These Two Women Are Campaigning To Become Australia’s First Job-Sharing Political Candidates

Lucy Bradlow and Bronwen Bock will split duties if they're elected.
Bronwen Bock and Lucy

Melbourne friends, Lucy Bradlow and Bronwen Bock, are running for federal parliament as independent “job sharing candidates.”

The two women are campaigning to nominate as a single candidate for the Melbourne seat of Higgins.

If elected, Bock, an investment banker and Bradlow, a political communications, will share the same job, split official duties and make joint political decisions.

The duo would also alternate working weeks, splitting the salary and entitlements right down the middle.

While the concept of job-sharing is regularly practised in the corporate world, it would be the first arrangement of its kind in Australian politics.

Like many women, the pair have out-of-office responsibilities that prevent them from dedicating their entire lives to the role, including Bock being a mother of three young children.

“Like many Australians, we aren’t in a position to be in a 24/7 role, where we can travel to Canberra for 22 weeks a year. That’s why we are running as Australia’s first ever job-sharing candidates. We want to run in a way that reflects modern Australians’ lives,” the women shared on Instagram.

“We are creative thinkers who believe that we need to do things differently to get better results. Backed by an Advisory Committee made up of experts in their field and rooted in community support, we want to show that we can do politics differently. We can create a stronger, more representative government for the people of Higgins and beyond.”

The pair believe that this type of arrangement will open up parliament to a much broader group of people, including women, working parents, people with disability and carers.

While Australian parliament is more diverse than it’s ever been, it still doesn’t reflect modern Australia.

For example, 56% of parliament is male, with an average age of 51 when the average Australian is a woman between the ages of 30 and 39.

Similarly, one third of Australians identify as having a disability but there is only one member of parliament with a visible disability.

Bock and Bradlow believe that job sharing will see more a wider range of Australians enter parliament, and have a say on the issues that actually effect them.

Is ‘Job Sharing’ Legal In Australian Politics?

Before Bock and Bradlow can have their names on a ballot paper, there are a couple of changes that need to be made.

While there doesn’t seem to be any legal barriers to the inclusion of two candidates in either the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act or the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Australian Electoral Act should be amended to allow more than one person’s name on the nomination form.

However, if the form isn’t updated, Bock and Bradlow should still be allowed to write their names on the form and leave it up to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to decide.

Overseas, a proposal for two women to job share an MP job in the UK was unfortunately rejected by the English courts in 2015 and one Australian MP, Nationals’ Darren Chester, has already called Bock and Bradlow’s proposal, “entirely unworkable.

Despite this, the pair remain confident that Australia’s ready for a new way of working in politics.

Find out more about the campaign at

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