We approached Division 2 Candidate Karen Harris and asked her thoughts on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region. Below is her response.
Karen has a background in Community Development, as an Administrator, a Co-ordinator, and in Sales & Marketing.
What Karen had to say:
Firstly, I believe there is no level of Government more “grass roots” than local Council and “grass roots” is all about people and community. I am entering this opportunity to represent the people and communities of Division 2 with eyes and mind wide open, with genuine passion for connecting people and with the energy to make a difference. I have attached a copy of my resume for you to share along with my response as I feel it is important for locals to gain a better understanding of my background, which as you will note involves working for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as a Field Officer on the frontline.
This role has given me great insights into the diversity that exists within the region and the data collected for the ABS assists us all recognising the challenges and needs faced by CALD citizens.
Come 28th March there is likely to be many new faces forming the Moreton Bay Regional Council, and there will be a fresh new Mayor. I see this as a opportunity to advocate within Council for a symposium to be held at the earliest point to assist all newly and/or returning representatives to gain a better understanding of the needs of the CALD community across the region, including the migrant and refugee business community. If elected, I will most certainly be championing this within Council with the goal to be a Multi-cultural Action Plan to take our region forward in the right direction.
To address your questions as a single agent would not, in my view, do justice to the needs of CALD people of Division 2. Rather, it is the combined efforts of local leaders across the different sectors that need to come together to develop strategies and solutions that directly address the challenges faced by the CALD community. As they say, it takes a village.
There are a number of points however I would like to touch on. You ask how I will contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities? I hope that my track record of working for my community demonstrates the passion that I have in keeping people connected. I have been instrumental in bringing U3A to Beachmere, advocating for marginalised people for a better quality of life, leading community groups focused on bringing the community together, and lobbying for better infrastructure and services to meet local needs.
I am also excited about the opportunity to help create a region whereby young people are embraced within their communities and, in particular, I recognise the challenges faced by refugee, migrant or Australian-born CALD adolescents.
I am a firm believer in building upon what already exists in our communities to make them more vibrant and cohesive. This involves having a good understanding of the vulnerabilities that exist within the community and leveraging community assets to create better access, spaces and opportunities for all. At the heart of every community must be something worth bringing the community together and this is the exciting prospect of the future for residents that exists. I am so keen to be part of this. It is more important than ever before to ensure the focus of this next Council is on building resilient and strong neighbourhoods across communities so that challenges and stressors are addressed and overcome.
Karen has welcomed the opportunity to visit MACS Inc. over the coming weeks. We look forward to meeting Karen.
Karen thanked us for the opportunity to speak to the CALD community in the region. We thank her for responding.
You can learn more about Karen and what she stands for by visiting:
0402 114 201
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Karen. #unityindiversity