Five Minute Speech – Meet the Candidate Nights – Glamorgan Vale & Lowood
Category : General News
Five-minute speech – Cheryl Gaedtke- Meet the Candidates Nights – Glamorgan Vale & Lowood District Residents Networking Inc. (16 & 17 March 2020)
1. Who am I?
I am fourth generation to Kilcoy. My ancestors on my Mum’s side, arrived from England and took up a selection in 1904 at Mt Kilcoy. My Great Grandfather was the President of the Mt Kilcoy School Committee which very quickly petitioned and accomplished the Mt Kilcoy State Primary School. A beautiful little school on a hill and which takes in the magical views of the Mt Kilcoy valley. My Great Grandfather also represented Kilcoy Shire Council as Councillor. My Grandmother, my Mum, my siblings, my son, my daughter and I were all schooled at Mt Kilcoy. My two granddaughters currently attend Kilcoy State Primary School, so I am proud to share that four generations of my family were schooled at Mt Kilcoy. Life was brilliant back then with Mum and Dad dairying and then later going into their own businesses.
After completing my schooling at Kilcoy State High School, I went to the big smoke to attend Seven Hills Technical College, boarding during the week with one of the female teachers. I was glad to return to the bush every weekend. I did extremely well here, college was where I seemed to be more in charge of what I was doing and my results reflected this premise. I felt more empowered and I met students so different to those at home. The Seven Hills College of Art was part of the complex, and we shared facilities, and for this country kid, I thoroughly enjoyed these students challenging what I considered as normal.
I commenced work at the age of 16 at Kilcoy Shire Council as Clerk-Typist, I left to get married and to have a family and then returned to work full time at the age of 24 and where I worked my way up to Manager Finance & Administration prior to council amalgamation in 2008. I worked for Somerset Regional Council in the capacity of Executive Administrator – Community Services, totally enjoying meeting the southern communities of our much larger region. Upon leaving council at the end of 2013, I enrolled in university and commenced my studies in 2014. I studied communication at University of Sunshine Coast and fitted in as a mature aged student. During this time, I was elected President of the Kilcoy Chamber of Commerce & Community and was awarded the 2015 Citizen of the Year. In 2016, and after realising how much I was missing Local Government, I threw my hat in the ring and stood for Councillor. I was elected to my disbelief.
2. Why am I running for the position of Councillor again?
I am totally chuffed to have had the opportunity to represent our wonderful community for the past four years. During this time, I withdrew from university studies, and commenced studying for the Diploma of Local Government – Elected Members, which I successfully achieved in August 2019. I am very much aware of our opportunities and with precise vision, strategic planning and ongoing commitment, our region can benefit with managed growth and development. During my career, some newly elected Councillors confided to me that it took quite a while for them to fully understand local government. So, I proudly and openly bring experience, knowledge, sound decision making skills, passion and ongoing commitment to get things done. I absolutely enjoy working as part of a progressive team, in an effort to make our region a place to be envied.
3. What would I like to see occur in our beautiful region?
I value our agricultural inheritance, our local businesses, our local schools, our local hospitals, our local SES, our local Firies and every local community group. I would like to see successful businesses established in our region, businesses that support the needs of our region. Tourism is an important economic driver, and council is very active in this area. Collaboration with peak industry bodies and outside influences and connections will provide innovative opportunities. I want to see our natural assets respected and to continue to be managed in a sustainable way. And the big-ticket item, is to seek collaboration with other levels of government to promote ourselves as an area just outside of Brisbane for the home of regional services and/or facilities.
4. Future of Local Government
I have witnessed the role of Local Government change from just roads, rates and rubbish. Although these items are still very important and essential, priorities have grown immensely. We are the grass route level of government closest to our communities and because of this, we have a sound understanding of what is needed, what will work, and what won’t work. I believe we are the glue of our communities. Unfortunately, we are still an arm very much attached to the State Government, as Local Government is still not recognised in the Australian Constitution. Local Government will need to ensure that it does not become the dumping ground for services currently provided by State Government, and definitely not without associated funding. I have seen Local Government step up to the plate to meet various community needs, definitely changing the mentality from just roads, rates, and rubbish.
I thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight.