I was raised in Harkaway and Berwick by parents Joan and Phillip. I have a brother Michael and sister Linda. My siblings and I attended Harkaway Primary and Berwick Secondary College.
After leaving school, I worked in hospitality and customer service roles before joining Victoria Police in 2001. I was posted to Dandenong Police Station and went on to complete a Diploma in Public Safety (Policing).
When working with local schools in Dandenong I identified issues and established a program focusing on youth at risk of disengaging with the education system. I was proud to work with local police command and representatives from the Education Department.
We developed Operation Newstart South East, a program aimed at reconnecting young people with appropriate education, further training or employment.
The program involves many organisations and aims to include the young person’s family where possible. Family, school and social networks are a vital part of the young person’s reconnection to education and employment. Operation Newstart continues to operate in Dandenong, later expanding into the City of Casey.To further my understanding of the issues facing youth I was awarded a scholarship to the University of Melbourne. The Silk Miller scholarship enabled me to complete a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare.
In 2005 I transferred to Prahran Police Station where I completed further training relating to liquor licensing. As the level of alcohol fuelled crime increased it became apparent that we needed a formal study on the affects of liquor licensing in the community. Working with the Regional Licensing Inspector we made various recommendations to help reduce the number of offences committed in and around high risk venues.
In 2007 I had an opportunity to purchase a small business. I eagerly took the challenge of operating a Bakers Delight bakery, and enjoyed seeing the business grow over the next three years. During that time I experienced the highs and lows associated with owning a business and I appreciate the difficulties that small business operators endure.
In November 2010 I was elected the Member for Gembrook. I am proud to represent the the electorate and advocate for my constituents in Victoria’s Parliament.