Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Fri 8 Jul 2011



The Centralian advocate Fri 8 Jul 2011


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 65 no. 14

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

16 Centralian Advocate, Friday, July 8, 2011 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 8 -J U L -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 1 6 C O L O R : C M Y K 3 0 0 1 0 5 / 1 2 a s SUNDAY MARKETS HEAVITREE GAP On the lawns at Heavitree Gap Tavern, Palm Circuit. Operating on alternate weekends to the Todd Mall Markets. Lovely green grassed area under excellent shaded trees. Ample car parking Toilets Refreshments (Available at the Tavern) *MEALS AVAILABLE* $10.00 CHICKEN SCHNITZEL, CHIPS & SALAD 12pm - 4pm $10.00 SUNDAY NIGHT ROAST DINNER 5.30pm - 8.30pm STALL HOLDER INQUIRIES CONTACT TREVOR ON 89504413 Market Dates 2011 July 17th & 31st Markets Open 8.30am 1pm COME AND HAVE FUN AT THE HEAVITREE MARKETS SEE YOU ALL THERE! 6 2 0 1 0 5 / 1 2 NEWS Robyn Lambley ... If my career in politics ended Id still be herePicture: JUSTIN BRIERTY Alice Springs is my life ... W HERE were you born? I was born and bred in the country town of Grafton in northern New South Wales. Our town had a population of 17,000 and I certainly understand what it is like to grow up in a small regional centre where there is little in terms of activities and attractions for young people. I played sport as a child, because that was the only thing to do. I t r i e d e v e r y t h i n g , netball basket and hockey. My father was a panelbeater and my parents had a spray painting business for many years. My dad was a blue collar busin e s s m a n a n d m y mother did all the bookwork. She was born with a disability so she had some limitations in terms of physical ability. We were very lucky to grow up in a lovely, green country town with lots of freedom and good education at the local public school and I am lucky to be giving that upbringing to my children. I guess that is what attracted me to Alice Springs, the similarities between Grafton and Alice. Which schools did you attend? Westlawn Primary School, then Grafton High. At the age of 15 I decided to become a social worker I had a fascination for people and their life and the choices they make. I went to Queensland university in 1983 and studied social work for four years. I have been practising social work for 25 years. Who inspired you? One person was the mayoress of Grafton, Shirley Adams. She was a very strong capable and charismatic leader. I always looked at her and said I would want to have a job like hers. She would be everywhere and doing everything. She was a larger than life sort of character. She was a great inspiration for many young women in Grafton. She was a leader from the 70s through to the 90s. Thereafter I wanted to be a mayoress, I wanted to be a leader. In life you need strong female role models. You need people to open your mind, to plant the seed of what is possible. What was your first job? After uni I worked as a social worker. Then I decided to specialise in psychiatry that is what I refer to as my trade. I went to Lismore hospital where I did my apprenticeship. From there I developed a strong passion for mental health. I spent 12 months travelling in the United Kingdom and another 12 months travelling through Africa, India and Sri Lanka. Then I saw an advert for a senior social worker at Alice Springs Hospital. I came for it in 1983 and I am still here. I was managing the Aboriginal Liaison and Interpreting team. What was the first impression you had about Alice? For the first six months it was extremely difficult, everything was new and different. I couldnt believe that we had these social and health problems in Australia. I had just travelled through Africa and I did not appreciate that we had the same if not worse problems here. I was shocked. It was very challenging. At the same time it was the most satisfying part of my life. What did you do to improve the situation in the section that you were leading? At the time the Aboriginal interpreters were unrecognised and underpaid. I made sure they got training and attained qualification and upgraded their skills. By that they got confidence and pride in their work. Before, they were not seen as the experts that they were. After six years at the hospital I met my husband who worked there as an electrician. How did you start your retail business? We just thought of giving it a go. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain b u t d i d n t k n o w whether we would sink or swim. We worked very hard. Craig had been in Alice earlier than myself so he had strong connections. He did his apprenticeship here and played football. I was doing what my mother did, bookwork and looking after children.We didnt want to leave Alice. We opened the business in 2000. Next week we are celebrating 11 years of operation. It has been a remarkable journey. In 2004 there was a lot of petrol sniffing and we were selling spray paint cans and we were broken into by young people who were into sniffing. We felt it was causing too many social problems and we stopped selling it. And people were talking negatively about the town and lack of development. I decided to throw my hat in the ring and run as an alderman and be part of the decision-making process in the town. In 2006 I was deputy mayor and I loved it. It was fantastic it was also very frustrating. I learnt your ability to make decisions in council were somewhat limited. The power and influence you have as an alderman is limited. I then had this idea of becoming a member of parliament. I was mindful I had a young family so I was not in a hurry. I thought I should be active with the Country Liberal party and studied my masters in mental health and rejuvenated my career as a psychotherapist and mediator. Jodeen Carney resigned, unexpectedly. So I had to make a decision to run in the pre-selection. It was not about me, but about my family and the business ... it was about a lot of things. Three days after Jodeens resignation my husband encouraged me to run. I went for it, though the preselection was tough. How was the campaigning period given that you had won the pre-selection? My adrenalin was pumping seriously for two months. It was a flurry of high activity. It was strenuous both physically and mentally. Waking up every day and door knocking, talking to media and addressing people. The reason why I am doing it is because I love Alice Springs. Even if my career in politics ended tomorrow I would still be here and attend all community events. This is my home, this is where I met my husband, this is where my business is. This is my life. How do you balance your time in politics, business and motherhood? You have to constantly manage your time. If I am in Darwin for parliament for a week, I make sure on Friday I am here and pick up my kids from school at 3pm and take them for basketball or to wherever they may want to go. I am lucky because I have an amazing husband who is 100 per cent supportive. It is all about making time for him and the children because if I did not have him and children I would be half the person I am. W h a t a r e y o u r achievements since you took over Araluen? n Continued Page 18 ROBYN Lambley is the Member for Araluen. Ms Lambley arrived in Alice Springs in 1993 and took a job as a senior social worker at Alice Springs Hospital. In 2000 she and her husband started a retail store, Mad Harrys. Between 2006 and 2008 she was an alderman, subsequently becoming the deputy mayor. After the resignation of Jodeen Carney she joined the race for the seat of Araluen and won. She speaks to Mluleki Moyo.

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