I was born and raised in Brisbane. My first job was a Soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. I share and embody our values of hard work and a ‘fair go.’ I am a conservative Catholic and stand-by the values that underpin my beliefs, our party and community. My motto in life is Fortiter Et Suaviter – Strength with Kindness. As a former Senator representing Queensland, I endeavoured to live and work by this principle.
Throughout my life, I have tried to help others. I have volunteered to be a local pet rescuer, assisted local Rotary clubs and other charities, gathered clothing and other materials for out-of-home care children, tutored students who could not afford a private tutor and helped the unemployed with resume writing and job seeking skills. This has given me a deeper understanding of the difficulties singles, families and the elderly are facing in our communities.
Having grown up in a working class suburb of Inala and now living in a semi-rural/rural area of Jimboomba with my husband Peter (a Police Officer), I understand the opportunities and challenges these communities face. My commitment to service includes serving my country as a Soldier, Education Officer, Public Servant and former Senator. I have developed and implemented policies and programmes that have been implemented at State and Federal levels and assisting Community organisations. It is this commitment towards a better Australia and Queensland that is my motivation for being involved in politics and joining the Australian Conservatives.
I was a teacher in the State Education system (QLD) for 26 years; giving me a great insight into the education system and making me a passionate advocate for education, training and employment.
Experience - As a former senator, I understand and have a working knowledge of how the Senate operates.
Since leaving the Senate, I have grown professionally and personally. As a Director in The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, I have a great insight into the machinations of the federal public service and how its interpretation of Government's legislation, policy and initiatives are delivered at the grassroots level.
Hard Working - During my time as a senator, I travelled the state, to not only fact find across its electorates; but to support and represent their needs and concerns.
Over a 15 month period I:
1. Held National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) forums throughout the State.
2. Visited a number of number of medical and aged care facilities in urban, rural and remote areas.
3. Conducted workshops regarding a number of issues including safe schools, adoption, foster care, native title, aged care, drug use, infrastructure, women's issues, apprenticeships and traineeships.
4. Attended local community events and met local organisations.
5. Consulted with and listened to high ranking officials, small business and Chambers of Commerce and 'people in the know' regarding issues that I was not an expert in.
6. Ensured I attended meetings across the State to support, listen and learn from the grassroots members.
8. Participated in media events.
In the short time I was a Senator, I was appointed to 11 committees and co-chaired a major piece of reform titled the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group Recommendation Report.
Dedication - I loved being a Senator and I gave my all to Queensland. I embraced the role and worked very hard at making a difference. It is this kind of dedication that ensured programs like the Safe Schools program is no longer funded by a conservative government and reforming the way apprenticeships and traineeships are not a burden on small and big business. Being involved in many committees and doing the job of a Senator, I had to juggle my personal and family life and ensure that as your representative I remained a committed politician to ensure Queensland got the best deal.
Working for you and the Party - I have a reputation of “getting the job done”. Whilst there is always a lot to learn, I am a quick learner. I have the intellectual capability to grasp the issues across the electorates of Queensland and Federal issues. I acknowledge that there are differences between communities that are based on either the east coast or the west and from the north to the south, and everywhere in between. My role is to work with each community.
Political Aspirations - My interest in politics goes back many years, long before I actively got involved. After being a Senior Advisor working for successive Labor governments, I became increasingly frustrated with their policies; particularly their fiscal policies or lack thereof. When I first became politically active I joined the Liberal Party, then after the amalgamation, an LNP member. I am a proud conservative and my voting record in the senate showed this. I first ran as a candidate for the LNP in 2012 against the now Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk. It was during this campaign that I realised that to make a difference to this great state I needed to run for the Senate. I left the LNP because I felt they no longer represented the conservative values I believe in.
Someone who is not afraid to stand up and be counted – If you want someone to stand up and fight for you, then I am your girl! Whether it was on the floor of the Senate, the Australian Conservative Party Room, Politics in the Pub, a Board Room or a local community event, I was never afraid to speak up; especially when it came to defending the rights of others and promoting conservative values.
I believe that standing up for the rights of others was more important than standing up for self-promotion. Many of you may have wondered why you did not hear about the great things I did in the short time I was a Senator and the reason is this: It was because I was busy doing the job of a Senator – meetings, committees, speaking roles, travelling, attending, Co-Chairing major recommendation reports, delivering speeches in the Senate Chamber, meeting Qld School Groups when they came to Parliament House, attending party meeting across the regions and fundraising etc. I did not see that my job was to self-promote but rather, my job was to make a difference and I believe I did this well.
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