On 10 December 2015, Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, attended Yanchep Beach Primary School to speak to the Year 6 students about what it means to be a Federal Member of Parliament and answer their questions.
“I would like to thank the Year 6 students of Yanchep Beach Primary School and their teachers for showing me around their school and allowing me the opportunity to talk to them about Parliamentary life,” Mr Porter said.
“The questions asked by the students were both well thought out and entertaining and I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experiences with them.”
Below are some of the questions asked by the students and a summary of Mr Porter’s responses:
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I was a massive sci-fi fan growing up and loved Star Wars. However, my career as an astronaut didn’t work out and I ended up in politics instead.
Q: Why were you interested in politics?
A: My interest started with my family and then as a lawyer. I felt like politics was something that I could do a good job at. The important thing with any career is to find something that you love doing.
Q: What were you before you were a politician?
A: I was a lawyer and worked as a State Prosecutor. So if you think of the people you see on TV who wear the funny wigs and prosecute people in court who commit crimes – that was me.
Q: What was the most important contract you ever signed?
A: When I worked in State politics I signed the contracts for the Elizabeth Quay project that is currently under construction, which is a very large project, so that was probably one of the most important contracts I have ever signed and a very exciting one for Western Australia.
Q: Why didn’t you become an athlete like your father?
A: Well, the answer to that is simple – I wasn’t good enough! I do love test cricket though, so maybe my son will become a test cricketer.
Q: How did you become a Minister?
A: I was actually in my backyard with my dog when my phone rang; I pulled it out of my pocket and saw that it was the Prime Minister calling me. He asked if I would be the Minister for Social Services and, of course, I said yes. You never turn down a job that the Prime Minister offers you.
Q: What do you think is the most important global goal to achieve?
A: I would say Free Trade. So, swapping things that we make with things that other big countries like China make – swapping the things we are good at so that everyone benefits.
Q: If you lost your job as a Minister which would you rather be, a surfer or a skateboarder?
A: I would have to say surfer, because I don’t think a 45 year old skateboarder would be very cool.
Q: Do you ever make mistakes?
A: Yes, of course. Everyone makes mistakes; you just have to make sure that you learn from them.
Q: Do you get scared when you go on TV?
A: Completely. Imagine if you were on live TV and you could be asked any question about anything. No one knows everything, so it can be scary when you are put on the spot on live TV with everyone watching you.
Q: How do you make tough decisions?
A: The best thing about working in Cabinet is that you make tough decisions as a group, everyone is locked away and we work together until we decide what the best decision is. I think that the toughest decision you could have to make would be whether to send soldiers into dangerous environments overseas, that is a really difficult decision because you are putting people in a high risk situation.