Kyogle Council, Vickie Steward, Ettrick, Independent
Tell us about where you live and your family.
I live in Ettrick on 25 acres with my husband, fur baby – Hank (an active and loving Kelpie), three goats, five sheep and eight chickens. We grow most of our own produce, trialling different fruit and veggies in this climate. Peanuts are a definite winner.
We moved here from Melbourne over six years ago, and it is our best decision ever. We did what the big banner in town says, that is, we came for a day and now are staying for a lifetime.
Vickie has not been a councillor before.
What do you bring to the role of councillor this election?
I’ve never had any political aspirations and I’m not becoming a councillor for politics. I want to be a councillor because I believe Kyogle, not just the town but the villages which are unique and have everything to offer. They have a variety of small, large and hobby farming, cattle and crops, art and theatre, residents that grew up here and stayed, or came back after living elsewhere and those new to the area, like myself.
Kyogle has a variety of community groups, cultures, religions and above all it has a massive heart.
The people here have been kind, generous and welcoming to us and others. As a councillor I want to ensure that as the inevitable progress and change comes that all that is good about Kyogle is not lost.
I have integrity, honesty and common sense.
What brings you joy in life?
I get joy in many ways such as spending time with family and friends, gardening and riding my bike.
The first thing that came to mind was – living here brings me joy.
Each morning with a cuppa I sit outside, listen and watch the birds, lizards, other wildlife and of course cows, and think I’m so grateful to be here. I never used to stop long enough to take note of what was around me, now I do and I’m a better person for it.
What difficulties does your community face?
I don’t think I know enough about this and it is something I’m sure I will be able to answer in coming months if I’m lucky enough to be elected.
I know there is a shortage of housing, which I experienced myself earlier this year when I was looking for a place for my mother who moved from Brisbane and wanted to maintain her independence. Housing for everyone is something I want to work on as a councillor as well as domestic violence and depression which are affecting locals.
There is also concern about the condition of our roads, such as the broken bitumen edges on already narrow roads, and potholes. I would like to see council slash the gravel roadsides regularly. The gravel roads are more dangerous for all forms of vehicles, walkers and wildlife. Potholes, culverts, drop offs all need to be visible for safety.
What is your job? What do you like/dislike about it?
Currently I’m working casually with a local company mainly doing tenders and contracts as required. I like that I’m working local and meeting locals.
Dare to dream – what is your vision for your region? Is okay if you don’t have one.
My dream is that the Kyogle LGA with its town, villages and farms maintain their charm, beautiful rural landscape, productivity and lifestyle. As the area grows, I dream it can support and provide opportunities and jobs for our young adults to enable them to stay here.