Who’s who in Koo


The Green leaf suburbs of Kooyong

The electorate of Kooyong covers an affluent and conservative area of Melbourne’s inner-east, including Hawthorn, Kew, Balwyn, and parts of Camberwell and Glen Iris. Its population of 145,000 includes a rapidly-growing number of younger, tertiary-educated voters.

It has remained a safe Liberal seat since the 1940s, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as MP since 2010. Despite this, 2019’s election saw some tough competition from the former Greens candidate Julian Burnside as climate change concerns grew.

Currently Frydenberg holds the seat by a margin of 6.4 percent, and at the time of writing will be challenging Independent candidate Dr Monique Ryan, the ALP’s Dr Peter Lynch, the Greens’ Piers Mitchem and UAP’s Scott Hardiman.

The current member for Kooyong, Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg is up for re-election this year. This will be his fifth time running as a candidate, with an unsuccessful pre- selection attempt in 2006.

After growing up in Kew, Frydenberg graduated from Monash University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics. Entering politics in 1999, he is a long-time Liberal and has held various ministerial positions.

Serving as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party and the Federal Treasurer of Australia since 2018, Frydenberg’s main re-election focus is on building the economy and jobs through funding of manufacturing and infrastructure, including investments   in the mining industry.

He’s said the time for large-scale emergency support is over and instead wants to focus on targeted assistance for families and small businesses.

Frydenberg faced criticism earlier this year after scrapping his controversial plan to deliver 2000 new commuter car parks across the seat due to significant local backlash.

Monique Ryan is a first-time Independent candidate, running for the seat of Kooyong  against long standing Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg.

Born and raised in the electorate, she has had paediatric training both in Australia and globally, and is recognised in the field of childhood muscle and nerve disorders.

Stepping down as Director of the Neurology Department at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital last year, Dr Ryan is now focusing on a political  career.

She “felt compelled to act” after watching the   Government’s response to the climate change, according to her website.

She says she’s concerned about the health and aged care system, gender equity, building the  economy and anti-corruption measures.

As a mother of three, Dr Ryan says she is concerned about housing affordability, stable employment and equal opportunities.

Peter Lynch is a long-term ALP stalwart, and has been a member of the Labor party since 1980. During this time has been involved with a number of environmental and social justice issues.

This will be his second bid for a federal seat after an unsuccessful attempt as an endorsed candidate for Deakin in 2004.

Dr Lynch obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Melbourne in 1973 prior to the abolition of university fees.

He has had an extensive medical career in both Australia and internationally and is currently a senior physician at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond.

Dr Lynch’s policy priorities include health and aged care, the climate, safety for women, and anti-corruption.

“Josh Frydenberg and the Morrison government has failed us,” he says on his website.

Kooyong native Piers Mitchem will represent the Greens as a first time federal candidate.

He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws, and has spent the last 10 years as a commercial lawyer.

Mitchem has been a member of the Greens for the past six years. His campaign emphasises the current climate crisis.

“This is the first time we’ll be raising a generation that’s worse off than the one before them,” he says.

Despite being the youngest candidate in the race for Kooyong, he has been campaigning against social injustice  for decades.

He says one of his proudest achievements was in 2000, when he and other year eight high school students  helped invite Nelson Mandela to Melbourne to speak at World Reconciliation Day.

If elected his priorities include a secure transition to renewables, affordable housing, the taxation of large corporations and billionaires, and the absolution of student debt.

Scott Hardiman is running as a first-time candidate for the seat of Kooyong, as part of the United Australia Party.

He decided to enter politics during the pandemic, after government vaccine mandates meant his job as governor of a Maximum Security Remand Prison was terminated.

He is open about the fact that he is not from Kooyong, and says honesty and transparency are key values that are missing from politics today.

Hardiman has big plans for locals including improved public transport, a stronger recycling system, as well as supporting local businesses and enhancing main roads.

Hardiman’s main priority is the current taxation system which he says must urgently be reformed.

While he says that climate change is not his “number one concern”, he does support a net zero target of 2050. He also supports government investment in nuclear technology, and using Australia’s large rare earth mineral supply.

Hardiman says years of  unhappiness with both major parties may mean a big shift towards the UAP at this election.