From homelessness to battling depression and the tragedy of stillbirth, to fighting the climate crisis and school closures, the Greens' trio of crossbenchers have detailed the diverse and winding paths that have led them to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Johnathan Davis, Andrew Braddock and Jo Clay delivered their inaugural speeches to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, just under seven weeks after they were elected for the first time on the back of the Greens' unprecedented showing at the ballot box on October 17.
Mr Davis, a real estate agent who clinched his seat in Brindabella with a margin of just 82 votes, described how growing up in public housing and struggling at school helped to shape his values.
"I'm a person who helped raise their siblings and provide care to someone close to me who struggled with drug dependency," Mr Davis said.
"I'm someone who in their lifetime has found themselves homeless and I know what it feels like to have experienced sexual assault.
"There's a lot more to me and indeed to any one of us than we often give each other credit for. I am the sum of my diverse experiences, and those experiences inform my values."
The son of Labor voters, Mr Davis said he knew he couldn't support the party after the Stanhope government shut his Kambah high school as part of its campus closure program.
He eventually dropped out of school, not because he didn't want an education but because he needed the "economic security".
Mr Davis, who is gay, did lavish praise on one Labor politician - ACT Chief Minister and Australia's first openly gay state or territory leader Andrew Barr.
"Your leadership in advocating for the rights of sexuality and gender diverse Canberrans has had a profound impact on me," he said.
"Your leadership and courage both personally and politically make it so much easier for me, a proud gay man, to stand up in this place. You've made our city better not only for me, but for people like us."
Andrew Braddock, who will represent the Gungahlin-based electorate of Yerrabi, spoke of how the stillbirth of his son, Connor, had taught him "bad things can happen to good people".
A carer to his wife who has mental and physical disabilities, Mr Braddock revealed he had fought his own battles with depression.
"I get the silent battles that happen inside people's heads," he said.
"I can categorically state: 'you are not alone'."
Mr Braddock declared he didn't enter politics to "play politics", saying he would work with anyone who was willing to engage in constructive dialogue.
"With self-deprecating humour, willingness to listen, and understated style, I will work to serve," he said.
New Ginninderra MLA Jo Clay used her first speech to communicate the urgency and severity of climate change, which she viewed not as a distant threat but as a real and present crisis.
"Why am I here in this Assembly? Because we're in a climate emergency," she said in the speech.
"Change is no longer a choice. Change is already happening.
"The EV [electric vehicle] didn't ruin the weekend and the Greenies didn't cancel Christmas. The bushfires did that.
"Green tape didn't kill business. Smokepocalypse did.
"The hippies aren't coming for your steak. The cows died in the drought."
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