Q: How do you pronounce ‘Huỳnh’?
A: It sounds like hwinn. For an audio example click here. Note the gently descending tonal mark (and sound) over the ‘y’. But don’t worry too much about it. Most people just call me ‘Kimbo’.

Q: Are you for or against light rail?
A: I’m against it because I’m in favour of the following things.

  • A united rather than divided Canberra
  • Prudent economic decision-making
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Free buses and bike infrastructure in the short-term
  • In the longer-term, a fleet of autonomous vehicles which take us from door-to-door in the safest, fastest, greenest and most cost effective way.

Check out a couple of FAQs on our stance here.

Owl Greyscale 1

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: It’s hard to respond to this one without sounding mawkish, but primarily I want to give back to the community that saved my family all those years ago and has been good to us ever since.

The campaign is about winning votes of course. But it’s just as much about community service. Here’s what we’ve done.

  1. We (me and the campaign team) published an article in the fairfax media promoting local sport and women’s elite sport.
  2. Tom Chen and I have a RiotACT piece this week that helps people assess the cases for and against light rail (FYI we’re against) and consider promising alternatives.
  3. I wrote a popular piece on the challenges of independent politics and will hopefully publish another one next week on how the big ACT parties have hamstrung smaller parties and the independents (without whinging too much).
  4. We’ve taken every opportunity to promulgate the joys and thrills of political participation and running for pubic office in particular.
  5. As part of my listening and learning tour I’ve written about everyday heroes such as reptilian women and naked tradies and in the coming weeks I’ll profile the ultimate physio, upstart startups and wonder widows.
  6. From what I can tell, my riding, running and the signs that we’re sticking up give people a little more reason to smile as they drive to and from work.
  7. Finally, I reckon we give other candidates and prospective candidates in years to come, a few ideas about how to campaign and serve the people in engaging, enjoyable and faithful ways.

I’m not saying that we’ve set off a political earthquake or anything. But we haven’t been doing this for long and still have a lot in reserve. So hold on.

Q: Are you into any extreme sports? (asked by a dashing fellow at the University of Canberra)
A: Not really. Leaving Vietnam on an overcrowded rickety boat was life threatening enough for me.

Q: Are you on the left or the right?
A: I’m for right over wrong. In other words, I’m squarely placed in the sensible centre of Canberra. But very basically, when it comes to the economy I’m more right than Labor and the Greens; and when it comes to social issues I’m to the left of the Liberals. All of which means that I’m with good and plentiful company.

Q: What do you stand for and what do you want to achieve?
A: I’m running on a social inclusion platform. Slogan Alert: ‘Diversity Without Division’.

There are three policy pillars on top of that platform.

  1. Sport: building local facilities, community cohesion and women’s elite sport.
  2. Arts: increased support for artists, events and venues with a view to making Canberra a proud and cool little city.
  3. Planning: promoting sound and transparent development processes, especially with respect to the Belconnen Town Centre and West Belconnen / Ginninderry.

More details to come.

Q: Why are you riding your bike all over Belconnen?
A: Four reasons.

  1. Liberation: To be free of schedules, petrol and passengers.
  2. Community: To see, talk and be with the people of Belconnen and Canberra.
  3. Slowing Down: To make some time and space for me to think deeply and differently.
  4. To have fun and be well.

Q: Who is your campaign team targeting? What do you expect to get out of the election? (care of the ANU student newspaper Woroni, a comment from the RiotACT and a women at Belconnen Tennis Club)

A: According to Elections ACT there are 54,746 votes up for grabs in the Ginninderra electorate. We want to win roughly 52,000 of them. We have to be realistic. Around 4% of Canberrans vote informally and we can’t expect all of the other candidates to support us.

The new public funding rules provide $8 for every first preference vote (provided you get over 4%). That means we’ll be donating over $400,000 to local charities via Hands Across Canberra. Kimbo gets nothing out of this, at least in a material sense.

Q: What is your campaign strategy? [From an ALP stalwart whom I bumped into at the mall].
A: Whatever the major parties (including the Greens) do, I’ll almost surely avoid. Whatever they can’t imagine doing, I’ll almost surely try.

Q: What do you listen to when you are out there on your bicycle? [A question from my niece]

A: In the mornings I tend to listen (on low volume and in only one ear) to the news. Sometimes I listen to a podcast: ABC Background Briefing; Slate Culture Gabfest; Slate Double X podcast; SBS Vietnamese; BBC Documentaries…

In the afternoons when I set up the stationary trainer I generally listen to music. I started off streaming pop fitness playlists, but that got me too tired. So I’ve throttled back to classical relaxation and electronica.

I’m so boring aren’t I? Does it help to say that C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” is always in the mix? #GoKimbo2016, #ACTinteresting#actvotes

PS – if listening to something while you ride is illegal then I’m only joking and have never done it.

Q: Will you miss riding your bike for 3-4 hours a day?

A: I would like to keep riding, but with less people around. I’ve also been eating almost a full pack of TimTams or Mint Slices every day for the last week. Not sure I can keep that up. Probably shouldn’t.