Albanese's new way of politics takes shape one year on

·3-min read
Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

On the first sitting day after the May 21 election, Speaker Milton Dick gave the 35 first-time MPs in the House of Representatives a word of advice.

"Cherish every moment; make every day count."

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the class of 2022 entered a parliament invigorated by a prime minister and government promising to "change the way that politics operates in this country".

But has the promise of a new, gentler politics borne out a year on? Or has the lingering stench of divisiveness and cynicism diminished their democratic zeal?

Among their number were scions of political dynasties, Canberra outsiders and party loyalists whose preselections were payment for years of service.

Jerome Laxale was already a familiar name in the northern Sydney electorate of Bennelong when he wrested it from the Liberals.

After joining the Labor Party aged 20, the son of a Mauritian socialist spent nearly a decade as a Ryde councillor, seven of those as mayor.

His party has only won his seat twice in 70 years, so he knows he can't waste a single day in office.

"My approach has been focused; take every call, respond to every email, be available to my community and advocate on their behalf," Mr Laxale told AAP.

Max Chandler-Mather is equally focused on serving his constituents in inner Brisbane, running community food programs out of his electorate office.

The former ALP member didn't endear himself to his erstwhile comrades when he rolled frontbencher Terri Butler in a grassroots-driven campaign for Griffith, the seat she had held since 2014.

As Greens' housing spokesman, the 31-year-old has become an irritating thorn in the government's side.

"I don't think I entered parliament with particularly high expectations of our political system," Mr Chandler-Mather said.

He scandalised the opposition when he appeared in the House of Representatives without a necktie and has proved an accomplished political brawler, getting under the skin of the notoriously unflappable Penny Wong.

Hailing from the other side of the country is independent Kate Chaney.

Heir of a line of political blue bloods, the Perth native claims two Liberal MPs in her family tree - and a Supreme Court justice.

Ms Chaney counts wins on climate, integrity, vaping and refugees as her proudest achievements; a far cry from the politics of her coalition counterparts.

"The big win is reminding my community it has an active role in our democracy," she said.

And with only two minutes to devote to each constituent in all the waking hours of a year, it takes a lot of listening to hear what the voices of Curtin are saying.

Another beneficiary of the Liberal Party's implosion in inner cities was Goldstein's Zoe Daniel.

Like Ms Chaney, the former ABC journalist has worked constructively with the government to enact the small 'l' liberal policies she was elected on; a federal corruption commission, gender equality, a carbon emissions target.

"As I said in my first speech, be the change you want to see, that's what we tell our children," she said.

"Every day I consider whether my actions reflect a central principle - calling things out with courage to create better policy and to hold government to account."

Ms Daniel is preparing to introduce a private member's bill to parliament seeking to ban gambling advertising from TV and streaming entirely.

So is the teals' experience proof Anthony Albanese has successfully ushered in a more inclusive, consultative brand of politics?

Analyst Kos Samaras says voters have noticed a less combative tenor to political debate after the Morrison years, and a lot of that comes down to the tone set by the prime minister.

"They seem to have a sense that, whether it's through senator David Pocock or others, there are constructive contributions being made and they're being listened to," he said.

"It feeds back into this notion that they're dealing with a government run by adults.

"So I would say it's a pretty positive report card."