Page 2091 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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have some amazing people back me. There are far more than I can name, but I cannot let today pass without thanking some who have given more than anyone has any right to expect.

Attila Ovari, Anny Dailey and Mat Kerwin: without you I would not have made it through my first campaign. Adam Morris, you and your family gave me so much in 2020. I will always be in awe of your generosity and your fortitude. To Rob Lovett and Bradley Clarke, who have supported and counselled me through many ups and downs, I say thank you. To Andrew Pond, a true friend who has clocked up countless miles across multiple electorates over many years, supporting me just because I am me, I cannot say thank you enough.

Thank you also to the members of the Liberal Party, who have placed their faith in me to stand up for the values that we know give people the best chance in life. It is an immense honour to represent the Liberal Party. The Canberra Liberals have been part of my life for some time, and I hope my service goes some way to justifying the support I have received.

As I have said before in many forums, I will always be proud to stand as a Liberal in Canberra. I believe that Liberal values are the best way for people to prosper and to get ahead. In the battle of ideas, the Canberra Liberals are on the side of democracy and of freedom—freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and worship, freedom to set and chart your own course in life, and the freedom to aspire, to work hard and to achieve. Liberals are on the side of the individual and of the family.

Finally, and most importantly, I must thank my family. My family has lived in the Canberra region for a very long time. My great-grandfather was a farmer in this region before the national capital even existed. Both of my parents grew up in Canberra, although they came from very different backgrounds. My father, John, comes from a family with long-term local roots. His father was a local bus driver who became recognised by Canberra children as the driver of Canberra’s mobile library. His mother was a farmer’s daughter who, following my grandfather’s early passing, made a career in the library at Parliament House.

My mother, Heather, came to Canberra with her family as part of the public service migration from Victoria. Her father, Neil, would become a relatively senior public servant with the Department of Defence. Her mother, Wilma, gave up a promising career to raise her family. My grandmother remains one of the sharpest and wisest people I know. She is still with us today. I believe she is in the gallery today, and I have to recognise that she is at her sharpest whenever the Geelong Cats are playing.

My parents came from different backgrounds but they have always been partners in the most meaningful ways. Together, they have raised a family, built businesses and pursued their passions. They have earned university degrees as part-time mature-age students, and they always put the needs of my sister and me first.

I learnt a lot from them. I learnt that the most worthwhile things take hard work and perseverance. I learnt that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and that in business you have no business unless you have something to offer that is of value.

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