All I want is the best life possible for my young family – that’s not too much to ask is it?
My wife and I have two young children, a girl and a boy. For my wife and children – and I must say, myself – I want Canberra to be the best it can be, and I think we can do better than we do now.
I’ve lived in Yerrabi all my life. I grew up in Kaleen and have family there. I moved to Palmerston in 2004 and settled in Crace with my family a few years ago. I’m fortunate enough to work locally, volunteer for the local community, and get much of my entertainment here too – looking forward to our cinema though! My daughter goes to public school here, and my son will follow. Yerrabi is such an major part of my life, and I will work tirelessly to make it the best it can be, for everyone.
I contribute to local community by participating in my suburban community association (president, Crace Community Association), my school P&C association (president), and my regional community council (treasurer, Gungahlin Community Council). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with these groups, but more than that, I have appreciated being given the opportunity to do good for others.
On behalf of these groups and other community parties, I have been given the opportunity to engage with government departments and represent the issues and desires of my neighbours. Some of my highlights have included:
- Coordinating a community submission to the ACCC regarding Crace, Gungahlin and Canberra residents’ views on last year’s proposed buyout of Supabarn by Coles. There was an overwhelming community response from within Crace in opposition to the buyout. The result was that the two Gungahlin stores in Casey and Crace were removed from the proposed buyout, and remained in the hands of Supabarn.
- When the Coles offer on Supabarn was withdrawn, I began proceedings to form a community cooperative to make an offer to buy the Crace store, with interest growing for a similar cooperative in Casey. Even though it became apparent that the Crace store was off the market, the community support for a cooperative was resounding and I have not let the idea go.
- Surveyed local residents on their issues with Parks and Roads – two hot topics. The survey and following report was so successful that I had met with with the Director of Roads ACT about traffic and local infrastructure issues. We were able to discuss the mechanisms for community members lodging suggestions, problems and praise, and could see how those issues would be processed.
- Prepared and presented budget submissions and replies to the ACT Government, both online and to the Select Committee on Estimates in person, on behalf of the community.
- Participate in a Community Reference Group for Capital Metro (Light Rail), to ensure the communities voice is heard on this major infrastructure project.
In addition to working with government, I’ve had many other personal and social highlights. Many of these have been achieved standing side by side with the fantastic volunteer teams at the Crace Community Association and the Gungahlin Community Council, as well as my local school P&C
- I’ve had the opportunity to meet with people from all walks of life living in Gungahlin. From the local child care and preschool, through to presenting awards at my daughter’s primary school, to helping get the local basketball hoops fixed, tending to my plot in the community garden, and to volunteering along side retirees, I’ve connected with people across such a wide spectrum.
- Last year, the Crace Community Association hosted a Christmas party with amusement rides, food and market stalls, Mrs Santa, live music, the fire department, kids activities, and more. It was so successful that this year we have been able to attract corporate sponsorship and are looking to make things bigger and better. We are working with partners in the community to bring our flagship Christmas event to all of Gungahlin. Mark this year’s party on Saturday 3rd December in your calendar now!
- Host regular social catch-up sessions in the community, where I had the opportunity to socialise with my neighbours to a degree that I’d never experienced previously.
- Host and contribute to charity fundraiser events including Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and the recent Gungahlin Movie Marathon.
The lists go on!
I’ve enjoyed every minute of my community work, and I want to take it further. I am passionate about doing good for the community, about speaking for the community, about doing my part to make sure the community that my children grow up in is the best version of itself that it can be.