Meet a Candidate: Brooke Curtin

10 August 2016

With the ACT election looming,  we are meeting the women candidates standing for election for the ACT Legislative Assembly, to learn a bit more about them and their priorities for the community. This week meet Brooke Curtin, Liberal Candidate for Kurrajong. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.Brooke Curtin

I grew up in an Air Force family near Newcastle and moved to Canberra in 1994 to join the Air Force and go to university.  I became the equal first Australian woman to be qualified to navigate a fast jet aircraft (the F-111) in the Air Force, have completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course, and am a lecturer at UNSW Canberra.  I am 41 and am married with three young children that attend local schools and day care.  I would like to service our community in the ACT Assembly and bring my experience in leadership,  stakeholder engagement, business improvement, project delivery and budget management (large and small) into  the ACT Legislative Assembly where I think it is needed for a better Canberra.

What drove you to run for the Legislative Assembly?

The final straw was at 3am on a weeknight when I was in the Canberra emergency department with my 8 year old daughter. Having waited more than two hours with 30 other community members without seeing a doctor, I made the final decision that the ACT health system needs fixing and I have the leadership and business experience to fix it.

What is something that people may be surprised to know about Kurrajong, and what do you see as the key issues facing the electorate?

The electorate is very engaged and passionate about the local community and local government and are deeply frustrated with the Barr-Rattenbury government.  Our community doesn’t mind paying their dues up to a certain point and the Barr -Rattenbury government has gone beyond the point of reasonableness.  After knocking on thousands of doors, and I’ll keep going, many issues have been raised including opposition to the light rail, opposition to property development outcomes and processes, local traffic and parking issues, rising rates with poor government services in return to suggest a few issues.  There are many more issues from my work with the local community.

What are the barriers that you see to gender equality in our community, and how do you propose to address this? 

A barrier to gender equality can be the cultural mindset of men.  Women may want to achieve a position on merit or their perception of fairness and approach things equally, but if the mindset of the other people making decisions (or having power over a woman) is not of that fairness mindset then no amount of merit, hard work or fairness will help women get through to the next level, whether it be in a domestic or professional sense.

In our election platform we have identified three priority areas which require ongoing action. How do you envisage developing a more inclusive, equitable Canberra?

To develop a more equitable Canberra we need to undertake true engagement with providers, experts and the people in our community.  We need to engage in a two way conversation and develop a plan together on action to support children and young people, reduce gender inequality and violence against women and ensure there is a focus on community inclusion and equality.  My children and I have participated in YWCA programs for four years and I look forward to continuing my involvement in their programs and with YWCA management.

What is the change that you are passionate about seeing in Canberra?

Fixing the health system and having true community engagement in all government processes.  Engagement involves two way conversation and governments truly listening and giving due consideration to community views.  Engagement is not a one way transmission of a predetermined government outcome.

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