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Core Values – Everyone Counts

Work hard. Don’t sponge off anybody else. Take responsibility for your actions. Help others where you can. Those are the core values I learnt from my parents. They were hard-working people. When I was young my mother and father took multiple jobs to make ends meet. Mum was washing dishes and Dad was pumping petrol to supplement his day job…

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An Innovation Journey

It may be a horrible cliché but my driver for seeking a position in parliament was to make a difference. I don’t come from a political family and in fact I was the first among my relatives to finish high school. Almost everyone can name that one teacher who had the biggest impact on their lives. For me it was…

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Local Vision

All levels of government get criticised for their short-term thinking, focusing on the here-and-now instead of the long-term, state governments being no exception. For me it’s a balance; in part I work to a grand vision for Victoria, but I weigh that against the short-term steps that are required to get us there. Melbourne is growing at over 100,000 people…

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Security, Prosperity and Harmony

From the time I was elected to Parliament in 2010, my ethics and values have remained constant, a strong reflection of my family and upbringing. One of those values is tolerance, which is absolutely central to a harmonious society. In my time in parliament I’ve sought to build respectful relationships across the political divide and recognise that people from different…

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Equality for All

When I was in my late 20s, I was appointed General Counsel for a major corporation after spending my early career in private practice predominantly in litigation. At the time the reaction from the senior ranks of the male dominated Melbourne legal fraternity was one of shock and surprise – mixed with a touch of resentment. Who does this young…

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Creating An Impact

I started my career as a management consultant, where I was constantly encouraged to focus on the impact I was having on clients and on colleagues. I realised very quickly that creating an impact was a natural mission for me. It was exciting to discover that what drove me as a person, was in fact the essence of my job….

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Individual Liberty and a Prosperous Society

The Liberal Party is a broad church. It contains people who call themselves conservatives, people who call themselves libertarians, and people who just call themselves Liberals. Each of these labels represents a school of thought on the centre-right of Australian politics. I’m often described in the media as a conservative or a libertarian. I don’t object to being described as…

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Hope Is The Best Defence

It’s no surprise that the way people represent themselves in Parliament reflects the way that they’ve been brought up and the places they’ve grown up in. For me, I’m a product of the Dandenong Ranges. The environment means a lot to me, as mine was a life spent outdoors, firstly as a Queen’s scout and then in my first jobs…

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The Innovation Economy

My entrepreneurial life started by learning directly from my parents. My Dad left school early and tried a number of things; he eventually started Cedel toothpaste with a manufacturing base in Laverton. Some of my earliest memories are from primary school where I would buy bagels from the local Glick’s bakery and then resell them from my school locker. From…

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Freedoms and Values

Recently, my sixteen-year-old son asked me whether I agree with everything that the Liberal Party stands for. I told him that I agree with all the values of the Liberal Party. That doesn’t mean that I instinctively agree with every single policy, especially as they are being debated. For me, political parties are groups of people who come together with…

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Decentralisation

I come from a 4th generation farming family in Birregurra in South Western Victoria; sheep and beef mainly. The farm suffered, as Dorothy Mackellar famously wrote, from droughts and flooding rains, along with fires and other calamities. It wasn’t an easy pathway, yet nevertheless, it was very satisfying. I always enjoyed the lifestyle of being out on the land and…

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Learning from the Wisdom of Others

My personal philosophies always start from a point of principle and then I seek to enliven and crystallized those initial ideas. The books that sit on my bookshelf, and that I highlight in this article, directed me to focus my thoughts and get them onto clear tracks through learning from the wisdom and knowledge of others. My first selections are…

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Pragmatic Conservatism

I’ve been in politics for twenty-one years, in the lower house and upper house, in government and opposition, twice apiece. I’ve served on every conceivable committee and chaired or participated in inquiries on most key topics of interest to Victorians. This also means I have a very low tolerance for nonsense. I came to Australia as a ten-year-old with my…

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The Gems of Mt Waverley

We live in a fast-paced world, and everybody is asked to do more and cram more into the same amount of time. One of the ways I’ve always sought to respond to this challenge and maintain a balance in my life is through exercise. We are really fortunate, where I live and work, in Waverley to have not only a…