One year on - doing politics differently
The Border Mail on May 15 explored five months of bushfire emergency and coronavirus impacts with the region’s federal MPs. May 18 was my election anniversary, and I’ve written about this first year.
Helen Haines was elected in May 2019, becoming the first Independent federal parliamentarian to succeed another in the same electorate since Federation in 1901
I am your Independent Federal Member of Parliament. I represent you and about 140,000 other people from Falls Creek and the High Country in the north, down to Kinglake and Melbourne’s outskirts in the south. Indi includes some of Australia’s most diverse and beautiful countryside and many thriving regional centres and unique small communities.
My path to politics is different to the usual. I grew up with four brothers on a dairy farm near Colac in Victoria’s south west. I trained as a nurse and midwife and then moved to North East Victoria where I have lived for the past 30 years. My nursing and midwifery work in both the Wangaratta Hospital and the Chiltern Bush Nursing Hospital led me to further studies and research in rural health care. With my husband, Phil, an agricultural scientist, we raised three children and live on a small farm near Wangaratta.
In 2019, I decided to stand for election, because I believe our communities need real representation on what matters to us: education, healthcare, getting rid of corruption in politics, harnessing clean energy for Australia’s future, and building our jobs and prosperity.
As a nurse, I believe in decency, respect, common sense and caring for one another. My promise to you is that I will be your strong voice in Parliament, working each and every day to advocate for you and your family.
You can learn more about my work and sign up to my newsletter by visiting my website www.helenhaines.org. You can also follow me at @helenhainesindi on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please stay in touch.
The Border Mail front page on August 2, 2019 – the edition following Helen’s first speech. Story: Shana Morgan. Image: Mark Jesser
In Indi, trust matters. To more than 1800 people who put their names to a petition for a federal integrity commission that upholds the Beechworth Principles – thank you. I’m tabling your signatures today.