Apart from 18 Members we also welcomed 6 Wives and 29 visitors from the Rotary Clubs of Osborne Park and Western Endeavour, led by Presidents Peter Stewart and Harry Nesbitt respectively, who all came along to hear Celia Hammond MP, Federal Member for Curtin, give an update on her perspective of politics today.
Celia is one of four daughters born to Derryn and Kevin Hammond, and she was born in Northam but moved to City Beach at the age of 10. Her father was the Chief Judge of the District Court of WA between 1995 and 2003, whilst her mother was a teacher. Celia studied law and before entering Parliament she was the Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University.
Celia has been a Member of the House of Representatives since March 2019, and her first 6 months in politics was ‘lost’ due to the mental challenges of adapting to the system, as well as to the physical challenges of Parliament House in Canberra! The pre-selection and selection processes are brutal in themselves, so a thick skin is needed! One also has to learn the jargon that prevails in a somewhat unique environment. The onset of Covid-19 meant that all politicians suddenly had to help people with things like accessing Centrelink and advising them on how JobKeeper works! The worst fall-out from Covid-19 is the mental health impact, which is enormous. The resultant budget deficits can’t prevail forever, and so support measures must be curtailed in the long run. Celia will continue concentrating on community issues and education matters, and on the latter she says that university degrees are not for everyone. However higher education has now reached 40% (up from a traditional 20%) of student activity, but this erodes the demand for training in trades and related skills, thus causing an imbalance. Many questions followed, all of which contributed to a most interesting morning. The questions dealt with items such as the setting up of a network to help people with Covid-19 problems, National Cabinet, support at Federal level for the aged care sector, social media, and Australia’s ability to increase the country’s manufacturing capacity.
Thank you Celia for coming along once again!