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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020 2020) . . Page.. 94 ..

Anglo-Indian heritage and three with Anglo-Indigenous heritage. Our seventh child and youngest daughter will soon deliver our seventh grandchild.

Leading up to the 2016 ACT election, I thought that the Canberra Liberals would surely win. As we know, this did not happen. I thought, “How could they not have won that election?” I also started to see a distressing decline in how issues were discussed in the public arena, including the rise of accusatory and insulting language that was intended, or so it seemed to me, to prevent exploration of differing ideas and silence those with a contrary view, rather than engaging openly and respectfully. I was becoming very worried for our society.

What occurred to me then, and it has crystallised strongly with me now, is that the best government policies arise from free and open discussion. The desire to shut down and de-platform differing opinions is contrary, in my view, to the fundamental Westminster principles of our parliamentary democracy.

In late 2016 I made the decision to join the Canberra Liberals, my first party membership. My goal in joining was to do everything I could to ensure that the Canberra Liberals were elected in October 2020. Whilst this did not eventuate, election remains my priority for 2024.

I put my mind, time, feet and hands to work, including many letterboxing contributions, telephone canvassing and attending party meetings and functions. I have held deputy chair roles on three committees. For the federal election last year, I ran a booth and scrutineered the vote count. From July last year, I was the chair of the Yerrabi electorate branch, which provided me with membership of the management committee. My journey continued with me being preselected as one of five very dedicated Ginninderra candidates. I am very honoured to become the 84th individual to be called a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

On the professional side, with the ACT government, I have dealt with the most legally and factually complex territory tax cases of the last 10 years, as both a decision-maker and an instructing client when the dispute moved to tribunals or courts. I am a nationally accredited mediator. While working at the local tribunal, I conducted over 60 civil and residential tenancy settlement conferences. I recently completed three years as Vice-President of the ACT Law Society and had the great privilege of chairing, for nearly seven years, the Law Society’s government law committee. As a member of the ADR committee, I initiated a pilot program for a pro bono mediation scheme.

I am deeply committed to core Liberal Party values. The most effective government is the one that is barely noticed, where citizens are free to enhance their own lives and those of their family and the community. The quiet Australians are a very capable bunch.

Work is a wonderful benefit and the best form of supporting oneself and one’s family. The freedom to have sensible, reasonable and respectful discussions about our differences is a freedom that is essential to our democratic system of government and to a civil society.

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