Nats pin their State hopes in Yvette
If NSW Nationals Candidate for Orange Yvette Quinn manages to unseat Philip Donato at the state election in 2019, she will become one of Australia’s youngest parliamentarians. If she doesn’t, it won’t be for a lack of determination.
Since winning the Nationals preselection in June, 21-year-old Ms. Quinn has been hard at work making herself known around the electorate; attending funding announcements, countless community meetings, and going door-to-door at local business houses.
Ms, Quinn is not afraid of the nitty-gritty that goes into campaigning and is not without experience. She campaigned for The Nationals at the last federal election in the seats of Page and Richmond, and at the 2017 state elections in Western Australia.
Each evening she plans out the coming day, looking to fill every spare hour around her job as a mental health support worker.
“Like next week I had a bit of time free, so I found some people to talk to about some issues, I rang up some people, trying to get meetings in,” said Ms. Quinn, who took a break from the Inland Rail Conference in Parkes last week to speak with Orange City News.
“I've done a few business walks in Forbes and Cudal… a lot of talking to local businesses, just introducing myself, really putting myself out there a lot.”
For Ms, Quinn, who grew up in Parkes and attended school at Red Bend College in Forbes, community volunteering was always a part of her family life.
She said the move into politics is just continuation of her wanting to give back to the community.
“From I think as a toddler, going out and doing fetes with my grandma and that just continued as I grew up,” she said.
“So I joined the Nationals when I was 18 and it just kind of went from there, just from a passion about the community... I was at university of Sydney at the time and that really exposed me to the disparities between country and the city and that is where I thought both the Labor and Liberals were very city centric, so that is why I joined the Nationals, to really push that country voice.”
While there are some who might doubt Ms, Quinn’s suitability for the role due to her age and lack of life experience, she believes elected members with different opinions and different points of view is an important part of democracy.
“I don't really see why age has to be a determinant in it, because we are a democracy and anyone from 18 to the end of their life can vote, so it should be representative of the population,” she said.
“I'm standing because I feel like the community needs someone who is going to put in the effort and work hard to make sure that their voice is heard, and I feel like I'm willing to put in the effort and I'm willing to try as hard as I can and get results for the community.”
In October, Ms. Quinn will be taking leave-without pay from her job to be able to throw herself full-time into campaigning, aware that there is a tough race ahead.
“If I'm not giving it 1000 percent, that doesn't indicate to other people that I'm dedicated,” she said.
“If the candidate’s not willing to do it, it doesn't inspire other people to do anything… this is what I want to do, and I see that there will be benefits and I really hope I can deliver things for the community out of doing this.”