There is an old, time-honoured adage: those who cannot do, teach; and those who cannot teach, legislate. It can certainly feel that way these days – politicians seem increasingly disconnected from their electorate, and distrust of officials is at an all-time high, both here and abroad. We are, after all, living in the age of wasteful plebiscites, majority governments who can barely hold together a majority, the rise of third-party candidates, and, crucially, the spectre of that orange-faced demon named Donald Trump.
But in terms of practical real world experience, Councillor Jess Scully shatters the cliché we might hold in our heads of bloodless, inexperienced pollies. Scully has been kicking goals for Sydney’s creative scene ever since she came to office, and her skill when it comes to navigating both political red tape and the pressures of the entertainment industry has been well proven by now. Scully has not been merely sidelined into a job looking after the creative arts, and her goal is nothing less than to secure the arts scene the respect it sometimes misses out on.
“While I was at uni I started editing magazines, and kind of got into creative industry stuff that way,” Scully explains over the phone during a spare 20 minutes on one of her typically busy days. “That’s kind of been the trust of my career since then – creative projects.”
In that way, Scully has real world experience – not just in the realm of politics, but in the creative industries themselves. And that, she argues, has been the key to her political approach for years now, guiding her as she works to increasingly bolster and nurture Sydney’s live music scene.