Australian Federal Election 2019: Liberal Anthony Mitchell shuns media

Normally, a politician would want to increase their profile and talk to as many voters as possible. Normally, a politician would welcome the opportunity of telling potential voters why they should vote for them. They usually do that by knocking on doors talking to voters, standing at high traffic areas such as shopping centres and train stations to see voters, and they sometimes attend pre-polling booths to garner support as voters enter the booth to cast their ballot.

When the media comes calling most politicians and candidates are willing to talk so they can answer questions about their campaign and why they are standing to represent the region. Electors have a right to know their candidates if the candidates want their vote.

You would think that, but in the case of Anthony Mitchell, the Liberal candidate for Gellibrand, unfortunately, that is not the case. So, the question is, why is he hiding from talking to local media?

Perhaps the answer lies in the management control of his Gellibrand campaign.

After three email requests directly to candidate Mitchell, without any response or acknowledgement, a request was sent to head office of the Liberal Party. Their response was received on Monday, 29 April, “Anthony and the Party felt it best that his focus centre solely on his grassroots campaign, and the three-week pre-poll period. Therefore, he is not undertaking any media commitments.”

Given Willy and Hobby talks to grassroots voters it seems odd we received this response.

When Mitchell was approached at a pre-polling booth on Tuesday morning his response when asked why he had not answered his emails – from a voter who lives in Williamstown, mind you – his response was, “Talk to head office.”

A political candidate not wanting to talk to a local resident, who happens to want to write a profile to help him in his voter reach, refuses to acknowledge receiving the emails and redirects the request to talk to head office – what’s going on with modern politics?

So, for readers, we have tried to research a profile for Mr Mitchell to help you in your decision about voting for him. The Liberal party profile outlines his background –  For Anthony, people matter. That’s why he is putting his hand up to be a strong and passionate voice for the people of Gellibrand … Anthony has built a career on helping businesses large and small to develop and grow … Anthony studied at the University of Sydney and then overseas before moving back to Melbourne to raise his family. Anthony and his family are actively engaged in numerous community groups, particularly focused on providing a helping hand to those less fortunate.

We wanted to ask Anthony which community groups in Gellibrand he is actively engaged but we were not allowed.

To provide a further profile of Anthony Mitchell we were forced to visit his public profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn.

On Facebook Mitchell made various statements we wanted to ask him about –

Nothing gives me more joy than to hear the voice of community members and to genuinely listen to their concerns. – 24 April.

If he was genuinely interested in community members, why not talk to community media?

Locals in Gellibrand are some of the hardest working in the country – 16 April.

We wanted to ask Mitchell about this statement – given he is rumoured to live in Donvale, how would he know these things? We wanted to confirm his residency status in Gellibrand as his consultancy is registered with the Australian government in Donvale.

Early voting has begun. It would be wonderful to see you at 119 Pier Street, Altona at the Finnish Hall … We have positive policies that make a real difference to people’s lives. So, why not come down and have a chat? I’d be delighted to meet you! – 29 April

We presented ourselves as a Gellibrand voter to have a chat and Anthony didn’t seem delighted to meet us, referring us back to Liberal Party head office.

From LinkedIn we learn Mr Mitchell’s speciality is transforming organisations and people. He has done it globally for twenty years and he is passionate about it. Anthony is quoted in his LinkedIn profile as saying, “In today’s highly competitive world, ordinary leadership isn’t good enough. Armed with a global world-view, years of top-tier university training & a large pool of world-class resources, I train, coach & mentor leaders to be the very best.”

From researching modern management skills, it would seem managing communication and the media is a core skill for modern leaders; it is hoped our potential politicians aspire to be competitive during elections and be their very best in their endeavours.

Anthony in a LinkedIn article is quoted, “Brilliance in the art of strategy & execution, decision making and motivation at your organisation will — most likely — put you in a league of your own!”

There is no question that on this occasion the Liberal Party candidate in Gellibrand, unfortunately, it seems under head office strategic direction, is in a league of his own – very alone. What a shame, he seems to be such a nice gentleman.

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