SERVICE: Helen Wyborn, who is volunteering her time to hand out flyers for the CDP this Federal Election.
SERVICE: Helen Wyborn, who is volunteering her time to hand out flyers for the CDP this Federal Election. Jarrard Potter

Meet the volunteers behind the election flyers

HEADING to the polling booth8 can be a challenge, especially if you're trying to avoid wave after wave of flyers and how-to-vote forms. But take a moment to think about those who volunteer their time, as you never know who you might run in to.

One of those volunteers could be 83-year-old Helen Wyborn, who has seen it all when it comes to election campaigns; even a young John F. Kennedy at a garden party in Chicago before he became President of the United States.

"I was studying post-graduate nursing at the time in Chicago, and Sargent Shriver, he used to run a big warehouse, and his brother-in-law was John Kennedy, and they had this big garden party," she said.

"I was in the British-American Association, they didn't have an Australian one at that time, and I got invited because of that, and that's where I met John Kennedy, at this garden party. That was interesting, he was just letting people know who he was, gave people a chance to meet him. They gave speeches and people just moved around and talked. I was very young at the time, so it was good to get out and learn as much about America as I could."

Since 1952, Mrs Wyborn has been volunteering her time to hand out election flyers, which she said is a service to the community.

"People just ask me, will I do this and will I give out leaflets at the polling booths, and I do it as a service so that people don't go in there and don't know what they're voting for," she said.

"It's not political, I'm not a political person and I would never stand for a political party or anything like that, I just stand for values. I'm not trying to deflect from other parties, I'm just trying to give voters information.

"It's too complicated, so it's really a service to the voters, that's all, nothing else. No spiels, because most people have made up their mind, people have already heard it, and they don't get a how to vote card when they listen to it on the TV, and I feel like the parties should be here to tell people how to vote."

At her age and with her experiences of living through an American and British election as well as Australian campaign, Mrs Wyborn said she feels she has a different perspective to offer.

"It's been an interesting thing, watching politics from the different perspectives, being in a campaign in England and the Kennedy campaign, and seeing the Australian ones," she said.

"All I saw in Britain was things up and down the street, signs saying to vote for this one or vote for that one, but by this time I was getting a bit tired of it, the British thing was sort of like our campaigns, but in America is was all hoopla, up and down the streets with big flags and rosettes, all that sort of thing.

"Older people now feel like they've got something to give, we've got experience and you think differently often from other people because we've been there and done that. We know that things may sound good, but in practice they often don't work.

"Poor old Whitlam, he was an experience in that, he just had bad people in his party. He had good ideas, but they didn't seem to take off."

In the 2016 Federal election Mrs Wyborn is volunteering to hand out flyers on behalf of Christian Democratic Party candidate Bethany McAlpine in the seat of Page.



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