local 2023 columns
I am local.
I have lived here for 32 years.
I have raised my family here in Wollondilly and the Highlands.
I travel the roads of Wollondilly and The Highlands from Warragamba to Bowral.
I have served on Council for 17 years, 3 of those years as the Mayor.
I am an optometrist and have looked after many locals eyes and related health issues.
I was the chair of the Australian Optometry Board and am a practitioner member of NSW Optometry Council.
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I am married to Neil, a veterinarian and we periodically travel to Fiji to look after the local animals and give education to local vet assistants. I love the wombats and birds that share my home but get upset when the goannas steal my chicken eggs. I am worried about how we will leave the earth for my grandchildren. Now as your elected Member for Wollondilly, I am committed to representing our area and making the name Wollondilly known to all in Parliament. Why? Because we deserve better. Wollondilly and the Highlands are facing many challenges and numerous outside pressures, which have the potential to ruin what makes this region the home we love. Equally we have the potential to turn some of these into opportunities to enrich the character and lifestyle we all value.
Each morning I wake to this sunrise from our property in Theresa Park and each morning I am energised and encouraged to do all that I can to protect and promote our beautiful landscape.
"Not to play political spin on insanely important issues like the Warragamba Dam wall raising or the delivery of the Picton Bypass. Work with all sides of politics to get positive outcomes for our environment, our way of life and our community. Encourage our young people to have their say in their future."
Therefore it is with great pride and motivation that I vow to each of you, that I will do all that is in my power, as your elected representative, to put your lives, your lifestyle, our environment and its character first above all else; as we charter a future that best serves our community.
Along with Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown we are the birthplace of Australian Agriculture. This is why our region is rich with historical early settler architecture.
As well there is a deep connection with indigenous heritage.
"The word Wollondilly is attributed to having three meanings including; “A place where spirits dwell” and “Water trickling over rocks”. The third meaning is connected to a legend about the burning black coal that was carried inside the skull of a bunyip, within a basket woven of waratah stems. “Worron” means black coal and “dilly” means carry basket."
I am dedicated to protecting these vital elements that helped to shape the local character. I hope to do this in part by promoting sustainable tourism and small business support. I will devote effort to enable farmers to be able to access opportunities to diversify and become viable into the future so they are not vulnerable to developers and land bankers.
I want to protect and multiply local jobs by attracting employment generating businesses to the area. When I was Mayor I networked with universities and this needs to be followed up. The discussions need to be continued to obtain firm commitments related to tertiary education future in Wollondilly and the Southern Highlands. There are many physical and alluring qualities that make Wollondilly the beautiful rural region we all love. Some are hard to describe, but we all know them, the rich colours, smells and experiences that drew us here, to build homes and raise families.
The beautiful rivers and valleys that shape the region also shape us. The amazing varieties of flora and fauna we live amongst, needs our consideration and protection.