CONGRATULATIONS to all of the newly elected Councillors, there is a huge amount of work to do across the Shire so now it’s time to roll up our sleeves together and I’m enthused to get started.

I was extremely surprised and humbled to receive the third highest number of primary votes and as I explained to my daughter I now have more than 8,000 bosses across the Shire. For everyone who voted for me, thank you and for everyone in the Shire I will work hard to represent you on a range of issues that will come before us.

I was not surprised to see Lee Watts had another landslide. They are votes she has earned through her long dedication to the community and it was well deserved. So too for Sue Abbott to be reelected, she has been a strong voice during the last term and I am proud to have the opportunity to serve with her.

Of the five people I ran with, three have been elected: Lee Watts, Sue Abbott and Tayah Clout, making two of us completely new to Council. Allison McPhee and Adam Williamson are also brand new and I am looking forward to working with them as part of the new blood the community has said they want via the ballot box.

Patricia Taylor didn’t make it across the line, but she will be remaining active in the community and has promised she will be keeping us all to account. It’s a testament to her character and I look forward to it.

Belinda McKenzie managed to campaign even through knee surgery a huge testament to her putting the community first and has always been a hard worker behind the scenes in our community, I’m disappointed I didn’t get the chance to be on Council with her this time around.

Chris North was also a great candidate and I am very grateful for the genuine support he gave to us during some tumultuous events in the lead up to the campaign. It is great to have people with Chris’ character in our community.

Running in an election is a big commitment and all candidates who put their hand up deserve kudos.

The family and friends who supported the candidates are critical from ensuring posters are placed at polling booths, which was especially difficult this election to providing positive support through the campaign and keeping the home fires burning.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me, including the team I ran with and people who helped on the campaign from polling booths to posters, including John West, Scott Cooper, Steve Davies, Cheryl Troy, Verona Bruin, Tash Kellaher, Mick Kellaher, Hock, Jeanette McLellan, Di Pittard, Kylie-Anne Craig, George Fraser, Yvonne Walters, Margi Adams, Deb Hayden, Zac, Michael Flaherty, Jane Flaherty and Chris Flaherty.

I am most grateful to my daughters who were supportive of me putting up my hand and will be the ones to make the most accommodations for me to be on Council. I love them dearly and while having the title of Councillor is an honour, it’s not a patch on the honour of the title of being your mum.