PORT Stephens will have its first ever all-Aboriginal group of candidates contesting this Saturday’s local government elections.
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Incumbent West Ward councilor Peter Kafer, a proud Dharawahl man and Aboriginal artist in his own right, will head up the team that comprises first time candidates Brooke Roach and Alannah Newell.
Mr Roach, a 38-year-old Aboriginal education officer from Raymond Terrace, said that he wanted to make a stand for not only the local Indigenous community, but the entire Port Stephens population.
“I am passionate about bringing inclusiveness and respect to people from all walks of life,” he said.
“We use a successful model at school [Hunter River High] which connects our youth with our elders and I would like to replicate that across the entire community.
“I believe the council can play an important part in helping make this happen.”
Fresh out of school and a proud Worimi, 19-year-old Ms Newell has lived all her life in Raymond Terrace and is currently studying criminal justice at university.
“I would like to create stronger relationships between police officers and young people,” said Ms Newell, who has previously sat on Port Stephens Council’s Youth Advisory Panel.
“We need to provide more events and activities for our youth through a range of means such as community, social or sporting interaction.”
Mr Kafer, who if elected would become the Port’s first ever Aboriginal mayor, said it was vital we listen to our younger people. “They are our tomorrow.”
By Charlie ELIAS