Council elections 2023: Who has put their hand up to be a Harvey Shire councillor? — Part One

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Shire of Harvey council chambers in Harvey.
Camera IconThe Shire of Harvey council chambers in Harvey. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroo/RegionalHUB

Over the next month, Shire of Harvey voters will make their decision on who they want to represent them on council.

Excluding the Shire president’s position, there are five council spots up for grabs at the October 21 vote.

Four newly elected councillors will serve four-year terms, while another will serve a two-year term.

There will be at least two new faces after the election, with councillors Paul Gillett, Tania Jackson, Paul Beech, Francis Burgoyne and Amanda Lovitt not recontesting their positions.

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In the first of our two-part series, we asked all candidates about their run for council.

Alicia Hitchcock

Why are you running for council?

Shire of Harvey council candidate Alicia Hitchcock.
Camera IconShire of Harvey council candidate Alicia Hitchcock. Credit: Kristo Orma/Supplied

My interest in council was sparked at an early age when I listened to my grandfather, Louis Valli, talk about his time as a councillor with the City of Bunbury. Fast forward many years, and that interest has become a passion. I enjoy being part of the community and helping out where I can, whether that be advocating for new bus services or being part of a committee to oversee the running of one of our amazing community groups. I love living in the Shire of Harvey and I want to see it become even better. We’re a fast-growing shire so there will be challenges ahead but I believe we’ll get the right outcomes in the end.

What experience do you bring to council?

I have a bachelor of business which has seen me progress to a role as a business analyst. In this and previous roles, I’ve been involved in process analysis, service delivery restructuring, policy creation, and change management. I’ve also had roles in marketing, HR, and project management. Each role offered transferrable skills and knowledge. Life experience shouldn’t be underrated either. I’m a mum of four with lived experience of disability and discrimination. This gives me a unique perspective and a desire to work with advocates to ensure that the needs of traditionally underrepresented groups are taken into account when making decisions.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

The priorities I see for the Shire of Harvey are building and strengthening our local communities by supporting community initiatives and events; improving the amenities in, and maintenance of, our towns and suburbs and increasing the region’s profile as a destination to explore rather than pass through. In saying that, I don’t intend to be part of the council to support my own interests. I see a councillor as a representative of the community and as such they should be advocating for the interests of their constituency.

James Junio

Shire of Harvey council candidate James Junio.
Camera IconShire of Harvey council candidate James Junio. Credit: Supplied

Why are you running for council?

I am passionate about the Harvey Region and want to live here for the rest of my life. Like everyone else, I want my children to live in a place where it is peaceful, has great lifestyle choices, and has great opportunities for starting a business and for employment. We moved here in 2012 as my wife was born here. As a young family, we needed support from the community and the local library, community resource centre, church, businesses, and locals welcomed and supported us with open arms. I still vividly remember writing my resume in the library and looking through job opportunities in the local community resource centre. The staff were so accommodating and supportive that it still brings a smile to my face (and a tear) when I recall it. I am hoping this is my way of giving back to the community.

What experience do you bring to council?

I am a certified coach, trainer, and speaker of Maxwell leadership, which is one of the foremost leadership training companies in the world. I have experience in owning a home-based business, managing other people’s businesses, and leading various organisations (youth, faith-based and community). I am a strategic thinker, empathic and can work with and build teams to support a cause. As a senior youth worker, I am trained to handle high-pressure situations through negotiation, empathy and quick thinking. I am also a self-taught digital marketer/influencer and photographer, which will help in my passion for local tourism.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

My priorities are community safety and crime prevention; support of housing development applications to ease the housing crisis, especially for affordable accommodation; support sports and lifestyle initiatives to benefit families, youth, seniors, and people with disabilities; positioning the Harvey Region as “the Gateway to the South West” and the preferred “pitstop” between Perth and the South West to drive tourism dollars to local businesses and increase employment opportunities; to aggressively promote and help upgrade the May Gibbs display as a unique offering for tourists, and as a counterpoint to the Giants of Mandurah and Gnomesville; and promote Harvey as a top country wedding destination to support home-based businesses, food-based businesses, hairdressers, makeup artists, accommodation, food vans, venues etc.

Colin Anker

Why are you running for council?

Shire of Harvey council candidate Colin Anker.
Camera IconShire of Harvey council candidate Colin Anker. Credit: Supplied

To improve the lives of those around me. Unlike State and Federal politics as a local government councillor you work directly with those in your community. The Harvey Shire has a diverse and vibrant community and particularly now with the ward system discontinued as a councillor you are representing all constituencies from Yarloop to Clifton Park. As old-fashioned as it may sound I still believe that as a member of any community you have a civic and moral duty to be a positive influence. Whether it’s taking your neighbours bins in when they’re left out or running an after-school program for kids. A community is strengthened when we all take an active and positive role in the community. By raising my hand for the role of councillor I want to do my part to strengthen and improve our community and improve the lives of those that live in this great shire.

What experience do you bring to council?

The experience that I bring to council is a deep understanding of the importance of social connection. From my time working and volunteering for Australian Red Cross I understand the critical importance of reducing social isolation in our communities (particularly in regard to the elderly) and creating opportunities for members of our community to gather and connect with each other. In times of great tragedy well-connected communities recover better together. I want to use my experience to help strengthen our community groups and create opportunities for the inclusion of all residents.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

My main priority is strengthening the community and that’s done by reducing social isolation and increasing opportunities for social connection. I want to maintain the funding support for all the local sports clubs, community groups and volunteer fire brigade; complete the construction of the Yarloop Heritage Centre and the Yarloop Men’s Shed; increase after-school programs to reduce youth crime and provide support to families to access those activities; improve the governance of the Stanley Road Tip; protect and maintain our natural environment and create a signature event for the Shire of Harvey that delivers tourism. We have so much potential to create a stronger, better connected community for everyone to enjoy. Let’s work together and make it happen.

John Bromham

Why are you running for council?

Shire of Harvey council candidate John Bromham.
Camera IconShire of Harvey council candidate John Bromham. Credit: Supplied

I am running in the local government election for the Shire of Harvey as a councillor in Oct 2023 because I like to use my life experience to help build engaged, positive communities that look to the future and the needs of generations to come.

What experience do you bring to council?

I have served in the armed services for over 20 years, been a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years, a member of council, and Lot 208 Youth board member and worked in the mining/construction industries. I have a strong planning and OHSE background and hold a degree majoring in communications and culture. In becoming a councillor, I moved that the Shire of Harvey should have a Facebook Page, and this morphed to the Shire of Harvey Communications Strategy.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

I base my decisions on peer-reviewed facts and the financial costs of projects and developments to ratepayers. I also believe in sustainable development that enhances the possibility of long-term employment for all our communities through diversification of our financial and industry base to meet our future needs.

Part Two of our look at this year’s Harvey Shire candidates will be in next week’s Harvey-Waroona Reporter

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