Three years ago I knocked on doors and introduced myself to the thousands of people that I have been lucky enough to represent for the last three years. Today I am back doing much the same thing, but this time I am shaking hands with many more friends and am standing at train stations with an even deeper sense of pride in the community I represent in Parliament.
What most people don’t know about Parliamentarians is that we get an incredibly privileged window onto the community. People invite you into their lives and you meet the varied neighbourhoods, community groups, businesses, faith groups and clubs that knit us together and help our communities flourish. You get a chance to make a huge difference in people’s lives by helping them with difficulties when they are at their lowest ebb.
I have met people who will climb on their neighbour’s roof to put a tarp on before looking after their own in a storm, people who go out of their way to care for sick family members and people who spend hours each week serving at their local school with no reward.
Some days I am a social worker, some days a legislation reviewer and debater, and some days a ribbon cutter. It really is the best job in the world.
My first term in Parliament has involved working hard to deliver for some key things: investment to ease congestion, new facilities for our suburbs, and policies that will enable the cost of living to decrease for our families. I hope that I have another chance in the next Parliament to carry forward the work I have started while also sparking new conversations about who we are becoming as a nation and what sort of future we are building.