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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8504

Mrs SUDMALIS (Gilmore) (16:24): During the last sitting week Edwina Cooke of St Peter's Anglican College came to Canberra for work experience. I asked Edwina to give me a potential 90-seconder. These are her words—and I can only say thank you:

Before working with Ann Sudmalis, I felt the same way about politics as I did about parliament house. That it was confusing, huge, and a bit overrated. When I got the chance to actually be in the thick of it I got excited by how fast paced and chaotic it could be yet I was amazed how smoothly things seemed to run. I was impressed by the way the politicians were able to run with the punches and think on their feet, the way that they stood up for their beliefs, and how they protected the lives of the people they represented.

During my time there, politics and the workings of parliament house became clearer to me, and the more time I spent there, the more I understood it. Politics is more than paper pushing, it's about personality. Having the people skills to communicate the wants and needs of the people you represent and the team work skills to work with people that are doing the exact same thing.

I saw that this is not an easy job, nor is it for the faint of heart, but I learnt that there are people who do the job well. I was proud to work with Ann and see how caring she is about the people of Gilmore, I saw her passion for representing the farmers and making sure that they have a good quality of life. I was amazed at her back bone and her ability to strike up a conversation with anyone.

My time in parliament was wonderful and I learnt a lot about myself and the people that represent us.

I'm happy to have been able to give a young teenager a great opportunity to come and visit our house and see the workings in such an amazing week.