea was rescheduled for April 10. I was due to leave for Queensland on April 10th. I felt I needed to meet with Sophie before I could campaign wholeheartedly for her, so I attended a Meet the Candidates event at the Forest Hotel on Wednesday, March 23rd.
The interview with author Michael Rowbotham was interesting and informative, and then Sophie answered all the questions from the audience, as she has done for decades. But she doesn’t look like a politician.
So I went to the campaign office and told Seb that I wanted to make a poster in front of my house. I am now an official volunteer.
Seb gave me a sky blue (not turquoise!) Sophie Scamps T-shirt. I downloaded the app to keep all volunteers informed about the event and hosted my first banner event the following Tuesday morning at 7am at the Rukus Cafe in Newport. There I stood holding a huge Sufi sign on the side of the Barrenjoy Road. I have never done anything like this before. It was fun and after that I had the pleasure of having coffee with other volunteers.
Paul from the A-Team picked up my corflute, I walked around Newport’s Golden Triangle in my Sophie T-shirt, lowered the mailbox, and even convinced someone to volunteer in the process. Then I flew to Queensland for a few weeks.
As soon as I returned, I saw someone attack Sophie’s face with a marker. Don’t worry, I reported the incident via the app and Paul quickly arranged for a replacement.
I took part in several waves of the flag on Pittwater Road in Monaville, even in the rain. It was so tempting to sleep in, but one of the volunteer managers (Leoni) let us know in advance that she had a lot of sheer ponchos, so I had no excuses.
After a wave of banners, Leonie convinced me to join the Bayview action the next day along with about 20 other volunteers. I work with Lindy because we worked together at Better Homes and Gardens about 30 years ago and it’s great to be around familiar faces.
We met residents who wanted to talk about how wonderful they think Sophie is, but another resident told us, “Independence is destroying the country, and if you watch Sky News, you know that.” tells us: “If the planet warmed up another two degrees, we would have more food.”
A few weeks later I knocked again on the Birgol Plateau. I was a little surprised by the two strokes I attended. I never thought that I would be involved in something so frightening. After all, who will knock on the door in 2022 without texting first?
I was amazed at how many people mentioned that their biggest concern is potholes, trailers parked on the street, or whether Sophie supports dog walking on our beaches. Maybe our education system needs to be improved? If that’s all they can think of when we ask them what they want their federal deputies to say in parliament, then I live in a very privileged area.
Others, however, do care about climate change, our treatment of refugees, care for the elderly, and the healthcare system. By the way, we have an application that logs these problems. What a professional!
I have done my best on social media to counter the intimidation of liberals. I posted photos of myself wearing Sophie gear and two of my damaged Sophie corflutes, and shared articles by Ross Gittins and Peter Hartcher confirming there is no need to be afraid of Independence and a possible “hung parliament”. I also shared a sarcastic “honest government ad” from Juice Media for fun. It would be great if there were more independents in parliament.
I went back to the office to buy a Sophie bucket hat and Maz from Avalon Natural Beauty happily gave me #SophieNails.
On April 24, Melanie and I attended an entertaining, sold-out Oceans Film Festival fundraiser at the Avalon Cinemas. After that, Sophie was treated like a celebrity in the lobby.
However, the most exciting and spectacular event of the campaign is the Election Beat on May 1st. It was a concert in Avalon with Angus & Julia Stone, Lime Cordiale and Sons of the East. It was a concert in Avalon with Angus & Julia Stone, Lime Cordiale and Sons of the East. It was a gig in Avalon with Angus and Julia Stone, Lime Cordiale and Sons of the East.这是在Avalon 举办的一场音乐会,与Angus & Julia Stone、Lime Cordiale 和Sons of the East 合作。这是在Avalon 举办的一场音乐会,与Angus & Julia Stone、Lime Cordiale 和Sons of the East 合作。 It’s a gig in Avalon with Angus and Julia Stone, Lime Cordiale and Sons of the East. I know I don’t fit in with the expected crowd, but I volunteer to be a marshal, so I feel guilty for being in the meeting.
One Friday night I hosted a pizza night at the Avalon Bowling Alley to meet other volunteers, and another Friday night a few weeks later I was drinking and eating at the Park House in Monaville. I went alone without thinking – as soon as you show up in a T-shirt with Sophie, you immediately have friends. Strangers also chatted in bars, telling me they were going to vote for her.
At the beginning of May, I learned that another of my swimming buddies, Chris, also lived in Macellar. I think we need McKellar Aquatic Center, but I digress! I kick myself for not finding out sooner because I don’t have a ceiling. Luckily, however, Pat has a backup. By this point, swimmers in other lanes had noticed the number of Sophie’s sky blue caps and commented on it. Too bad they lived in Macellar too.
The app is a constant reminder to volunteer to go to the polls and book shifts on Election Day. I have other assignments on Election Day, so I did my pre-vote shift on Saturday, May 14th. There are many more Sophie volunteers than volunteers from other parties. The atmosphere is positive and it’s like election day with so many people voting early.
After the change, I changed my Sophie T-shirt to a regular one and went to vote. However, current Congressman Jason Falinsky recognized me and took my “How to Vote” card from me! Maybe all my social media posts with the hashtag Sophie worked.
On the morning of May 21st, I picked up my suits for the Newport Surf Club’s annual gala from a local dry cleaners. Of course, I was wearing my Sophie T-shirt, and the dry cleaner wished me luck when I turned away. It took me a while to realize that she meant good luck to Sophie. I asked her if she had seen Sophie and she said, “Yes, last Wednesday” and was going to vote for her.
In the end, the most exciting and eventful part of the participation took place on May 21 at 18:14 via Facebook Messenger. This is Robin.
“Good luck tonight. I want you to know that you are the person I voted for. You are doing great. xxx”.
Between the annual awards, I received confirmation that Sophie had won. Yaha! After the event, I went to Dee Why RSL, but the party ended when I got there. Two other friends, Tina and Jean, were downstairs at another bar, so I celebrated with them and a few other volunteers. I came home at 1:30 at night.
Featured Image: Alicia, Ian, Pat and Chris at the Warring Aquatic Center – #MackellarVotes (Photo: Ian Proudfoot)

Post time: Nov-22-2022