Angela Mary Dorian is Rise Up Australia’s House of Representatives candidate for Chisholm. I interviewed Angela and her husband of 15 years, Peter Dorian, who is also her campaign manager and the party’s candidate for Hotham.
Angela has previously been a candidate for a number of electorates – Flinders in 2013, Bass in the 2014 State election and Casey in 2016. While Angela does not live in Chisholm, she and Peter have worked in and owned real estate there and their siblings attended Deakin University, which has a campus in the electorate. “We’re happy to run wherever Danny (Nalliah, the party’s leader) wants,” Peter says.
Angela is 55 years old and was born in Mordialloc, Victoria. She went to school in Mentone before moving to Aspendale where she met Peter. Angela and Peter have lived on Queensland’s Fraser Coast and currently live in Moe in regional Victoria.
Angela’s father was self-employed, and Angela worked as a sales representative for the family textile business and as a window-dresser. Her mother was a strong Catholic who raised five children, volunteered at local footy clubs and later did nursing and social work. “Ange’s greatest passion is helping others,” Peter says. “She’s a conversationalist. When she meets someone, she wants to know their story”.
Angela is not on social media. She used it during the last Federal Election but believes it took her time away from her family: “I’m a mum; I’ve got other things to be focused on!” Angela says, “I’ve started this new thing, it’s called Face-Look; it’s when you meet someone, and you talk to them face-to-face without any gadgets in your hand!”.
“I call it Face-Crook,” Peter laughs, “that’s the difference between me and my wife!” Peter adds that Angela suffers from the medical conditions of being “too good looking” and “too compassionate”.
While Angela attended Catholic schools, she and Peter no longer consider themselves Catholic. As adults, they became disenchanted with organised religion and learned to read the Bible for themselves (Sola Scriptura). “She took to it like a duck to water,” Peter says. “Angela is even more passionate about Jesus than I am.”
Angela and Peter have an 11-year-old son and Angela spent some time as a stay-at-home mum before becoming involved in politics. It all began when she and Peter met RUAP’s leader, Pastor Nalliah, at their Eumemmerring coffee shop, Kingdom Café. Through the café, Angela and Peter lent Christian and motivational books, ran youth groups and helped the homeless and drug addicted. They were also inspired by Family First founder, Andrew Evans, and were previously involved in two elections with Family First. Peter believes Angela would not have become involved in politics if it weren’t for Bible study and prayer.
Peter says Angela brought home a girl she found sleeping in front of a Doveton liquor store. “If you just give one homeless person a good night sleep to face the day, who knows what they can accomplish,” Peter says. “Don’t step over them in the street – you may not only have changed the course of their future but their family also”. RUAP supports cuts to politicians’ salaries. “’Malcolm Turncoat’, ‘Kevin Dud’ and ‘Julia Killard’ took a $1 million handshake … we have people sleeping on the streets in Melbourne!” Peter says.
Angela home schools their son. “One of her big reasons for standing is Labor are pushing this Safe Schools Program where parents don’t get a say in the (sexual education) of children,” Peter says. They have tried four or five schools, but Angela struggled with their “dogmatic” attitude and intolerance to parents’ input. If elected, Angela is particularly committed to education, due to what she believes are the public system’s failings.
While others would call Angela and Peter ‘conservatives’, they would call themselves ‘progressives’, because they’re motivated and prepared to take risks. “Labels put people in a box,” Peter says, “and the only reason why they want to put you in a box is so that they can disregard something your saying”.
Nalliah founded RUAP after he was unsuccessfully sued for quoting violent verses from the Koran. He has been a vocal critic of political Islam after travelling to Saudi Arabia and witnessing human rights abuses. He was personally thanked by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott for standing up for freedom of speech.
Peter says, “Danny said to Abbott, ‘Multiculturalism is like schizophrenia; you can’t have one nation with separate cultures. What you can have is different cultures that add to the flavour of the nation’”. RUAP has a policy against multiculturalism; instead, believing in a multi-ethnic society with one culture. Peter gave the example of the Chinese who worked in the goldfields and Greeks and Italians who worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme, who enriched our culture and were grateful for our free country.
While RUAP has received support from Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, it does not share those parties’ position on migration. “We want room for our immigrants to be accepted,” Peter says. “We … want that to remain part of our culture; we don’t want to exclude a group of people. Eddie Betts’ way of dealing with racists is the Australian attitude – ‘they’re just ignorant and they need to be educated’.”
RUAP believe the loss of Australian manufacturing (especially automotive) is to blame for unemployment and low wage growth. “Wealth comes from people’s hearts, hands and minds,” Peter says. “Binding the world’s industries together only brings us poverty”. RUAP would introduce tariffs on imports to protect Australian manufacturing.
Another solution is teaching children entrepreneurship. “Unless those skills come back into education, our youth suicide rate is going to continue to go up, especially with the males,” Peter says. “Unless you inspire young boys, they will turn into the criminals that I worked with up in the jails. They need an outlet to express themselves and chase their passion, instead of this social engineering”.
While Angela and Peter do not have experience in public office, Peter has worked in the public service as a corrections officer in Victoria and Queensland. “If politicians are claiming they have expertise to be in office, then there is something wrong with the office,” Peter says. “It’s a very simple job; you just need to balance the books and don’t spend what you don’t have.”
Peter has also worked as a disability carer and a casino bouncer. If elected, he would like to reform the police force, the prison system and the disability and aged care systems. In his career as a bouncer, Peter learned that visual presence reduces violence. “Cops need to be on the beat, not hiding in their cars … get to know everyone in the town and build a rapport, instead of hiding behind a radar and stealing money from people,” he says. He also believes the cost of housing a prisoner is between $100,000 – $150,000 per year and that this could be reduced.
RUAP opposes Sharia Law and believes in the separation of Church and State. But it’s difficult to see how the party reconciles this with the fact that they are led by an evangelical Christian minister. Nalliah has called bottle shops “Satan’s strongholds” and RUAP are against lawful activities such as drinking and gambling. Peter says, “they do put money into our economy, but they take it out with the other hand”. Peter believes 24/7 availability of such entertainment is the issue; not that they should be banned altogether. He believes gambling apps and irresponsible service of alcohol are responsible for a domestic violence epidemic and “destroying families’ lives”. “Give the family a chance”, he says.
Peter says, while our laws are based on Judeo-Christian values, RUAP are not trying to push Christianity on anyone. Peter paraphrases Proverbs 29:2: “The scripture says, when the righteous are in power, the nation flourishes”. “Christians talk about leadership but they’re not doing it” he says. He criticises Seventh Day Adventists’ aversion to political involvement. “You can expect the worst to happen if you don’t get involved,” he says. “You need to stand up for the widows, the orphans and the people who don’t have a voice, then you can expect their voices to be heard.”