A bit of info and history about me (David Norman)
A happy snap with my wonderful wife Donna
I was born and raised on a 4000 acre property near Monto, in the North Burnett area of Queensland. We initially had dairy and beef cattle, with a small heard of free-range pigs to supplement our income and food supply. We also had about 120 acres of cultivation for grain crops (usually a rotation of sorghum, corn and peanuts).
Form a very young age us kids were expected to work as hard as we could before and after school with dairying and other jobs around the property. We were often up at daybreak and not back into the house until after dark. Being the eldest son, as soon as I could balance on a horse I was taught to ride and muster beef cattle, drive the farm truck and tractor to help work the property. We certainly weren’t wealthy and often struggled from year to year to make bank overdraft payments and make ends meet. As kids we often didn’t have shoes to wear around the property or even to school, which was not uncommon for rural kids in the region.
My parents separated when I was in early high school and my brother and I stayed with my father on property to help out as much as possible. Things were tough and we learned many lessons about hard work and having to do what it takes, making do with what you had, valuing what you had and using your initiative and common sense to live life. You valued that the community freely and selflessly supported each other in times of hardship and celebrated together in good times and individual achievements. Given the constant work required on a dairy and cattle property, we could rarely get away for holidays. However, ever since I was a young kid we would manage to get away every few years for 4-5 days and spend time with relatives at Urangan. My family history in this region goes back to when my great grandfather moved here in 1884. He went on to be a Maryborough for 10 years from 1881 and the Mayor in 1901. He also was the State Member for Maryborough from 1902 – 1907. Even since I moved here permanently in 1982, I have seen massive changes to both regional cities and wider region over that time. Back in those days there were no traffic lights or even round-a-bouts, just stop and give-way signs; and the train still ran all the way down to the Urangan fuel depot 🙂
Grade 1 was spent at a 2-room school called Tellebang (south of Monto) and when it closed at the end of that year I spent the rest of my primary school at Mulgildie. I attended the nearest high school at Monto before leaving after Grade 11 to college. I spent five years at Queensland University (Queensland Agricultural College) campus, completing Animal Husbandry and Associate Diploma in Stock & Meat Inspection qualifications. I would later also complete tertiary qualifications in Applied Science – Food Technologies at those facilities.
During my working life I have also completed many other formal qualifications via external study including in, a Diploma in Business, and in other fields such as Management Systems Auditing, Risk Management, Quality Assurance & Auditing, Leadership, Developing High Performance Teams, Performance Coaching, Safety Investigations, and others.
My first job was as a Queensland State Meat Inspector regulating abattoirs, cold stores, meat markets and butcher shops and transferred to Maryborough in 1982 with this job, though chose to live in Urangan and travel up and back each day.
I then transferred to the Commonwealth Government in the same field of work. During this time I also worked inspecting and auditing export food processing establishments, products and vessels, mainly in the seafood sector in the Hervey Bay / Bundaberg area, though also at times covered an area from Yeppoon to Tin Can Bay and out to Monto/Biloela.
After 17 years in the food regulation/inspection sector, I chose to leave and started my own small export food processing consulting business (servicing the Bundaberg/Hervey Bay/Maryborough areas), which I have continued doing through to today.
To supplement this income, after a few years I joined the Qld Government-owned Corporation, Ergon Energy, first as a Meter Reader, then Meter Reading Supervisor for the entire Wide Bay region, then the Supervisor for the Meter Data Processing analytical team for the entire State. After 13 years, when Ergon was looking to downsize I took a redundancy offer, to focus on creating an online web-based program to help people with alcohol dependence (it was based on a published book on the subject I had written).
Over the years I have been living in Hervey Bay friends have regularly asked me why don’t I run for a local councillor position, as I have always shown a keen interest in local affairs. Now my children are adults and have flown the coup, I feel the time is right where I can put 100% time and effort into representing the people of Urangan and the Fraser Coast. Hence I am dedicating my time to running as an Independent candidate for Division 10, Urangan, to represent our community.
My suitability to represent the people of Urangan and the wider Fraser Coast.
I believe the ideal qualities of a person to represent the people of any community and region of Australia are:
- To have the interests of all citizens as their primary focus. Especially the average person that works hard, contributes to the local and regional community and pays rates into the council revenue to be spent wisely and responsibly on behalf of regional residents.
- To have an enthusiasm to listen to the people of Urangan and the Fraser Coast, to understand both their desires and frustrations, and have a passion to serve their will and protect their rights, freedoms and prosperity.
- To diligently serve the people with the utmost honesty and integrity and not be unduly influenced by any others (from government, corporate or private sectors), to take any action or make any decision that isn’t in the best interest of Division, or the people of the Fraser Coast.
- To have a high level of intellectual and emotional intelligence, to not only understand the technical side of complex existing and proposed policy, by-laws and legislation, also to ensure the moral and emotional intention behind the regulation is valid and preserved.
- To preferably have life experience and a good appreciation of various work, business and personal situations that everyday people encounter and may need support and empathy with.
- To have a proven track record of being an active member of the community they desire to represent and can be trusted by that community.
The reason I am passionate to run for as an Independent councillor is I’m sick of the self-serving intentions and backroom deals that some political Parties, councillors and so-called ‘representatives’ and ‘administrators’ of the people get involved in.
I definitely fulfil all the essential qualities of someone highly suited to representing the people of their community.
- Foremost I am absolutely honest and trustworthy with utmost integrity that is should be paramount in a person chosen to represent the people of their community. These were my values in the four pillars (of Honesty, Integrity, Anti-corruption & People-first) that I ran under during my candidacy for MP of our Hinkler Division at the recent Federal election and again these strong values and ethics underpin my suitability to be your councillor.
- I have been coming to Hervey Bay all my life and moved to live here (Urangan) in 1982. I currently still live in Urangan. I have seen a massive amount of change in the region through the years since then. I have a great feel for and understanding of the Urangan area and the wider Fraser Coast as a whole.
- I have been an active member of both the Hervey Bay and Maryborough communities since 1982, when I moved here to live. Some of my involvement has included; working in and around the whole region; a member of a local cricket team; played for and represented the Hervey Bay Untied Soccer Club as well as a Team Manager and Vice President of the Club; one of the founding Hervey Bay Triathlon Club members and was President of the Club; played and represented Hervey Bay in touch football; member of the Hervey Bay Golf Club since late 1980s and represented the Club and region at State level; part of a contingent of local athletes that competed in State marathon-running events; published author of a book (printed, digital and audio), as well as a free online program, that helps people overcome alcohol/substance dependence and I have delivered several talks to regional community organisations about it; to serve the people of our region I ran as an Independent MP candidate for our electorate of Hinkler in the last Federal election.
- I was raised on a cattle property and know what it is like to go without many comforts that others take for granted. I know what it is like to work from daylight to dark in the hot Queensland sun and how overworked and under appreciated people who work and live in both rural and city communities are. I have experienced the difficulties that remote distances and lack of public infrastructure and services can bring. I have also lived and worked in cities and appreciate the considerations people living and working in those communities need.
- I have been a rural public school student, as well as university campus and remote learning student and appreciate the difficulties they can experience during that time of their life and in finding employment afterwards. A good education and good income earning opportunities should be able to be sourced in your local region and this is something I will be working for.
- I have experienced many employment and work situations, having worked on a dairy, small stock, large cattle and cropping property, as general labourer, worked in the retail sector, been employed by both the Commonwealth and State governments in professional and management positions, owned and managed my own businesses, worked in full-time, part-time and casual jobs and at times have been without work when I really wanted and needed to.
- I have experienced both the joys and difficulties of relationships; marriage; buying a first home; having and raising children; juggling work, childcare and school activities; engaging with health and other insurance companies; planning and investing for future retirement; and many other life experiences that the people of the Fraser Coast have challenges with. I can empathise with people from all walks of life and all socio-economic statuses.
- As with most young people starting out on life’s journey, I lived my post high school years hard and fast. I learned many life lessons by making poor choices and mistakes and having to deal with the consequences. However, as the years progressed I took a keen interest in studying personal and professional development and subsequently reset my personal compass based on strong ethics and values of honesty, integrity, respect and of being a service to others wherever possible. This personal code of ethics serves me well in all areas of my life and gives me great personal satisfaction living my life that way.
- From my formal academic and hands-on training in the likes of leadership, developing high performance teams etc. I have a great understanding and appreciation that effective communication and being of value to others, is based around first genuinely listening to them. Good leaders and people wishing to represent others know this and live by it. Political representatives in general (past and present) seem more interested in deciding they know best what others want or ‘need’ and then forcing their own opinion upon them. This is not how I operate and will always have an open door for all residents to tell me their real needs and desires and act upon those as their representative.
- If there is one thing that annoys me most about the state of governance in Australia, it is the major political Parties catering to the will and influence of big business, at the expense of everyday Australian people. Without these everyday people government and council coffers would be empty and big business companies would not exist. It is and always should be the people of each community that matters most. My reason and focus of running as an Independent candidate of Urangan is to protect and support the needs and the will of the people of Urangan and the Fraser Coast, without undue influence from political or corporate entities.
Headstone for John Norman (Mayor and MLA for Mayborough).
Great grandfather of David John Norman