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A little bit about me

I was born in Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula. My family always followed the industry, moving between mining towns in regional Australia. After finishing high school I moved to Perth for university.

Upon completing my Bachelor of Aviation & Human Resources; together with a friend I co-founded a space startup headquartered in Norway. During this time, I taught myself a fair amount of rocket science to complement my growing international business and government relations skill set. This involved spending time between America and Australia, coordinating the operation through Norway while raising funds to build and test our prototype.

I was invited to Adelaide to discuss our project with public and private stakeholders. The trip was intended to be a temporary business visit but upon meeting with key leaders from the space industry and seeing the renewed support for South Australia as the heart of the sector, I opted to make the move a permanent one. Meeting a wonderful woman also helped cement SA as my home.

I live in Hectorville with my partner, who grew up here in the Sturt community. While I’m relatively new to the street, most of our neighbours are not. One side has been here for 53 years, with another saying they remember when that neighbour moved in. Adelaide has a rich history, something I hope to enhance by bringing back and modernising the manufacturing and heavy industries. This historical element, juxtaposed with both the growth of new sectors and the fact that Adelaide is one of the world’s most liveable cities, has made South Australia a wonderful place to work, live and play.

Growing up with dyslexia, my time at school was difficult. Getting 3 out of 30 on a spelling test was a good result for me. I had to find other ways to get by — the words for these tests were often written on the walls of my classrooms. While all the other kids were looking down, I was looking up and around; sometimes all you need to do is think differently.

Spell check has been my saviour, both in time and sanity — technology makes our lives and society better; it allows us to live more, by enriching our education and increasing the dignity of all. It enables economic growth and prosperity, connecting all of us on a global scale. It insulates us from the volatile resource market and other factors outside of our control. We all see the improvements that science and technology have made in our daily lives but those in power seem to undervalue the contribution it makes to our society.

I won’t say I discovered my vocation at university, but I will say I stumbled upon the problem that drives me — that the brightest, most talented people in our society, the people who are improving our lives with new knowledge and technology, don’t have the resources they need to succeed.

I work towards solving this challenge by bridging the gap between different groups within our community, using the skills I refined during my formative years as an entrepreneur. The scientist, the politician, the business and the citizen may all want a beneficial project to move forward but each has their own needs, concerns and requirements.

I am actively trying to remap how these different groups interact — bridging the gap between the political and non-political. We as citizens deserve to have the jargon of both politics and technology interpreted in a way that is understood by all, so that everyone can make informed judgements and decisions.

No matter how much the major parties spend on marketing campaigns or how many promises they break, on polling day we all have our vote. With the power of those votes, we can change who represents us. We can demand better; we have the power to vote for a brighter future.