Greens mayoral candidate Simon Richardson has announced his five fellow candidates who are standing for September’s council election.
‘Experience and youth,’ he says. ‘We’ve got quality in both, with decades of experience in community issues, commercial businesses, the environment, management and governance.’
‘Rose Wanchap, over 40 years, has served on committees, boards and organisations from president to board member. She’s experienced all facets of community groups. As well as being a successful real estate agent for 36 years, Rose has given 20 per cent of her company’s profits to community causes. Rose has also honed skills as an advocate for environmental and human rights issues. Her experience in mastering the fine art of negotiation will be an important skill as councillor.
‘Clare Hocking, our youngest candidate, draws on a remarkable track record of achievement starting as a high school student working on developing the first Indigenous exchange program in Victorian schools, then did voluntary work on an Aboriginal community called Warakurna, central WA, and campaigned in the Styx Valley in Tasmania. Now she works at Byron Community Centre as the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) co-ordinator, a micro-finance program to assist people on low incomes.
‘Duncan Dey, a chartered civil engineer specialising in hydrology, has already served two years on Byron Shire Council, 2002–2004. Duncan has a wealth of experience in how Council works and is well prepared to scrutinise planning and engineering issues in our very wet Shire.
‘Like all the team members Duncan loves Byron Shire’s natural environment. He knows that our Shire leads Australia in preventing poor-quality development because of Greens influence on Council over the past decade. “We Greens can be relied on to reflect community values,” says Duncan.
‘Jim Beatson started two of Australia’s best-known community radio stations, 4ZZZ and 2FBi, and moved to London in 1980 where he worked for four years as project manager at The Economist magazine. “My speciality, then and now, is problem solving,” says Jim. He then switched to journalism and on returning to Sydney became The Guardian’s Australian correspondent for a decade. Falling in love with Byron he moved here and became volunteer project officer at Byron Community Centre raising hundreds of thousands dollars in grant money to overhaul its infrastructure.
‘Rhonda Khong, is a young and highly energetic woman who knows only one word: yes.
‘In May 2011, she took over as co-ordinator and treasurer of Byron’s Liberation Larder and has helped it grow with new projects linking in with other community organisations to widen the reach of Larder’s services. She helped establish Larder Connect, a frozen-food initiative to assist those in need with nutritious food across the Shire. At the end of 2011, she was nominated and became a finalist for the Byron Shire Volunteer of the Year award.’