The Bench: Tjorn Sibma

Purple 20 Mar 2019
2 mins

The Hon. Tjorn Sibma MLC may not yet be a household name in WA politics but the Liberal up-and-comer has already been handed plenty of responsibility as the Shadow Minister for Veterans Issues, Government Accountability and Procurement and Public Sector Integrity and Performance.

The Member for the North Metropolitan Region sat down with Purple’s Peter Klinger to talk everything from Australian comedy favourite Fast Forward, to the tricky issue of immigration, the plight of ex-soldiers and an eclectic start to his career as a philosophy graduate.

Unfiltered, unguarded and sometimes unconventional, The Bench shows WA’s politicians as you’ve never seen them before.

A blind spot, that needs correcting

Tjorn says we must find ways to ensure military personnel transition into the workforce after their service and questions why more big companies aren’t including veterans in their diversity targets.

Avoiding another WA Inc.

Tjorn says a key focus of his role as Shadow Minister for Public Sector Integrity and Performance is ensuring the mistakes of the 1980s are not repeated.

Who is Tjorn Sibma?

From ‘terrible’ footy and baseball in Carine, to tackling the waves of WA’s South West, Tjorn outlines his life away from the parliament.

An ‘odd child’ inspired by Fast Forward

Tjorn Sibma’s passion for politics was partly inspired by an Aussie TV comedy classic and sharpened amid ‘bureaucratic warfare’ in Canberra.

A ‘thrilling and humbling’ learning curve

Tjorn talks through the challenges of learning to be a father and a politician at the same time – and says the two ‘arts’ have more in common than you might think.

Immigration and ‘skin in the game’

Tjorn Sibma’s father came to this country from overseas but he says we need a structured, rigorous approach to immigration that involves reclaiming the phrase ‘new Australian.’

Robert Menzies and 21st Century WA

Tjorn says the longest-serving Australian prime minister’s principle of ‘forgotten people’ remains applicable and that the previous WA Liberal government learned hard lessons from the community it was entrusted to serve.

‘I should have been an accountant!’

Tjorn Sibma examines his ‘impractical’ philosophy degree and how it led to unexpected employment possibilities – plus how he might approach his own son’s future education.

The best defence…

After ‘stumbling’ his way into a role with the Department of Defence, Tjorn Sibma eventually found himself on Bougainville Island supervising a ceasefire between warring parties.

Word association

Tjorn Sibma tries his hand at our infamous word-association challenge – and makes it clear that he isn’t necessarily the biggest fan of social media.

Watch the full interview

Watch Tjorn Sibma’s one-on-one catch-up with Peter Klinger in full.

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