The noblest art is that of making others happy
A Councillor with the Douglas Shire Council since 2016, and having lived with my husband in the region since 2002, I immensely enjoy my work on council and broader involvement in our fantastic local community. Currently President of the Douglas Theatre Arts Group Inc., Homeless Animal Society and Boarding Kennels Inc. and Douglas Animal Welfare Group Inc., I also am a Director of Connected Communities FNQ, Bendigo Bank’s charity arm, which has donated back over one million dollars to charities throughout our region. I am a member of The Port Douglas Community Service Network, Port Douglas District Combined Clubs Inc., Mossman Botanical Gardens Inc. and the Cairns Animal Welfare Group Inc. Successfully being elected as Mayor of Douglas Shire in March 2020 it is an honour that I now represent this community. In October 2020 I accepted the nomination for Chair of the FNQROC, Far North Queensland Organisation of Councils representing 13 local Councils in the Far North. In November 2020 I accepted a position on the board of the newly formed Regional Queensland Council of Mayors.
Collaborating with both the resident and business communities to grow a successful Douglas with transparency, cohesion and financial viability for all who reside within it. Whilst Covid-19 may have made changes to the way Council needs to move forward the principles will definitely be the same.
Our roads, water infrastructure, bridges, gardens, street lighting and parks are just some aspects of Shire infrastructure that desperately require capital investment. If we are to remain a top tourism destination and a highly desirable place to reside and invest in, we need a reliable and feasible infrastructure action plan, which is why I have been formulating a Road Network Plan and Beautification and Usage of Parks and Gardens Strategy to lead the way in improving our local infrastructure.
Douglas needs more than a basic Economic Strategy. We need a Sustainable Recovery, Development and Economic Growth Plan to help guide our Shire towards a brighter future. As a Council, we must deliver projects that enhance the Shire’s economic growth in existing areas, such as tourism, yet also encourage new industries to our region. This will ensure greater confidence in investment, leading to job creation and security, commercial success and residential growth
Some may try and make this election predominantly about climate change. As a small green regional shire council, we need to be concise in our approach to dealing with this issue. We must always deal in facts, adopting a common-sense approach by strengthening our economy, which in turn allows us to participate in a range of environmental projects. The best path forward is for council to be transparent and build consensus via community consultation in devising a realistic Climate Change and Carbon Policy Strategy Plan while continuing to protect the environment through sensible planning, education and initiatives.
Our shire hosts a volatile and ever-changing agricultural sector, lead by sugar. While agriculture sits in the top 10 employment sectors of our local economy, council must assist in improving, developing and educating the sector in best practice and effective operating costs so we can retain, diversify and grow agricultural output from the Shire. While our Sugar Mill remains the economic heart of Mossman, both it and other agricultural and aquaculture businesses will remain an essential element of Douglas returning to being a highly diversified, successful economic region.
Douglas is not just a place for tourism and agriculture – it’s a place where all kinds of families live. And while the word “family” may mean different things to different people, we have generations of locals who have the very fair expectation that Council exists to help make their lives the best they can be. At times, assistance from their elected representatives might be required, from a range of social services to affordable living for the elderly or disadvantaged to public transport that will assist residents in accessing employment, medical needs, shopping or social activities. Council should always have you, the resident, as a priority by planning, scoping, advocating and providing whatever is within its power to make lives better for all who live in the Shire.
Council can be a driving force in facilitating a safe, diverse and social range of activities to promote growth, awareness, health and wellbeing in our community. From sports to the arts to outdoor activities, via projects such as the Port Douglas Sports Complex and Mossman Showgrounds master plans, council can help our region thrive through the increased availability of facilities that enrich and encourage people to create friendships, form communities and develop lifelong memories and relationships.
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living
– Gail Sheehy
Since moving to the shire nearly 20 years ago, I’ve always held a keen interest in the direction the region is taking. Although I intended running for council earlier than my first run in 2014, I was persuaded to hold off when the shire was amalgamated with Cairns.
Following de-amalgamation, I ran in the 2013 election and was in that attempt unsuccessful, but undeterred successfully ran in the 2016 election and remained a councillor until successfully running as Mayor in the 2020 election.
https://www.fnqroc.qld.gov.au/Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils
The art of management is managing change
– A Wise Fishing Buddy
After a hard-fought election campaign, I was successfully elected to one of four councillor positions on the Douglas Shire Council.
Humbly received recognition via the Diane Cilento Award for Excellence in Art in 2015 for my work with the Clink Theatre.
In 2015, I was nominated for the Queensland Regional Achievement Awards for “Innovation and Leadership” and was honoured to be a semi-finalist amongst a very exclusive group of nominees.
Successfully elected as Mayor in the 2020 Douglas Shire Council Election.
I am community-driven and have extensive experience in managing people, businesses and the many processes of local government.
I believe I have the following to continue to offer.
I am a person of deep conviction with a local reputation as being committed to working selflessly for others. If voted mayor, this tireless work will continue across many other sectors of the community through my commitment to making Douglas a better place to live, work and invest in.
“Nothing was ever achieved, by someone doing nothing”.
To achieve your goals, you need to put yourself out there and work hard towards what you want, even if it’s only in small bites at a time. I believe I’ve shown the community that I’m willing to do what it takes to get a task completed, no matter how long it might take or how hard the fight. I will take this attitude with me if elected as mayor, always fighting for what I believe in and the good of the community.
In a shire with such diversity, all voices must be heard. Just because something isn’t an issue or problem for one person, doesn’t mean it’s not for somebody else. Being honest, open-minded and by dealing with facts rather than emotions or preconceived ideas is how I come to conclusions, taking this open attitude with me when dealing with people on a daily basis.
I pride myself on being approachable and willing to take time to listen, an attitude I’ve held firmly during my time as a councillor to ensure I hear the concerns of local people no matter where in the Shire they’re based. We all live here, we all love living here and we all have different needs and wants, so being inclusive and always listening is crucial to the continued prosperity of the entire shire community.
Life salutes you when you make others happy
– Charlie Chaplin
I will work together with local residents and businesses to move Douglas in a new, refreshing direction, while always remaining aware
of maintaining the unique heritage of our region and the essential essence of what makes it such an amazing place to live, work and visit.
While I understand not everything can be accomplished immediately, the following are priorities I will advocate for once elected.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions
– Dalai Lama
Please feel free to reach out to me with your views on how Douglas should be moving forward from 2020 or any other concerns you may have.
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success
– Henry Ford