Wallan resident Vasalia Govender hopes to help introduce programs to support Mitchell Shire families and residents with health and community programs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by standing for council.
Ms Govender has a background in health, with 23 years of experience in disability services as an essential frontline worker.
She has also been a health and safety representative, provided peer support for injured workers and an active member of the Mitchell Shire Suicide Prevention Network.
Ms Govender grew up in the apartheid era in South Africa, but has called Mitchell Shire home for the past 23 years and wants to give back to the community by becoming a councillor.
Ms Govender said unemployment meant more working families were in need than ever before, with her neighbours ‘dancing poverty and inequality’ and relying on volunteer groups to have their basic needs met.
“Being a representative on council is more than just a seat at the table, it’s having an active voice and driving local responses to complex social issues and implementing outcomes for everyone living in south ward,” she said.
“We need a plan to ensure no one in the south ward is living in poverty.
“I will prioritise social welfare programs, particularly for Aboriginal communities and for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with a disability, women, young people and LGBTIQ+ communities.
“Together we can make the south ward of Mitchell Shire a great place to live, learn and work and for these reasons I am running as an independent candidate for the Mitchell Shire Council elections.
“This is a very important election that gives the people of south ward the right to determine our representatives to combat social exclusion.”