I am a countryman at heart. I always have been and I always will be.
My family has a long history in the Hunter. In fact, my ancestors, William and Elizabeth Bird operated the punt over the river at Morpeth in the mid-nineteenth century. And why wouldn’t they choose this beautiful area to live. We have it all here.
The rolling hills and valleys, our first class mining, wineries and equestrian industries, our vibrant infrastructure and solid foundation of traditional and modern architecture. I feel very lucky to have now spent more than 30 years as a resident of the Upper Hunter.
I started my journey here as a dairy hand in Scone and I have never looked back. Really getting in touch with our natural resources and the beautiful land that we have been granted has given me a long lasting respect for the place that you and I call home.
I later founded my own small business in financial planning – an opportunity that has taught me so much about working hard and making use of the amazing skill bases and networks available in our electorate. Both my roles as a dairy hand and financial planner have played a large part in where I am today. Building relationships and connecting were significant in both, whether it was with the animals on the farm or the people that I worked with. That is probably why I enjoy connecting, having conversations and listening to people so much still to this day.
I served on the Upper Hunter Shire Council in 2008 and became Mayor of the region, serving our communities in this role from 2009-2012. I have lived in the Upper Hunter since 1986. I hold this new role close to my heart. I want the very best for my family… want them to have access to the opportunities that they deserve in everything they choose to do…the same opportunities that I, myself, was granted. And I want the same for every other family in this region.
I am honoured to be given the chance to step up, to be a strong voice to speak out on behalf of the people in the Upper Hunter. To make our voices heard about the changes and development that we need. To represent everyone, regardless of whether I have your vote. To be a part of a brighter future for the Upper Hunter.
These new roles mean listening to, and working with, local stakeholders, and conveying their needs to the heart of decision making on Macquarie Street.
I would like to once again thank the people and electors of the seat of Upper Hunter for their ongoing faith in me and my work representing their interests in our NSW Parliament.
But I can’t do it alone. Let us walk this one together to discover our vision for the Upper Hunter communities. Your voice counts.