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I was born at Cambridge, where my parents managed the property at ‘Acton’. They moved there from Tea Tree to start a new job, after they were married. Mum was born and grew up in Tea Tree and dad worked there for the Newnham and Drew families.
Mum and dad managed the farm at ‘Acton’ until it was sold in 1970, and we moved to another property in Cambridge where mum and dad managed the property ‘Milford’.
In 1976, we had the opportunity to buy the farm where dad had been working for Mr Drew at Tea Tree before he and mum were married. That was like coming home for them. We farmed sheep and crops and grew apricots and peaches in the orchard dad had been involved in planting some 30 years earlier.
I have always had a connection to farming. The move to Tea Tree was the start of a long involvement with the community, which was made easy because mum and dad had a long established connection to the people in the district.
Not long before the Council election in 2014, I started to think about Council and a few people encouraged me to do so too.
When you look at my demonstrated involvement and contribution to the community, and the satisfaction I get from working with people in the community, it is not surprising that this interest in becoming a councillor emerged.
I want to live in a community where the Council:
I want to be part of a Council like this, and I’ll work hard to contribute these outcomes.
Caring for animals and making sure they were well looked after was priority for mum and dad. I am grateful for the important placed on this when I was growing up and it is one for the values I am glad I have inherited.
The dog is Annabel – a kelpie pup we were blessed to get from ‘Moorna Station’ near Wentworth in New South Wales in 2001. ‘Moorna’ was owned by Annabel Walsh – formerly Annabel White, who I grew up with as a child at ‘Acton’.
Annabel was a bright and smart working dog, more importantly though, she was the most wonderful companion and added so much pleasure and joy to mum’s life.
We lost Annabel in December 2015, and the world has never really been the same since.
I, like others have said, have a great face for radio. So the image of Annabel is a good alternative to my photo being on the posters, and represents part of who I am. The image of Annabel is about valuing and caring for animals and the rural life I have been so lucky to live and understand.
I believe the rural aspects of the Brighton is one of the assets of the municipality and I hope I can bring this perspective which can add to the deliberations of the Council.
After leaving college, I started work as a trainee Fire Control Officer with the Rural Fires Board which later became the Tasmania Fire Service. For 10 years I worked with volunteer fire brigades – providing training, looking after equipment, hazard reduction burning, fire prevention planning and managing firefighting operations – advancing to District Officer level.
An opportunity then came up to move to South Australia to manage the State Residential Fire Training College, where I managed a number of staff and we provided bushfire training, breathing apparatus and dangerous goods and chemical incident training and other exercises and professional development for the staff.
On returning to Tasmania I worked in my own business initially, before a couple of years in the Premier’s Department developing and managing the development of staff working with young people around Tasmania.
Through this role, I became aware of Colony 47. When I took up the role of Manager, I had 2 part-time staff and a budget of $ 150,000. When I left 7 years later, the service had 26 staff and a budget of over $ 2 million. A lot of this work was assisting long term jobseekers to get work, and has been some of the most fulfilling work I have done.
After 7 years at Colony 47, it felt like the right to time to leave – so, without a job to go to, I moved on. Scary yet very liberating.
After some casual work, like delivering parcels for Australia Post, a former colleague and I started our own consulting company – PDF Management Services Pty Ltd.
PDF stands for ‘Pigs Do Fly’ – after numerous attempts to get a company name, and being rejected because it was too close to other registered names, we kept coming back to this idea of ‘being positive and making the impossible probable’. We often spoke of ‘pigs do fly’ and thought the name might not work with customers – so we went with the ‘PDF’. In reality, the ‘pigs do fly’ works really well for us – as people remember us, when we tell them the story.
PDF in a management consulting business with assists organisations in areas such as strategic planning; training and professional development; facilitation and workshop delivery; community and stakeholder engagement; resource development; governance, policies and procedures; and evaluation and review.
It was 20 years ago when we started ‘PDF’, and I am still working in the business today. In addition to PDF, I continue to farm sheep, with a few horses, at Tea Tree.
Business experience has involved owning and operating small businesses in the areas of limousines and hire cars, taxis, a travel agent, country newsagency and supermarket, commercial and residential properties, abalone licences, and the 1,400 acre farming property at Tea Tree, with continuing interests in many of these enterprises.
Not long after moving to Tea Tree, a neighbour took me to a Rural Youth meeting which later led to becoming a member of the Brighton Rural Youth Club.
A few years later, a community meeting was called to consider the future of the community tennis court. There was no longer a committee and there were accounts such as rates and insurance which needed to be met – or close the tennis court, which had been donated to the community many years earlier. I was part of a new committee that was formed to keep the tennis court operating and was actively involved in raising the funds to do so.
This involvement in the Tennis Club Committee led to becoming interested in and joining the Hall Committee, in 1998. Part of my initial involvement with that Committee was to undertake the process of incorporating what is now the Tea Tree Community Association. After a number of years as either secretary or treasurer, I have been in the role of president since 2015.
During recent years I have been the main grant writer in the Committee which has enabled a number of major development s to be completed at the Community Hall including: a new toilet and shower block with access for people with mobility issues; an extension to cater for meetings and functions; a children’s playground; installation of 3 phase power and a solar electricity system; and an upgraded commercial kitchen.
Proposed future developments include a mural representing the heritage and history of the district; an outdoor kitchen and bar-be-que building; a games room for 8 ball, table tennis and other games; a storeroom; and landscaping and grounds improvements
All of the projects above, are dependent on significant funds being raised by the community to supplement other grant funding. I have been an active member of the committees which have undertaken this work, including the introduction of a major event, the Annual Tea Tree Long Table Dinner, which is now in its 6th year.
The work I have done in the municipality was recognised this year through the Australia Day Award for Volunteer of the Year for the Brighton Municipality. It was uncomfortable being singled out of a number of wonderful contributors of the Tea Tree community – however, it was very nice to be nominated by my peers for such a significant Award.
I have and continue to be a long term member of the Brighton Show Society and the Tea Tree Golf Club.
My consultancy work in Brighton has involved a research project to design and establish a youth support service in Bridgewater and I have done a number of projects with the Neighbourhood House at Gagebrook – with one current at the moment.
Active involvement in the community has been a feature of my adult life.
As an active member of the Rural Youth Organisation I advanced to the position of President at both a State and National level. This also involved founding and executive membership of the Agfest Field Days Organising Committee.
Other community organisation roles include:
Other representational roles include: