Dear Norfolk Island Community,
I have decided to accept nomination for the Norfolk Island Governance Committee because I care deeply about Norfolk Island; because I see the need for the island community to contribute to an appropriate solution to the island’s affairs and future trajectory; and because I believe I have the needed local experience and skill set to continue contributing in a professional capacity in this space – in a way that brings understanding and respect for the
sensitivities of place and the people; and seeks a constructive and balanced solution - a fair future for us all.
My skill set is attributed to 21 years of employment within the Administration of Norfolk Island and 4 years with the current Regional Council. I have held statutory appointments, provided Parliamentary Committee support, and worked directly with both Norfolk Island and Australian Ministers in local affairs. I have first-hand knowledge of the current bureaucracy and extensive corporate knowledge of the intergovernmental activities under the former self-
government. I am well placed in understanding the interests and dynamics of both sides of the table.
In a private capacity, I have established local businesses that have been both challenging and rewarding. I am not adverse to the realities and significant challenges of sustaining a living and enterprise on the island.
From a personal perspective, I am a proud Norfolk Islander and mother of two Norfolk Islanders. I have lived most of my life on this beautiful island and have actively contributed to the community fabric including strategic and advocacy work, particularly around protection of our heritage and identity, our natural environment, and local industry.
For the past 8 years, I have been part of a relatively small group of determined locals who have worked continuously and voluntarily, advocating for justice and to redress the decisions and actions that continue to put untenable stress on the island's environment, community, and economy.
This work has been targeted for the last year and a half at the current Federal Minister responsible for Norfolk Island, who has shown her willingness to listen to us directly. This welcome decency has enabled a constructive working
relationship to be established that today brings Norfolk Islanders, finally the opportunity to partake in a solution for the island's future. Hallelujah!
The Governance Committee is far from a fluffy opportunity. The three elected representatives are tasked with the responsibility to understand and negotiate with and on behalf of the local Norfolk Island community - a system of
authority and autonomy that is representative of the needs of this community and, is equally secured both fiscally and legislatively.
The responsibility for unpacking the governance problem is no small task. Nor is it a one-way street, however, the
governance committee must get to the root cause of the problem, so that the structural weaknesses can be accurately identified and actively resolved, transparently, in any proposed way forward.
Our local representatives must be capable of the additional responsibility of informing Australian representatives who likely have a limited concept of the lived challenges of Norfolk Island, which is crippling under policies made for a different and large country, not a small remote island. As well, they must advance our islands’ deep cultural associations. Norfolk Islanders rightfully want their identity, place, and values upheld – an inherent right.
Equally, we must recognise that a sole government and population the size of Norfolk Island cannot be expected to achieve everything a community requires to adequately sustain itself. Support does not justify overreach and
overbearing authority: clear boundaries around jurisdiction and matters for each government must be determined.
We must find a way together. We must reshape arrangements and attitudes for a balanced and constructive relationship with Australia, and an empowered and strengthened Norfolk Island moving forward.
We, as Norfolk Islanders, in spirit and confidence must take the lead in pushing for a new, progressive model of
government for Norfolk Island that is appropriate and replaces what we lost with something better. Our learning and experiences are not in vain, and future generations will be the beneficiaries of our collective efforts.
It would be my honour to continue contributing to this work as an elected representative on the committee to bring forward our understanding, values, and deep love of Norfolk Island and its people to be accurately reflected in the output of this work, and to ensure that this time around, the Norfolk Island Government is a local institution with solid sustainable foundations, that can support the community it serves.
I hope that my words resonate with the community, and gratefully acknowledge your trust in me with your vote.
e: Anita.firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 51877