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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 92 ..


It is a shame that Chief Minister Barr has chosen Labor and Greens ministers from Canberra’s four other electorates but neglected to give a powerful voice to Yerrabi. Instead, he has given ministries to four of the five MLAs in his own electorate of Kurrajong. The only Kurrajong member to miss out is our most capable opposition leader, Elizabeth Lee. Of course, we do hope Elizabeth’s time will come.

As a singer, may I use a singing analogy to describe how I approach my role, which I see is all about connecting with the people in Yerrabi. Singers are in the service industry. You are there to please; so no matter that you have sung Khe Sanh 1,650 times, if the request comes in, you belt it out the best way that you can, because the pub wants you to keep the patrons drinking and rocking on the dance floor. For me, the song that I have sung way too many times is The Gambler. When you do sing it, the crowd seems to come from miles to join you and you know that you have crossed over at a gig when the people let you into their night out.

So too with Yerrabi voters electing me. Just like the song, I will keep singing to keep the punters happy; so too I will serve the people who elected me, and I will not tire of that. Recently I read an extract from former Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove’s memoir. He pens the tale of an ordinary man who achieved high office and accomplished tasks with distinction and he writes:

… throughout my public life, I have been and remain a very ordinary person … I stand as an example that the jobs I have done aren’t just for those of the most marvellous capacity … but that an ordinary person can undertake these tasks effectively.

To my fellow residents in Yerrabi, I stand before you as a single mother of two, happy to point to my 23-year-old son and my 18-year-old daughter as my proudest achievements. A single mother who once stocked vending machines, I would use my own van, which I had for music gear, and trek to Fyshwick. I would load up the massive eskies with chips, chocolates and drinks and haul them around on a trolley. One of the sites was JB Hi-Fi. I would park in their loading zone and wheel in the loot.

I have also taught singing lessons, I have been a paid tuckshop lady at my kids’ school and worked as a trade assistant for a mechanic, doing oil changes for the cars and picking up the new discs and spare parts. I am the chick from Charny and I will not lose that. That is who I am. If I can show, like Sir Peter Cosgrove, that this gig of politics is not just for those of “the most marvellous capacity” but for the hardworking, ordinary family battlers like me, I would see that as achievement indeed.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (3.18), by leave: I am greatly honoured to present myself to the ACT Legislative Assembly and to the ACT community as a member for the Ginninderra electorate. I would like to especially acknowledge the Ngunnawal and other Indigenous peoples of this and other ACT electorates. I also acknowledge that we meet on Ngunnawal land.

I would like to tell you a bit about myself, my upbringing, my family, my work and my developing political awareness. I hope you see me not just as a fellow MLA but as someone you feel confident to approach for a respectful conversation.


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