When you live in the community, you know the community.
I grew up in Oakleigh when Vanilla Cakes & Lounge was Coles Variety Store, the Oakleigh Pet Shop was where Nikos Cakes is now and when the old silver doughnut truck would make the best hot jam doughnuts on a Saturday morning.
My cousins and I use to walk to Carnegie Pool in summer, my school swimming carnivals were at Oakleigh Pool and school athletics were held at Duncan MacKinnon Reserve in Murrumbeena.
I attended the kindergarten at Oakleigh Baptist Church on Warrigal Road, then Hughesdale Primary, Chadstone High School and Monash University.
My first job was a paper round with the newsagents on North Road in South Oakleigh then I moved on to Target Chadstone when I was 15 yrs old. In my late 20’s I opened and operated the Cosmic Bear Cafe on Atherton Road in Oakleigh.
My passion for community campaigns started when Monash Council threatened to close the Oakleigh Pool. I became involved in the community fight to save the pool. And we won.
This led me to run for Monash Council, and I was elected Mayor a few years later. I’m incredibly proud that during my time as a councillor, we worked with the community to revitalise the Oakleigh shopping village, whilst maintaining the lowest rates of any Council in Melbourne.
Since 2014, I’ve represented our community in the Victorian Parliament, during a massive period of local activity – in schools, in hospitals, in sports, in roads and in public transport. All delivered by a Labor Government that I’m proud to be part of.
I love this community and I still live here because its the best part of Melbourne.