The smells of coffee and confidence fill the campaign car of Sam Crosby, Labor’s candidate for Reid in next weekend’s Federal Election.
Flyers are tucked in every nook and cranny of the Ford sedan, which he uses to drive around the electorate.
“It tends to get a bit like this during campaigning,” he explained.
Sam Crosby holds the electorate of Reid close to his heart. He grew up in Lewisham, attended school in both Ashfield and Five Dock, and currently lives in North Strathfield with his wife and two young children.
“I’ve been working long days. I do try to get home at around 8pm to spend a little time with my little one before he goes to bed.
“It’s all worth it though. I get to talk to members of the community every day about what matters to them.”
The battle for the seat of Reid has been at the forefront of the election campaign since Liberal MP Craig Laundy announced his retirement from politics.
The Liberals are hoping Craig Laundy’s replacement will be Fiona Martin, a child psychologist and small business owner. Her candidacy was announced on April 1, leaving her less than two months to campaign.
“The situation is difficult for her. She [hasn’t had] very much time to get her name out there – I’ve been going for over 400 days!”
Mr Crosby spends his days out in the electorate. He attends meetings, speaks with various community groups and door-knocks on a regular basis.
Politics is a passion for the economist. He’s a former Young Labor President and is married to Rose Jackson, the Assistant General-Secretary of NSW Labor.
“The ability to do good and change things is exponentially greater than anything else in life.”
On his agenda on the day of this interview, was a meeting with the Australian Korean Welfare Association – where he spoke about Labor’s new “Cancer Plan”.
The association president, John Lee, said Sam Crosby has the support of the Korean community.
“Support for the Liberals is slipping in Reid,” Mr Lee said. “Everyone loved Craig, but traditionally, most of us vote Labor.”
Justine Armin is a young volunteer with the Crosby campaign.
“My first experience of politics was when I was seven or eight years old,” she said. “Both my parents lost their jobs under Work Choices, which was implemented by John Howard.”
Doorknocking was next on the agenda, where Mr Cosby came across the parents of his high school best friends.
“Those boys and I used to get up to so much trouble,” he revealed. “… we used to get into fights and stuff! My parents got a bit fed up with it and they moved me to a different school.
“But you make up at the end of the day. Actually, I bumped into this guy I knew the other day. We hated each other’s guts! But when you see each other after so many years, you move on from all that stuff.”
Sam Crosby’s love for speaking with members of the community lies with the change that can be made through discussion.
“The truly golden conversations are [with] those who are typically Liberal voters. If I can spark some sort of discussion, I feel like I’ve made a difference.”
In addition to the trip down memory lane, Mr Crosby’s stance on various issues was also raised, like traffic conditions around Sydney’s Olympic Park.
One constituent voiced his concerns for religious freedoms in Australia, particularly in relation to rugby player Israel Folau’s comments on social media.
“As a Catholic, I believe in the freedom to practice religion. However, the Labor Party is not in agreement with Israel Folau.” – Zoe Panagopoulos @zoepanagos