Portfolio: Land Use Planning
Tell us about what you do as a Councillor and in your private life?
Having spent the past three years as Mayor, I am enjoying being ‘on the backbench’ to some extent. However, as a Councillor, I spend much time simply listening to our community as they stop to talk.
Living in Alexandra does give me a certain advantage in that I am physically close to more people – and the supermarket makes a great informal office! When not out and about, I really enjoy quiet time in the garden and am an inveterate reader.
What do you enjoy most about your role as Councillor?
Often it’s being able to help with the small things. What we see as big ticket items are not always immediately relevant to people trying to get on with their lives so, if I can help someone in a meaningful way, it’s really satisfying.
What surprised you most about your role as Councillor?
Initially realising how much the community appreciates Councillors being visible particularly on traditional occasions. I think it reinforces the sense of constancy, continuity and commitment which we all look for in our lives.
What do you love most about where you live?
The people – warm and welcoming – and the place – trees and water, peace and quiet; how do you separate them? This is a very special place to live.
What do you hope will be your legacy when your role as Councillor finishes?
I made a commitment to integrity and accountability so I would hope that would be recognised; but, rather than a legacy being about me, I hope our community continues to recognise and cherish all the great things we have here.
We do punch above our weight in so many ways and I believe everyone should feel proud of themselves and each other.
What books are you reading?
It has been said that I will read anything that looks like wriggly marks on a piece of paper! Having said that, I do enjoy reading non-fiction – some favourite authors are Oliver Sacks, Simon Winchester and Kate Grenville plus biographies of any kind.
I have recently read ‘Travelling to infinity’ by Jane Hawkins, who was married to Stephen Hawkins, the physicist. A real insight into the physical and emotional challenges of that relationship.
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
Weekends are constantly different, depending on what’s going on. However, a favourite ‘R & R’ weekend is peace and quiet, with garden therapy.
Who inspires you?
Many people but mostly ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things – and I don’t necessarily mean through fame and fortune but through overcoming adversity.
An example I have recently been reading about is the story of Sam and Jenny Bailey – as a very young man he became a paraplegic through a car accident and has achieved his lifelong goal to be a successful farmer through initiative, innovation and sheer determination.
Those who live with significant disabilities with a smile are both inspiring and humbling.
Text & Images ©COPYRIGHT 2017 Kinglake Ranges News.
With Murrindindi Shire Council.