Richmond Valley Council, Neale Genge, Casino, Independent
Tell us about where you live and your family.
I first moved to the Northern Rivers in the 1990s and returned to the area nine years ago to take up employment in Casino. I live with my wife and two teenage children on five acres just out of Casino, while our eldest adult son lives just down the road.
Neale has not been a councillor before.
What do you bring to the role of councillor this election?
I come from a firmly working-class background and such values have remained with me throughout my life. Leaving high school I never thought I would go to university and took on a number of different roles from landscaping to bartending. I was however fortunate to be able to put myself through university being the first member of my family to attend college where I juggled employment, study and later on, early parenthood.
At university I completed a Bachelor of Business, a Master of Professional Accounting, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Law. While I also served as a council member of Southern Cross University’s governing body for several years.
I have a strong range of life and business skills which I bring to the role of councillor. I have a good legal mind, strong financial skills and a firm understanding of corporate governance principles. This combined with my life skills and above all common sense, I believe would be very valuable in the council chamber.
What brings you joy in life?
My family is my main joy in life. I have had the privilege of spending time and undertaking some awesome activities with my children through the Scouting movement whilst watching them grow. My two sons have both matured into fine young men and my lovely daughter (the baby of the family) is about to enter adulthood.
As our kids have grown older their need for their parents has reduced and I have found myself devoting more time to the garden and animals on our property, while also looking forward to the opportunity to travel more with my wife once covid restrictions ease.
I have also been an active rugby league referee for over 25 years, and I look forward to increasing my involvement in league next season.
What difficulties does your community face?
Of late the biggest difficulties our community has faced is the ever-changing covid situation. I have seen the impact this has had on community groups, students, workers, and people’s mental health. Hopefully in 2022 this will move to a memory.
Locally the major ongoing difficulty is housing affordability, lack of community facilities and transport infrastructure.