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I am the Independent Federal Member for Indi, representing people from as far as Corryong in the Upper Murray to Kinglake and Marysville on the outskirts of Melbourne. The biggest towns in Indi include Wodonga, Benalla, Mansfield and Wangaratta – my home for more than 30 years.

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 35 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: healthcare, better phone and internet coverage, getting rid of corruption in politics, harnessing clean energy for Australia’s future, and building our jobs and prosperity.

In 2022, I was re-elected by the people of Indi to continue my work bringing integrity to politics, improving healthcare in our region and action on climate change.

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 stand up 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.

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The Border Mail front page on August 2, 2019 – the edition following Helen’s first speech. Story: Shana Morgan. Image: Mark Jesser

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