My parents, Albert and Delma, built our family home at Sylvania near the Georges River just after World War II. I was the eldest of their six children and have fond memories of a wonderful childhood spent mucking about in old rowing boats on the river.
I left school at 14 and got a job almost immediately as an office junior. When I was 18, I dreamt of flying aeroplanes. I was told this was impossible – I came from a working class family and I didn’t have the right contacts – but I worked hard at two and sometimes three jobs and obtained my private pilot’s license at 20 years of age.
In 1965, I married my husband, Bob, and together we went on to raise our four boys in the Sutherland Shire.
At about 35, I decided to study law, and was again told it was impossible for me. I did it anyway, although it took almost 14 years from attending Gymea Tech to begin my HSC, finally graduating from Sydney University with arts and law degrees in 1988.
I stood for Federal Parliament in 1996 because I did not like the direction in which our country was heading, especially with high interest rates, high unemployment and failing small businesses. Australia, a country rich in natural resources and talented people, was suffering because the Keating Labor Government ignored the basic principles required for a sound economy. I am proud to have been elected to represent the people of Hughes. Since then I have worked hard to be their public voice in Canberra.
Through the strong economic management of the previous Coalition Government for almost 12 years, we ensured the families of Australia enjoyed the benefits of a vibrant economy, with lower interest rates, low inflation, record low unemployment and assistance for the elderly and disadvantaged.
Locally, we saw significant investment in our schools; in the implementation of practical water-saving projects; in upgrading our roads and in supporting community crime prevention initiatives.
Since my retirement from Parliament I have continued to pursue my unfinished efforts to bring to the attention of the Australian public the fact that carbon dioxide is not a dangerous pollutant, but is a beneficial fertiliser that greens our earth.