Tell us a bit about yourself:
I love our local area! Our community is full of fabulous people and is, in my humble biased opinion, the best in Melbourne, Australia … the world!
I was born and raised in Highett then moved to Mentone to buy a little house and raise our family. Our three children went to wonderful local schools, played in local sports clubs, learned dance at the Warren Road Community Centre, socialised at the Edgy in Mentone and frolicked on the beaches with their friends. I now live in Parkdale near the beach and I will never live far away.
My local involvement in education, through kindergarten and school committees, eventually led to the honour of my becoming the Member of Parliament for Mordialloc, where my passion for education, health and looking after the State Budget were realised through various roles I was given.
Being in these roles gave me wonderful opportunities to help provide practical, on-the-ground useful services and facilities to people. I treasured rebuilding the local schools, upgrading and adding to local hospitals and upgrading roads. Another achievement I’m proud of is the training for childhood educators to properly administer an EpiPen in an emergency – it’s now routinely rolled out to over 70,000 childhood professionals every year, protecting our children.
What attracted you to volunteer as a member of the CBCHS Board?
CBCHS is no longer just a little gem! We now deliver very many targeted and varied areas of health care service direct to the people who need them. This ranges from podiatry to disability services to dental care, to name just a few. The thing I most love about CBCHS is that it’s hands on but with a heart and a soul. I’ve heard and experienced so much with CBCHS over the years so I just knew I wanted to be involved. I also wanted to support our wonderful staff and volunteers as I admire their loving dedication, and I know we could not function without their commitment, excellence and enthusiasm.
What do you hope to achieve in the role of Chairperson?
We have almost 500 dedicated staff and volunteers who provide professional, exceptional health and disability services to around 10,000 people every year. We are a unique and vital service to our community.
While we are facing many challenges during this period of great change in our sector, our strong current position will enable us to continue to provide every possible ongoing service to our clients, and opportunities for our organisation to continue to thrive and expand.
My background in community, health, education, government and as a former Parliamentary Secretary for Health, makes me feel well placed to consolidate and build on CBCHS’s Vision, Values and Purpose; to help people and make their lives better.
I look forward to working closely with CEO Deb Stuart, Board members and everyone at CBCHS but also, with the people and communities we serve.