David can finally rest as he awaits Rhonda versus Brian poll outcome
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David can finally rest as he awaits Rhonda versus Brian poll outcome

One man feeling the strange mix of euphoria and exhaustion that follows an election campaign is Mix 106.3 newsman David Sharaz who was the unofficial cheerleader for Rhonda the Rock Wallaby in the public vote for a preferred mammal emblem for the ACT.

David Sharaz pretending to be a ranger in the video with his beloved Rhonda the rock wallaby.

David Sharaz pretending to be a ranger in the video with his beloved Rhonda the rock wallaby.

Voting between the Eastern Bettong (aka Brian) and Southern Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby (aka Rhonda) closed on Tuesday.

The poll results will help a Legislative Assembly committee recommend which mammal should be chosen as the ACT mammal emblem. The committee is due to report by September.

Sharaz threw his heart and soul - and quick-wittedness - into trying to get Rhonda the most votes, saying he was not paid for the gig but should have been because he "made it my full-time job to take down Brian the Bettong''.

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The result was a very amusing to and fro on Twitter between Rhonda and Brian. A stylish pro-Rhonda video starring Sharaz and ACT Parks And Conservation's go-to-man Brett McNamara was also filmed, in which Sharaz pretended to be McNamara.

"I started this campaign a week ago because I realised that Brian the Bettong had all the support, and I wanted to give the rock wallaby a fighting chance,'' Sharaz said.

"Unlike Brian, rock wallabies can’t be taken into schools and shown off to kids, so I decided to just come up with a name and pick a gender.

"I decided on Rhonda the Rock Wallaby (because alliteration is wonderful) because I thought a female needed to be in with a chance at such a high profile job.

Brian the Bettong doing what he does best - looking cute.

Brian the Bettong doing what he does best - looking cute.Credit:Karleen Minney

"It’s pretty clear that men seem to get all the leadership roles and there is no greater leadership role than being the ACT’s mammal emblem.

"My real reason for this campaign is because rock wallabies are critically endangered and it’s important to raise awareness of such beautiful animals.

Mix 106.3 newsman David Sharaz pretends to be ranger Brett McNamara in the video.

Mix 106.3 newsman David Sharaz pretends to be ranger Brett McNamara in the video.

"It became pretty clear to me early on that most of the ACT Government executive appeared to be backing Brian, and that wasn’t okay by me. Even our Minster for Women was supporting a man over Rhonda!

"They say the only poll that counts is on election day, and Rhonda told me she campaigned right until the end.

"She gave it her very best and has kindly offered Brian a chief-of -staff role in her office when she wins.''

Brian reckons he "doesn't need to worry about it''.

But the writing may already be on the wall for Rhonda. She had 229 Twitter followers, compared to Brian's 1790.

Even Tim the Yowie Man believes Brian will win. If only all election campaigns were so amusing.

  • And if you want to hear more from David Sharaz, he is doing some stand-up comedy at 8pm on Friday at Beyond Q Bookshop in Weston Creek. Tickets at http://comedyact.com.au