Candidate highlights need for mental health services
NOTE: This is a paid piece of editorial content as part of the South Burnett Times' election campaign package.
LATER this month South Burnett residents will take to the polls to have their say on who they want to sit on the next council.
Ahead of the upcoming local government election on March 28, we spoke with candidate Rhonda Trivett about why she is running for division 3 councillor.
1. Why do you want to be a SBRC councillor?
There's something that burns inside me that makes me want to help people and to speak up for the vulnerable in our community. As a councillor I would have more opportunities to do this. People make up the community so people should have a voice to speak, complain and help make services better in the South Burnett. If I am elected, I would totally dedicate my life to the people. Everybody matters and nobody should have to struggle.
2. What relevant experience have you had that qualifies you to guide the council forward?
- Since 2011 I've been advocating for people with mental health issues.
- As a volunteer with South Burnett Peace of Mind I helped people navigate the health system and case-managed people with complex problems to make sure they were dealt with fairly and didn't fall through the cracks, which often happens. Looking for emergency accommodation, providing food parcels and transport, visiting the homeless in our parks at night to provide basic essentials were things I gladly did and still do.
-I completed Leader for Tomorrow training so I can make a difference in my community. I've always been a leader and stuck up for people.
3. If elected, what are your top three priorities?
- Suicide prevention
- Mental health
But I will help all people in Division 3, no matter what the issue might be.
4. In your opinion, in what areas is the South Burnett leading the way?
The South Burnett is a thriving farming community with a blend of agriculture and crops such as navy beans, maize, wheat and our world-famous peanuts.
We have some amazing athletes like 10-year-old Joshua Williams of Murgon who just recorded a world record for a 10k run and sisters Olivia, Mackenzie and Sophie Grundy who have all been selected to represent Queensland at upcoming national titles.
5. What challenges do you see impacting the region in the next four years?
- Drug and alcohol issues
- Domestic violence and violent behaviour in general
- Businesses struggling
6. What business, residential and investment interests do you have locally and beyond?
- I own my home in the South Burnett
- I also own a house on 30 acres in the South Burnett
- South Burnett Peace of Mind is a business registered in my name
- I do not have any investment interests
7. What's more important - supporting small businesses in the region, or attracting big business to the South Burnett?
Small business comes first but we also need to encourage big business to provide jobs.
8. What is the first thing council should do to improve health services across the South Burnett?
Consult with community groups, churches, service providers and those people using the services to find out what's wrong with the system. I can also contribute personally.
9. What community and volunteer activities have you engaged in prior to the current election campaign?
I founded South Burnett Peace of Mind Association Inc in 2011, when it closed down recently, I registered South Burnett Peace of Mind as my own business so I could continue to help those in need. I ran a kids club for two years when my son was in primary school and supported teachers, teaching computer skills.
10. As councillor/if elected, how do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process for our region?
A quote from my flyer which I wrote before receiving this questionnaire - 'If I am elected, I plan to meet regularly with people in Division 3 to listen to community issues'.
All issues, problems, complaints will be followed up.
11. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the region any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
It has been my dream for many years to build a community centre, a homeless shelter and a rehabilitation centre where all appropriate service providers can come together to stream line services and a mental health inpatient unit.
12. Tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?
Some people know but some don't, that I am a savant.