The Penrith community and region is my home and has been since my school years at St Dominic's in Kingswood and McCarthy Catholic College in Emu Plains. My family lives in Werrington County and my partner and I are currently building our new home locally.
As a keen sportsman, I was a founding member of the Penrith Valley Sports Foundation and I am a past Board member of the Penrith Rams, the local AFL Club. I'm even aiming to play my 200th game this season for the club.
In my previous role as the marketing manager of the Australian College of Physical Education, I have worked with the Penrith Panthers NYC team and Panthers on the Prowl and have seen the valuable work they do across the broad Penrith community.
I know this region has been neglected by NSW Labor and I certainly know we deserve better.
Since I was elected with your support on 19th June last year to represent you in Parliament, I have been a strong voice for our community. Meeting with local residents and key community groups is a most valuable way for me to hear your concerns and address those issues.
We have already put runs on the board for Penrith, even from Opposition - over 10 community organisations, from homelessness support groups to sporting groups have benefited from funding through the Community Building Partnerships programme in Penrith. At the PCYC, the Church of the Rock and Brothers Rugby League Club amongst others, it has been a great pleasure to meet with their representatives and support their applications for this pivotal funding. Those projects will come to fruition this year and I look forward to seeing the finished 'product' for each of them.
I have succeeded in pushing the government to offer permanent positions to Nepean Hospital nurses who had been in 'acting' positions for long periods.
With much prodding in the local media and in parliament, the Government finally undertook a feasibility study of the options to increase safety on Victoria Bridge. We will continue to pursue the government on those issues in the coming weeks and months.
I have raised community concerns about the proposed Emu Plains train stabling yard in parliament and locally, to ensure the voices of residents are heard. The government was clearly intending to ram through its construction with only token consultation.
The lack of support given to Nepean High as it becomes our region's specialist performing and creative arts high school has been enormously frustrating for the school community and I have raised these concerns, seeking a commitment of appropriate funding for the school to enable it to develop its performing and creative arts expertise.
We have hosted a Disabilities Forum here in Penrith, with both state and federal Shadow Ministers available to meet with local disability workers and carers who are at the coalface, every day facing the impact of living with a disability.
I might have met you at one of the morning and afternoon teas I've organised for our community's seniors, or perhaps I've met your enthusiastic and talented child at a school presentation.
If not, I hope to meet you as I'm door-knocking and visiting around the electorate, because this story is about the community in Penrith and the lower Mountains.
Together we can keep Penrith moving forward and work towards Making NSW Number One Again.