Senator Joanna Lindgren, the first Queensland LNP indigenous woman in the Senate, is the great-niece of the late, Senator Neville Bonner, who was the first indigenous Australian to sit in any parliament. She is a Catholic who attended St Mark’s Catholic Primary School, Inala; Brigidine College, Indooroopilly; and St Peter Claver College, Riverview. She has been a member of the Senate since last May.
Q. What did you want to be as a child?
A: An RAAF pilot.
Q. What question do you hate to answer?
A: I hate having to answer the question “How much did you spend today?” – always asked by my husband after I go shopping. All jokes aside, I hate being asked questions that question my values and beliefs.
Q. How do you express your faith in politics?
A: I have mentioned my Catholic faith in my maiden speech and in a number of speeches in the Senate. I have said that religion doesn’t necessarily influence my political views, but it has shaped the person I am today.
Q. What issues should be at top of the list for Catholics in Queensland?
A: Same-sex marriage, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the increased influence of non-Christian views shaping our modern society and democracy, ideologies that are extremist and non-peaceful, intolerance of those who disagree with you.
Q: When do you really need to turn to prayer?
A: At night and just before I travel. I find prayer is calming and peaceful.
Q: Favourite saint or religious figure and why?
A: St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. I am an RSPCA ambassador and I deeply believe that the treatment of animals gives you an insight into how well society is going. For me, animals give me such pleasure and, like prayer, they are calming. I have a statue of St Francis at my front door protecting my house and animals.