Cafe owner lends voice to politics

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Mt Barker’s Heather York has been elected as the president of the Western Australian Young Nationals after serving as deputy president for the past three years.

Ms York will take the reins from outgoing president Lachlan Hunter after the announcement at the party’s annual general meeting last week in Esperance.

The 22-year-old, who part-owns The Grocery Store Cafe with sister Alice, said she was thrilled to move into the new role.

“I’ve worked hard over the past three years and I’ve finally got to the point where I had the opportunity to step up, so it’s pretty exciting,” she said.

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After moving to Perth to study in 2013, Ms York returned home in the same year to go into business with her sister. Ms York said being a small business owner sparked her interest in politics.

“When I came back from Perth, I realised how important the community was to me,” she said.

“I was getting involved in the community through small business and we were sponsoring things and hearing people’s issues and I was really interested in it.”

Ms York will be joined by Denmark’s Siobhan Blake as the new deputy and said with MLA Mia Davies and MLC Jacqui Boydell leading the WA parliamentary National Party, it was an exciting time for female leadership within the party.

“I have a pretty unique opportunity with the current leadership to achieve at the moment — it’s pretty rare in any organisation, let alone a political party,” she said

“We’re planning on doing some work on how to engage women in our communities and give them opportunities to step up and represent their communities.

“Hopefully I’ll get to do a lot of work around gender.

“We have to figure out what we mean to our community, particularly as the Young Nationals.”

Ms York thanked Mr Hunter for his service over the past three years. “Lachie has done a tremendous job of leading the team in the right direction, recruiting new members and fundraising during his three terms,” she said.

“I look forward to working with the Young Nationals’ executive to build on the progress made over the last few years and provide regional youth a strong voice in the State and Federal political landscape.”

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