Fiona Patten is the founder and leader of the Australian Sex Party and a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan region.
She came to politics after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of organisations involved in the sexual rights movement – including small businesses, sex workers, HIV/AIDS organisations, adult media and online anti-censorship groups. Before that she was an established independent fashion designer with her own label called Body Politics.
Her political career began as an AIDS educator with ACT sex worker advocacy group, WISE. She also held positions on the Board of the AIDS Action Council, as an AFAO (Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations) Committee Member and a member of the ACT Attorney General’s Sex Industry Committee.
Before being elected, she was best known as the CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association. She ran a number of high profile campaigns in this role, many of which saw off bans on adult material, restrictions on sexual behaviour and a focus on the real villains involved in sexual abuse.
Frustrated and deeply disappointed with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and gay marriage, she set up and registered the Australian Sex Party in 2009 with a strong focus on civil libertarian and personal freedom issues. She became the first political leader to call for a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in religious institutions.
In the 2014 Victorian state election she won her seat in the Victorian Legislative Council and a balance of power position.