I’ve lived in Brunswick since the early 1990s when I started work as a GP in community health.
Brunswick is where my partner and I raised our family and having kids in local government schools has drawn us into local events, like school fundraisers and Brunswick Zebras soccer games.
In 2018 I was elected the first ever Greens MP to represent the district of Brunswick in the Victorian Parliament.
‘I’ve always been interested in public health and preventive medicine. It even got me arrested many years ago for spraying a health warning on a cigarette billboard. But these days my motto is: Don’t get mad, get elected.’
Before becoming an MP, I completed a PhD while working as a doctor in a public HIV and sexual health clinic. Among my research was looking at antibiotic-resistant sexually transmitted infections.
The struggle of gay men to reform the health system to prioritise their needs in response to the HIV epidemic made a great impression early in my medical career. Back then much of the problem was fighting against the stigma of HIV and homosexuality. Today, I see the same stigma attached to drug use, mental illness and poverty linked anti-social behaviour.
I strongly believe that the solution to these problems lies in addressing these problems as public health issues rather than the failed punitive responses.
‘I want to bring a sense of optimism back into state politics. We can easily start by improving public transport, and making cycling and walking safer. This is both good for our planet, the local amenity and our own health.’
I’ve always loved getting out of the city and spending time in the bush. I’ve been on some great walks in the Otways, at the Prom and in Victoria’s high country. And in 2018 I rafted the Franklin River in Tasmania with my son. I want to see Australia’s forests, oceans and biodiversity protected from global warming.
I hope you’ll join me in making this a reality.
Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick