Serving and helping other people has been a theme of mylife. Whether it was the humble beginnings as a shop assistant selling chicken and chips in Henny Penny, Newcastle where I grew up, cleaning houses or treating people in the public health system as a new physiotherapy graduate, I have always worked in roles where I have helped others to succeed.
For many years I worked in higher education, including the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University. As a part-time trainer at Western Sydney Institute of TAFE I facilitated the training and development of people, many of whom were studying to change careers. I also worked in local government at Penrith City Council and in private enterprise at Campus Living Villages.
In 2008 I was elected to Penrith City Council. As a local councillor, I successfully fought for local road safety improvements and secured commitment from Council to upgrade our local playgrounds. I also stood up for families in successfully fighting for a red bin weekly pick up option.
In March 2011, I was elected to State Parliament as the new Member for Mulgoa, representing the Liberal Party of Australia with a swing of 23%. During my 4 years in State Parliament I managed to present 286 speeches, questions and responses while in the chamber as the Member. My two personal highlights since becoming Member were to secure the closing of the St Marys Methadone Clinic and, as part of the coalition government secure billions to upgrade roads, schools and hospitals. In 2014 St Clair High School was devastated by fire which destroyed approximately 30 classrooms. I secured $3.0m additional funding for St Clair High School to ensure the rebuild will be a contemporary 21st century learning environment. I also served as the Deputy Chair of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Regulation. In March 2015, I was re-elected to the NSW Government and was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs and Homelessness.
In January 2017, I was honoured to be sworn in as the Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Women and Minister for Ageing as part of the Berejiklian Government.
I am passionate about our region in western Sydney and ensuring that the infrastructure, services, opportunities and life-style are second-to-none.
In 1996 I married my husband, Mark, and we are raising our two young children in western Sydney. As a mother, I have a genuine interest in making sure all children across this State grow up in strong, safe and caring communities where their individual potential flourishes.