I'm both honoured and excited to be the Labor candidate for Deakin in the next Federal election. I'm a long-time resident in the electorate. Noleen and I have lived in Nunawading for nearly 20 years and raised our two great kids here.
Standing for Parliament is not something you do lightly - it requires dedication, commitment and above all a passion to make a positive difference for the better.
So why should you give me a go? In a nut shell I bring something different, a set of life experiences that are absent in our representative parliament. At age 20, I lost my eyesight to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa.
Having had the privilege of sight in my youth, throughout my adult life I have chosen to play with the cards I was dealt and nothing has stopped me. My achievements have taken considerable commitment and lateral thinking to work around the many challenges, I view my blindness as an asset - something that empowers me to strive beyond the barriers for a better outcome. Something we need in our Federal Parliament.
I hold a Bachelor of Science with Honours and a Masters in Communication. My professional background is in the not-for-profit sector working in senior management roles and I have also served as a Director on various boards and reference groups.
I am passionate about my local community, as well as being part of local sporting groups with my children, I've been a member of Scouts Australia for more than 36 years (earning my Queens Scout and Baden Powell Awards). I have also served as school council president and school councillor for more than 12 years at two of our great local government schools.
I want our children to have the best opportunities. I want our country to be welcoming, tolerant, embracing of new ideas and cherish the gifts nature has provided us.
I bring the value of experience: a scientific background; extensive leadership in the not-for-profit sector; parenthood and providing children with the best possible opportunities - all achieved through positive attitude and commitment.
I have life experiences that will help deliver better outcomes for business: creating jobs by dispersing the shadow of fear and recognising the value of difference. I will work with decision makers to deliver real solutions - not ideological rhetoric.
I want to be a voice at the table of decisions: a voice that represents our community; a voice that helps guide our country through the challenges that face us; a voice that represents the 1-in-5 Australians with a disability who have no voice in our representative Parliament.
I will be making all efforts to get out into our community and would welcome any questions, feedback and opportunities to meet and discuss the issues that face you, your family, friends and local community. Please do not hesitate to send me an email or make contact through Facebook - after all, you can't represent your community if you don't make an effort to find out what is important.