I’ve lived in the Kavel electorate for the past two decades. I’ve lived in the Adelaide Hills even longer. The Hills is a special place with a very strong community. I learned that when I joined the CFS, becoming part of a welcoming family of shared interests and mateship. My ten years as an active firefighter was an incredibly rewarding experience.
My Dad was in the Air Force. He died when I was very young and Mum moved us to South Australia to be close to her parents. Mum largely raised me and my older brother on her own. She is a magnificent person and a great parent.
I’m a fitter and turner by trade. In the last three decades, I have worked across various manufacturing sector roles, in industries including automotive, defence, mining and recycling. I spent many years working at the ASC shipyard, where I was also a union delegate. It was a long commute from Woodside, but the work paid well and was immensely rewarding.
Maritime manufacturing is very satisfying work. To see your finished product – a crewed ship – sail out to sea gives you an incredible sense of achievement. I’m so proud that I’ve been part of South Australia’s ship-building heritage. I lament the lost years our ship-building industry has suffered under Liberal governments at both Federal and State levels.
During my union’s Design, Build and Maintain Them Here campaign, I was part of meetings with State and Federal Members of Parliament, advocating for the protection and preservation of our shipbuilding industry and workforce. I served in that advocacy role for three years, working alongside representatives from across the naval construction sector as well as national and international industry organisations. This experience gave me a solid foundation for the world of politics and policy.
During that period, I joined the Labor Party, in recognition that Labor stands up for the people and issues which need and deserve advocacy. Having children only increased my awareness of how important it is to use our voices to advocate for others. I became acutely aware of how much my children’s future depended on my generation’s actions.
My two boys are now aged 11 and 13. Both attend local public schools. My wife is a teacher and I know from her experience, as well as that of my sons, that we need a stronger investment in education. The young people of our Adelaide Hills community deserve the best start in life. As a minimum, they deserve the same level of resourcing as their city counterparts. Teachers deserve sufficient support to provide that.
Kavel deserves better healthcare. No-one in the Hills should have to wait hours for an ambulance or go without critical care. The electorate of Kavel contains the township of Mount Barker, forecast to be the second largest city in South Australia and growing at a spectacular rate, without the required level of infrastructure. I’ve been inspired by Labor’s recent promise to provide $12.5 million for 30 additional paramedics and ambulance officers for the Adelaide Hills and $4.5 million for a new ambulance station in the Mount Barker area.
It is a privilege to put myself forward to represent my community. My promise to the Kavel electorate and the Labor community is that I will use my voice to speak for our people and our region… to represent and advocate for what is needed. That is the honour of representation.