When I was 4 my parents divorced. My mum raised my brother and me. By the time I was 15 years old we’d rented and lived in 13 homes all around Eltham and Greensborough. The rent went up, we moved out. We never had enough money. Sometimes mum’s friends would buy us food. It taught me self-reliance. Mum taught me right from wrong. She died in 2016 with early onset dementia. She loved Eltham. I have my own family now and I love them immensely. I want to be a politician because my mum instilled in me the value of helping others. There’s always somebody worse off than you. That has stuck with me my whole life.
I joined a political party when I was 16 because I had ideas and wanted to fight injustice. I loathed apartheid. I despised animal cruelty and opposed testing on animals for cosmetics. I wanted to protect rainforests and elephants and rhinos. As a kid I went to Monty South PS and Eltham High. I stood for election in Eltham Shire when I was 18. I ran again in 2013 in Jagajaga and won the most votes. I lost on preferences. I’ve served the United Nations in war zones. I’ve seen awful things and appreciate the value of peace. I know the merit in compromise and the meaning of negotiating. I’ve served as a civilian peacekeeper and humanitarian in Africa, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Liberia. I worked for the Red Cross because I strongly back a voluntary blood bank.
I believe in a fair go, transparency, democracy, accountability and a good education. I want my daughter and sons to have every opportunity to achieve what they want to achieve, to be happy, and be healthy. I don’t like suits or ties.
I love t-shirts. I am a Liberal. I’m your candidate for the Eltham Electorate.