Sophie Edington – The Greens for Ryde

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What is your name, political party and electorate?

Sophie Edington, The Greens, Ryde


Tell us about your background both personally and professionally

I sailed to Australia from the UK on a homemade boat as a teenager in the 90s. I have had the extraordinary privilege to see a great deal of the world and to work with some incredible charities, such as Sightsavers International, the Fred Hollows Foundation, The Oaktree Foundation, MakePovertyHistory, and Street Mission.

I went to Chatswood High and did my BA in politics and history at Macquarie Uni. I have an MA in global studies, where I came top of my cohort across four European universities – including the London School of Economics – and wrote an award-winning thesis on piracy.  I have 13 years experience in police and court support services, mostly in senior management.

I have lived and studied in and near Ryde for 19 years.  I now live in a unit in Eastwood with a small menagerie of rescue animals who like to assemble on, around and under my desk when I’m working.

I’m a mum and a long-term member of RDM!  I have been involved in two lovely state school communities here, as well as a preschool and daycare.  My partner is a high school teacher, and my son’s father teaches and studies at Macquarie University.  I have seen the difficulties teachers are facing, especially the ever increasing admin load. I have seen the impact of endless staffing cuts on morale and education quality, while money is spent instead on fancy new buildings.

I spent a long time as a carer for a person with a disability.  Many families are struggling to juggle caring and childcare with the need to work long hours, especially with many companies now insisting staff return to offices and long commutes.

I have been a renter for most of my adult life. You can’t hang a photo on the wall, have a pet, put up curtains, or paint your kid’s bedroom. I’ve experienced the unfairness and stress of two no-fault evictions while my boy was a toddler.  We need better renters rights, and we need an end to no-fault evictions. Everyone deserves a secure home.

I have never owned a car, partly to reduce my carbon footprint and partly to save money.  I rely on public transport. I really know how the cuts to bus services is affecting people in Ryde.

I am standing as a candidate to fight for climate action.  Climate change is killing people now. We are currently on track for well over 2 degrees of warming – mass extinction, food and water shortage, cyclones, fires, floods and resource wars.  I have watched in horror as successive governments have dragged their feet.  I believe the lack of action is due to a deeply ingrained habit of corruption, cronyism and clientelism in our governments at every level.  If we want progress on climate, on cost of living, on anything worthwhile for everyday people, we need to make our government accountable and our politicians honest!

To do that, we need The Greens in the balance of power.  The major parties are beholden to their donors.  Both take donations from fossil fuel industries and are funnelling them thousands of dollars a minute in subsidies as a result.  Labor are blocking reform on pokies, because they take even more donations than the Liberals from clubs.  They will sell your future behind a smokescreen of greenwash, but the Greens will represent you and take real action to end corruption and tackle climate change.


What are some things you love about your electorate?

Ryde is a large and varied electorate with beautiful reserves, waterways, large education and business precincts, and a beautiful diverse community.  I have a special love for Eastwood! I love that I can nip down the road and get a great Korean BBQ, succulent dumplings, or freshly baked zaatar.  I love the smiles I get when I exchange a quick “ni hao” or “annyeonghaseyo” with people I meet. I love the plethora of fresh food markets and the beautiful wisteria archway.  I love going for a wander down Terry’s Creek, getting away from the noisy roads and hearing the running water and birdsong.  I love my church, Eastwood Uniting Church, and its gorgeous, supportive and inclusive community. I love the amazing parents I have met through my son’s school and the community of support we have built.


What do you believe are the 3 main issues affecting your electorate and why?

  1. Sudden huge increases in rent are making housing unstable for thousands of families. People are having to make some really hard decisions.

  2. Lack of appropriate staffing for hospitals, schools and buses, which is in turn related to low wages, lack of investment, and privatisation.

  3. Gridlock in the transition to a renewable economy.  For instance: lack of options to choose green electricity providers in many new developments; lack of charging ports for electric vehicles in old unit blocks; lack of capacity to install home-solar for unit dwellers; lack of progressive vehicle standards, leaving our market flooded with cars that are environmentally substandard compared to elsewhere.


What are the 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

  1. Tackle climate change and influence-buying by banning donations to political parties from anyone with a commercial interest in the fossil fuel industry. Meanwhile rapidly building up our renewable energy, storage and transmission infrastructure. Legislating a transition to 100% renewable energy in NSW by 2030, just like South Australia and New Zealand are already doing.

  2. Make renting fair.  Freeze rents, ban unfair evictions, and improve rights for renters.  Many people are renting long-term.  They deserve housing security and the right to make their dwelling feel like a real home.

  3. Address service shortages by, among other things: ending privatisation and putting public services in public hands; funding school administration to take paperwork off teachers; legislating staffing ratios in emergency and children’s wards; abolishing the wages cap and giving key workers a 15% pay increase. 


What about your long term vision for the area?

This is the future I want for Ryde:

  • A future with jobs in sustainable industries.

  • A future powered by 100% renewable energy

  • A future with electric cars

  • A future with free and reliable public transport

  • A future with free and excellent education and healthcare

  • A future where we can all afford a nice home close to work

  • A future in which our work and wellbeing are valued

  • A future where politicians are honest!

  • A future with protected civil liberties

  • A future where our beautiful wildlife, bushland and waterways are healthy, protected and vibrant




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