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Australian politician Mr Johan Schefer meets Monash students in Prato

Mr Johan Schefer, former member of the Victorian Legislative Council, presented a well-attended guest lecture to students in the Monash law Prato program

Mr Schefer was a Labor (ALP) Party member of the Victorian upper chamber of Parliament from 2002 to 2014, first as member for Monash and then as member for a seat in the Eastern Victoria Region. In this capacity, he was chair of the Legislative Council's Law Reform Committee.
In his address to students, Mr Schefer explained how laws are made in an Australian state, including some of the practical political considerations that influence law-making. In addition, he presented an overview of the significant political challenges confronting parliaments, and societies more generally, both in Australia and Europe. Among other matters, Mr Schefer pointed to the considerable challenges faced by electorates that seem increasingly cynical of the traditional political process, which has led to some polarisation of politics in most Western democracies. He also emphasised the important continuing role played by local members in representing the interests of people in their electorates, regardless of the major political issues of the day. Following the lecture, Mr Schefer generously spent some time engaged in informal discussion with a number of the Prato law students.