My name is Darryl Bothe. My last name is pronounced with a short ‘O’ sound as in bottle and ‘the’ is pronounced ‘thee’, B-o-thee.
Personal – I am a father of a combined family of nine children and grandfather to twelve grandchildren (as of May 2016). Needless to say, family gatherings are unique and large. I am happily married with our tenth wedding anniversary coming up later this year.
I turned 50 years old in 2015 and normally I would simply take this in my stride, but it had an unexpected effect on me. The reality of turning 50 weighed heavily on me. Not from an “oh, my god, I’m fifty,” point of view, but from a point of view that, “I haven’t done enough to help my fellow Australian citizens,” community aspect and the fact that I have many children and grandchildren and the legacy that I will eventually leave my family. Coupled with the state of politics in Australia and seeing the state of my country was, in my opinion, going downhill, I decided to stand up and do something about it. Instead of winding down my input into society and prepare to retire, I decided to ramp it up and do whatever I can to make Australia a better place to live than any other and certainly better than it is currently.
I like what Australia used to be like. It really was the lucky country, built on the back of the hard yakka that was the “true Aussie Grit” and “never leave a mate behind” ethos. But, rather than lament the old days, I want to build Australia up again to a point where we are again a lucky country, a clever country, a hard working country. There are many still working hard, but overall, there are many that don’t. So, the heavy lifting is left to less (as a percentage) than were previously willing to carry their own pack and help their mates.
When I realised that 2016 was going to be a year for a federal election, I decided to build a list of what I thought needed fixing within Australia. The list was surprisingly longer than I expected. But, because I am a firm believer that focussing on ‘what is good about something,’ we will get more of that thing. Conversely, focussing on the things that are wrong will beget more wrongnesses (to coin a word).
Then, once I had my list of what I believe to be right and wrong with Australia, I decided to give each item a priority rating with a lower number being a higher priority. Using this method, I was able to pull the list apart and understand where I think the greatest problem is that effects the greatest number of Australians and then give this area a severity rating. When I did this and looked at my final list, its priorities and the severity rating, I discovered that minority groups in Australia have been getting most of the attention and majority groups have not been getting much attention.
For example, Pensioners benefits have been attacked constantly for many years and the pension has fallen significantly below the recognised poverty line. This, to me, is reprehensible, not because it was merely a group of people being targeted, but because the vast majority of these people built this country with their bare hands and have worked hard to make Australia what it is today. They have contributed to the infrastructure, family values and have paid taxes to support the government and the running of our great country. Added to the pensioners that are able to claim a pension, there are many self-funded retirees that are being attacked as well. This group of people, not only paid taxes, but were able to put aside enough to retire on and actually pay their own pension, not relying on the government at all. And all people between these groups that are part self-funded and part pension.
However, the governments over the last 30 years have viewed aged pensions as a burden, as a yoke around the country’s neck. I see it differently. I see the aged pension as a thank you to our aging population and a continuing encouragement for them to focus on what is important in their lives. They have spent many years serving the community, working and paying taxes. Now should be their personal time to enjoy the twilight years and follow their personal interests wherever that may take them. Some take extended vacations such as our huge grey nomad culture experiencing Australia in all its rugged beauty and making social contacts along the way.
My point here is that the aged pension is one thing that is right about Australia. It’s not the only one, but it’s one that figures prominently in society and as such, should be re-enforced and brought into line with real living expenses in Australia. In addition, continually grabbing self-funded retirees funds, is to me reprehensible. However, it is my belief that tax should be paid on investments that generate significant income for self-funded retirees.
(There will be more of my personal beliefs in subsequent articles.)
Using the aged pension as my first platform, I decided to take it upon myself to run for election as a Senator for South Australia in the 2016 federal election. A friend advised me to run as an independent, which I agreed with under the circumstances, irrespective of the change in voting rules by the government. Then a different friend suggested I look at the Mature Australia Party as a party that agrees with what I believe in.
I made initial enquiries and discovered that there are many, many more Australians that feel the same way I do, particularly regarding the aged pension. After researching this political party further, I found that their core beliefs are so close to mine, that I decided to join the party and seek endorsement from the party to run as a senate candidate for them, thereby achieving my goal and theirs, and attaining the backing of Australia’s newest political party which is growing rapidly and looks like making a significant impact in Australia’s political scene over the next few years.
On April 13th 2016, the party was officially registered and awarded Political Party status with the Australian Electoral Commission. Incidentally, I was in Brisbane meeting with the party executives when the news came through. At the same meeting, I was officially endorsed as a candidate for this party and the rest, as they say is history.
My childhood was initially spent growing up in Port Lincoln, South Australia from 1965 to 1973. My parents moved us to Adelaide where we spent six months living in Salisbury North while awaiting our Housing Trust house to be available. Once the Trust house was available we moved in in 1974 at Smithfield Plains, South Australia. I lived there for the rest of my childhood attending St Marys Catholic Primary School and then Smithfield Plains High School where I finished mid year 11 in 1981.
Sports figured prominently as a child, where I played Football for my school and a club, Cricket for the school, Athletics for a club, Gymnastics for a club, Baseball for school and Swimming for the school. I was the male team captain for our school sports day and was voted Sports-person of the year for the entire primary school in 1977 due to my extensive sport activities.
High School saw me play Cricket for the school, Football for my club, athletics for my club and for inter-school competitions, and commence Roller Skating for recreation.
I went on to play Roller Hockey and represented South Australia in the Australian Championships as a junior in 1984.
My adult life has been adventurous and in particular, it has been extremely family oriented.
I left school to start an apprenticeship with General Motors Holden as a Fitter and Machinist which I completed with post trade qualifications in 1985. As apprentices, we were trained in the trade, but at the end of our apprenticeship, due to a lack of work available and a downturn in sales of new Australian made vehicles caused by reduction of the import tariffs, I was retrenched.
I went on to secure a job in the computing industry which I had been following as an enthusiast in my personal time as a hobby. Eight months after commencing in the computing industry, I changed jobs to set up and run a state-of-the-art-computer system for an Adelaide based company at Elizabeth West. I spent two years in this job and eventually made myself redundant by automating a lot of what I was doing, so I embarked on a failed business venture as a computer consultant, eventually having to move back into my trade as a temp for an engineering company.
As I gained more experience back in my trade, I was offered a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) position with an engineering company where I excelled at the programming side of computer controlled metal work machinery. Then I moved on to a different company utilising my recently acquired skills and re-organised their programming database to eliminate many superfluous programs by reprogramming to allow for data entry to generic programs which I wrote.
After a brief holiday in Port Lincoln, my home town was beckoning me to return more permanently, so I secured a job as a pump technician, still within my trade, but a different aspect to it. Still manual machining, but more emphasis on onsite work maintaining and installing pumps and windmills across Eyre Peninsula.
Two and a half years later saw a family situation come up which meant my family had to move back to Adelaide. I secured a pump technician position with a local leader in industrial pump maintenance and sales, where I quickly moved from technician to a Logistics/ Stores position.
A marriage breakdown and a new relationship saw my family expand and my desire to return to Port Lincoln grow, until in 2003, I moved back to Port Lincoln with my new extended family. I had significant experience in the pump industry, so I decided to start my own business as a pump sales and service technician where I secured a contract with the local council servicing all of their pumps around the city as well as any other private work I could pick up. This turned out to be quite lucrative and I enjoyed this business for nearly three years.
After turning 40 in 2005, I embarked on a personal development journey which saw me move my family back to Adelaide to take a sabbatical and work on community based projects in Adelaide. I spent nearly two years performing these duties and enjoyed it immensely.
With finances dwindling, I headed back to the local industrial pump company, but this time as a sales technician, utilising all the skills I had built up over the years within my trade and as a business person working for myself. I was soon put in charge of our regional workshop and excelled in this position.
After spending two years with the pump company, I spent five weeks in Samoa – after the tsunami they experienced – as a trauma counsellor, helping with trauma sufferers and assisting with logistics support. Upon returning to Australia, a burning desire to work for myself again was irresistible. Coupled with an opportunity to return to the computer industry, I jumped at the chance to open a computer repair business which I have now spent six years running, developing a broad customer base and customer word of mouth promotion being our predominant method of obtaining new customers.
I have enjoyed my computer repair business immensely, but I think it’s time to move on, feed the inner desire to be involved in Australian and World politics and grow into the statesman that I believe that I can become.