How To Become A Politician In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know what degree do you need to be a politician in Australia.


Do you have excellent leadership skills and envision yourself pursuing political ambitions?


Can you make better contributions than the existing top politicians in Australia? If yes, you have a chance to become a politician in Australia.


A politician is a candidate elected by the people of a specific region to signify their interests. He is responsible for making decisions in state, federal, or territory parliaments and taking on events in their local electorate.


This guide will equip you with all you need to know about becoming a politician in Australia.


It discusses how to get into politics, the skills, qualifications, and degrees you need, certification courses, careers, salary, and work-life to advance on the political ladder to pursue your dream career.



1. Who Is A Politician?


Anyone searching for political influence and authority in the government is a politician. He is a public servant actively engaged in party politics and takes it as his profession.


A political leader has good knowledge and experience in the science and art of government. He either campaigns for or holds a nominated seat in government.


Society chooses a politician by voting. The politician is elected to the House of Representatives at the territory or state level to the Legislative Council and the State Legislative Assembly.


A politician has the power to effectively manage, allocate monetary resources, develop ties with investors, and form decisions that aim at the country's overall well-being.



2. What Does A Politician Do?


The primary duty of a political leader is to work towards the betterment of society. He oversees a tribe, state, city, region, or country.


A politician suggests assisting and formulating laws that administer the land and its people.


He proposes and support laws to overcome social issues and reform social norms prevalent in society.



3. What Do You Need To Become A Good Politician In Australia?


A good politician is dedicated and capable of taking decisions for the growth and advancement of the country. He values his citizens and takes the necessary remedial steps to stand up for the just.


A leader should live up to the principles and ethics. He should take responsibility for his actions and decisions. He must have backbone, stamina, and tenaciousness to succeed in politics.


Each political leader who has had a successful term has the following innate virtues:


  • Reliability

  • Honesty 

  • Courage

  • Discipline

  • Humaneness

  • Intelligence



In addition to the above, you need to have a few more desirable requirements to become a politician in Australia.


  • Strong research abilities to plan and act toward the nation's future growth

  • Impressive written and oral communication skills

  • Supportive nature

  • Sound judgment

  • Good listening abilities 

  • Effective managerial skills

  • Humbleness

  • He needs to be loyal to the people he represents. He should make noble use of his authority for the nation's good rather than working to serve his vested political interests.

  • He should be assertive and knowledgeable to represent the voices of his voters.

  • Passionate in dealing with political issues and national/international current affairs

  • Willing to stay away from home when on a mission

  • He can form tough and courageous decisions for the benefit and well-being of his public. 

  • Indifferent to the opposing opinions of other political parties. A good political leader works harmoniously as a team for the greatest good of its citizens.

  • Humble. A good leader should know that he is elected for the welfare of the citizens and not to rule them.



4. Qualifications To Become A Political Leader In Australia


Along with the above requirements to become a politician, a candidate should possess the following qualifications to become eligible to become an Australian Member of the House of Representatives or Senator. He should:


  • Be an Australian citizen

  • Be at 18 years or older

  • Have a sound mind

  • Qualified to vote in House of Representatives election 

  • Not be subjected to a foreign power

  • Not have been imprisoned for an offence for 12 months or more

  • Not have been punished on the grounds of betrayal, bribery, or excessive interference with political liberty

  • Not be an owing bankrupt

  • Not hold an "office of profit" under the Head

  • Not have a monetary interest in any contract with the - Commonwealth Public Service



Those whose home ground in Victoria and want to know how to become a politician in Victoria should fulfil the below requirements:


  • Should be correctly enrolled

  • Should be a local government councillor

  • Should be a Victorian Public Service employee

  • Should not be a judge of any court in Victoria

  • Should not be convicted of an offence punishable by five or more years of jail under Victorian law or Commonwealth nation's law

  • Should not be an owing bankrupt

  • Should not be associated with more than one elected office. To stand for an election and run an office, you must resign from any existing election office.



For more details, please refer to the Constitution Act 1975



5. Education and Training Requirements for a Politician


Pursuing a university degree in politics is optional to make a successful political career in Australia. However, having an educational background familiarizes you with the profession. It helps develop the required skills that you need on the job.


More than 80% of politicians who serve in the House of Representatives or the Senate in Australia have post-secondary qualifications. Where most of them have a Bachelor's degree, only 25% of those are law graduates.


Most politicians who stand for election have had successful careers in law, industrial relations, business, agriculture, economics, or community services


Moreover, they have also worked as councillors, undertaking most of the tasks that a politician handles at the local government council level.


So, if you want to know how to become the prime minister of Australia, you should first focus on getting qualified. 


Obtaining a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a bachelor's degree in political science, business, economics, law, humanities, history, and finance can increase your job prospects.


The University of SydneyAdelaide University, and Monash University are the top Australian universities that run degree and certification courses relevant to pursuing a career in politics.



6. Top Degrees To Help You Prepare Yourself For A Political Career


If you aspire to become a political leader but are unsure what type of undergraduate degree would supplement your career goals, you have come to the right place.


We have compiled a list of eight undergraduate degrees that would give you an edge over your competitors when preparing for a career in the political arena.



Political Science


The knowledge of political science is inevitable to know how to become an independent politician in Australia. An undergraduate degree in political science gives you the much-needed ability to start any political career in Australia.


Those who study this course learn the different facets of political systems, including fascism, communism, and capitalism.


The course teaches skills to compare varied political ideologies neutrally and identify the advantages and cons of each approach. A thorough understanding of mechanisms makes politics function and gives you an added advantage over others.





Economics is another crucial aspect of politics. An undergraduate degree in this subject prepares students for a thriving career in accounting, business, Inflation, economic sectors, interest rates, the role of the Federal Reserve, and the overall political makeup of Australia.


Gaining a solid understanding of economics helps you achieve excellence in your chosen political career path.



Public Administration


Specialization in public administration can prepare you for a career in various federal regulatory organizations. It helps you start a civil services program at the local, state, federal, and national levels.


It teaches you about the rigorous processes that bring government policies into law. A public administrator has to uphold government-imposed laws and regulations. 


An undergrad degree in this field teaches you about deploying human resources, budgeting, and management.



International Relations


A degree specializing in international relations program makes you capable of understanding the complicated arena of foreign policy. 


Students get a basic understanding of economics and political science that are highly beneficial to make a career in politics.


An undergraduate degree in international relations equips one with knowledge about the global legal structure and legal systems of supreme foreign powers.



Business Administration


By pursuing an undergraduate degree in business administration, a student learns about the basics of business and how it operates.


It helps one understand how to generate money in local and international markets. This knowledge is immensely beneficial when you want to start your start-up or offer consulting services to corporations worldwide.


For those preparing for a political career, the course can benefit from learning the financial aspects of a business. 


Knowledge about forecasting economic trends and running efficient funds allocation campaigns will ultimately help increase the country's political capital.



Public Policy


A public policy degree helps create official political policies that influence the lives of millions of people and reshape the world.


You will also learn to dissect the opinion of people to produce award-winning campaign strategies.





Effective communication is an essential prerequisite for a successful political career. Though majoring in this subject would not teach you how to be a politician, but can help hone the interpersonal aspect of being a politician. 


It is viable for all those who want to become public servants and lead public speaking events and press conferences.


Besides enhancing communication skills, this undergraduate program also builds your problem-solving, leadership, conflict resolution, and decision-making abilities.





Law is again a vital subject that can help you during your career as a politician. 


An undergraduate law course helps develop reasoning and empathy skills by realizing the social aspects of law and its real-world operation.


It equips one with knowledge of human rights, freedom of expression, religion, crime, justice, and more than a politician should know to succeed in his career.



7. Steps To Become A Politician In Australia


If you like government-related stuff and wish to improve things on a local community, state, or national level, then a career as a politician would be well-suited for you. 


Here is how you can make targeted efforts to bring your career goals into reality:



Step 1: Get Political Knowledge


Though you can make it into politics without a degree, electorates are more inclined to vote for those who hold a degree. 


Getting the relevant education and qualification convinces them that you possess the necessary knowledge, competency, and skills to deliver your duties in the best way.


The right way to start is to complete a Bachelor's in Political Science degree course from a reputed university/college. This course offers basic knowledge about politics and government.



Step 2: Improve Your Visibility in the Local Community


Another essential step to learning how to become a politician in Western Australia is to improve your social presence in your local community. Get people to know who you are. Let them recognize you.


Offering social service for local school boards and committees and local government agencies are some of the effective ways to demonstrate your selfless service attitude for your community.



Step 3: Hone Your Public Speaking Skills at Local Events


Once you gain visibility and popularity, the next step is refining your communication and public speaking skills. 


Take every occasion, like locally organized events and political gatherings, as an opportunity to speak in front of strangers and smaller/larger groups.



Step 4: Research the Requirements


Knowledge of the requirements of each jurisdiction is a necessary step to running for elected office. Decide where you want to run the office, i.e., local community hall, county agency, or state capital. 


Visit the appropriate centre asking for a written list of requirements to become a political leader there.



Step 5: Start At A Small-Scale


As a starter, you should be ready to invest your time and energy in small activities to understand and get practical exposure to how things work in politics.


Volunteer for a political drive at different places, such as your local school board, a state legislature, etc. During volunteering, you may be asked to do small work such as registering new electorates or making calls on behalf of an elected candidate. 


If your performance is good, you may get more duties and visibility in the campaign. All this will eventually help in shaping your future career.



Step 6: Build And Run Your Election Campaign


Most politicians who have reached higher positions in their political careers have started at the local level. Therefore, to make a prosperous career as a politician, you should start by running an election campaign for a seat on the town council or local school board.


If you elect to start a political party, print brochures imprinted with your photo, background, and plan for the campaign. Ask for donations from known ones, to begin with.


Later, distribute your brochures to the public at public events. You can also ask for monetary support. The more you publicize about your running an election office, the more people will recognize you and may vote for you.



8. How To Become A Politician in Australia Without A Degree?


Looking at the political landscape of Australia, there are no formal training or educational requirements to become a politician. Your personality and network are more significant than the academic subjects you choose.


Here is how to become a politician without a degree:


  • Join a training program that offers specialization in Economics and Finance


  • Look for internship programs and community workshops that give you a decent understanding of the functioning of the Australian political system and political exposure.


  • Stay updated on national and international political events happening in the world. It is a good practice to read local and state newspapers and national publications to constantly get in touch about political issues and developments on a global level. Also, think about the solutions you could have implemented to resolve the problems if you had been a politician.


  • Those without a political background and who want to get into politics should join UQ clubs and communities. They reflect the reputable significant parties such as Liberal Clubthe Greens, the Australian Labor Party Club, and more. Being part of the meetings helps understand the political party's ideas and structure.



After gaining a basic knowledge of the political system in Australia, you should now learn how to get involved in politics in Australia. There are several ways to accomplish it.



  • Donating money to political candidates gives them greater accessibility and influence over policy. An acknowledgment from them can provide you with the initial kick to start your career. You can even form your political action committee to support candidates you admire.


  • Start networking with public activists and attend periodic school board meetings and municipal meetings to keep updated about available jobs in politics.



To learn how to run for parliament, become a member of an Australian political party such as a Democratic partyRepublican party, or a third party. It will give you opportunities to meet new people and party officials regularly. 


This will significantly help develop parliamentary skills and confidence immensely required in any political role.


Doing all the above activities will help you learn the ins and outs of the Australian political system and establish yourself as a party leader.



9. Conclusion


A political leader leads motivates and guides to transform people, groups, societies, and organizations for a good cause. If you possess these qualities, focus on gaining qualifications, political exposure, and improving social presence at your community, state and county levels.


To reach the top positions in the political arena, you need to start small and gradually make your way up the ladder. 


Don't shy about doing small tasks at the initial level, as they will be the ones that will pave the path for your career growth and long-term success.


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