On Wednesday (19th Feb) I participated in the Meet the Candidates – Hosted by Maleny Forums. In addition to our introduction, we were required to respond to two set questions. Here is the first of those and my response. The second question can be found here.
Outline some of your key achievements and contributions you have made for communities in Division 5 (or other communities where you have been involved).
When we first arrived in Maleny we discovered the essence of community. What it’s like to know so many people. Why it takes twice as long to do the shopping because of the inevitable conversations you now would have. The inescapable connectivity to the issues and events of the local community.
Being a small business owner I quickly became involved in the Chamber of Commerce and am proud to have been instrumental in obtaining the initial three years worth of funding from the Sunshine Coast Council for the Christmas Carnival. At the time, some were sceptical of procuring such funding, but we had a crack and were successful.
Once I moved full time into media, and especially before the era of social media, I assisted many local sporting, community and not for profit groups with a free space to share their stories, publish their results, and promote their events to a wide audience.
While I can’t point to a laundry list of memberships to local clubs and associations, many of us give back to the community in ways that make most sense individually.
Some have time, some have money, some have knowledge and skills. I had a website and social media channels with a significant audience.
Here’s an interesting statistic … Since Facebook started keeping track of video views back in November 2017, so just over two and a bit years, 1.7 million minutes of View News video has been watched. I know then, how effective social media channels can be.
So across the Division and across the Sunshine Coast, I have given what I have been able in the coverage of local news, information and publicity.
And because it was news, it was all done for FREE.
I have reported on important milestones in the life of our communities.
Events such as the Mary Cairncross redevelopment, Palmwoods Piccabeen Place, Pattemore House, the various stages of Maleny Golf Course, The House for Daniel, Butterfly House, environmental land purchases, new bridges, roads and infrastructure.
I have helped promote local businesses and innovation especially when they have kicked goals on the national and world stage.
I have helped shine a light on a light on important social issues like homelessness, domestic violence, eating disorders and mental illness.
Important political stories – rail duplication, the need for proper public transport, state and federal election commitments.
I have kept people up to date with the latest disaster and emergency information during the big weather and fire events.
At a time when the media is so driven by conflict, division, scandal and click bait, I believe there is a role in media to build up a region not tear it down, to shine a light on what’s good, positive and optimistic about the Sunshine Coast and why we wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.