New faces eager to serve on Shire Council

Daryna ZadvirnaNarrogin Observer

Three new councillors are set to join the Shire of Narrogin next month, with Shire president Leigh Ballard welcoming the return of women’s voices to the council.

After the close of local council nominations last week, candidates Sophie Lushey, Jacqui Early and Graham Broad have been elected unopposed along with Murray Fisher, who will be returning to his role.

Cr Ballard said he congratulated the newly elected members and was particularly pleased to have female representatives back on the council.

“It’s great that two women from the community put their hand up for the role,” he said.

“Also having someone like Sophie, as a young person, on the council gives us a whole new perspective on what the younger members of the community are thinking, so the diversity there is fantastic.”

Ms Lushey, a local 28-year-old lawyer, will be the youngest representative on the council, but says she brings a wealth of knowledge and a community spirit.

“Since moving from Perth to Narrogin in 2016, I have embraced the country lifestyle and have been actively involved in the community,” she said.

According to Ms Lushey, her occupation will make her a strong asset to the council.

“I have strong advocacy and communication skills and have a lot of experience in dealing with a wide range of situations,” she said.

“And I’m really pleased to be able to increase women’s participation in decision making at a local level.”

Ms Lushey said she also enjoyed her sport and was a member of the Narrogin Squash Club and Olympics Netball club.

Newly elected councillor Sophie Lushey.
Camera IconNewly elected councillor Sophie Lushey.

Main Roads WA business services officer Jacqui Early decided to run for council after she was approached by several people encouraging her to apply. “There was a view that the council should include more women and I agreed and decided that in order to make it happen, I had to put my hand up,” she said.

Ms Early has been actively involved in several community committees, including Narrogin Residents and Ratepayers Association, Narrogin Child Day Care Centre, Dryandra Pony Club, Dryandra Regional Equestrian Association, and most recently, the Narrogin Repertory Club.

“I feel I am now in a good position to put time towards taking on a new challenge and becoming a councillor,” she said.

“I don’t have a set agenda to push, however I have a strong desire to see Narrogin continue to grow and prosper.”

Ms Early said her appointment still required the approval from her employer, Main Roads WA, but it was being assessed.

Owner of J&D Lifestyle Home and Gift shop, Graham Broad, said his many years working in private and corporate businesses had given him the confidence and understanding of local government to help oversee the Shire’s budgeting and management processes. “Running for Shire council is something that I’ve always wanted to do at some stage in my life,” he said.

Having grown up in Narrogin, Mr Broad said he knew the community well and understood the issues that affected rural life and business.

“I was born and bred here and have been on various sporting and community committees, so I’m interested in where our town is heading,” he said.

“I’m keen to have an input into the wellbeing of our community.”

The newly elected members will officially step into their role and replace councillors Colin Ward, Nathan Walker and Paul Schutz after their departure from the council on October 20.

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