Eight candidates in contention for five positions on Shire of Denmark council

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
The Shire of Denmark will be led by a new president following the October 21 local government elections after the closure of the nomination period confirmed Ceinwen Gearon would not seek re-election.
Camera IconThe Shire of Denmark will be led by a new president following the October 21 local government elections after the closure of the nomination period confirmed Ceinwen Gearon would not seek re-election. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The Shire of Denmark will be led by a new president following the October 21 local government elections after the closure of the nomination period confirmed Ceinwen Gearon would not seek re-election.

Eight nominations have been received to fill five vacant positions on the council.

There will be at least one new face on the council following the election as four nominations have been received by sitting councillors, and four by other community members.

The summaries below have been provided by the candidates and are listed in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot.

Dominic Youel

I believe we are all exceptionally lucky to live in a place like Denmark.

I support all actions in the Shire that contribute to current and future sustainability for its ratepayers and visitors (financial, personal/family wellbeing and environmental).

I propose to offer a continued and growing representation for the community in areas such as (but not limited to) family wellbeing, local business, heritage, environment, and development; current societal challenges continue to grow.

My wife Hiroko and I, like many others in Denmark, understand and experience this daily, balancing family, work and small business.

As a councillor my appreciation of this and in particular its impact on the Denmark community is paramount.

I am trade and tertiary qualified (business, politics and writing).

Working in small business, corporate and with governments and many years overseas has all contributed to my inclusive mindset.

Nathan Davenport

Two years as an elected member of the council has given me a great understanding of Denmark, the local residents and local government procedures.

One of my biggest attributes is personal engagement with our community and listening to people and their perspectives, experiences, and concerns.

I am approachable, honest, open-minded and willing to be challenged when evaluating important issues.

Being a father, small business owner, and youngest councillor, my presence brings much-needed balance and diversity to our council.

I have a firm understanding of the expectations, and commitment to fulfil the duties as an elected councillor.

I am tremendously keen to continue in this role and I value the opportunity that this position provides.

I very much look forward to helping shape our community for the future of everyone who lives in this beautiful place we call home.

Carolena Grayson

I am a mother, primary school teacher and permaculturalist.

I built a home in Denmark 14 years ago, raising my son and daughter as a sole parent.

Like many residents, we found a safe, healthy place to grow.

I value clean air, water and healthy food production.

I will champion these values to allow Denmark to be the sanctuary it has been for so many.

Our shire is a glowing example of healthy lifestyle choices.

I am also an artist, with an active history in Denmark Arts.

Creative industries are important economic and well-being engines in regional communities, which I will fully support.

I believe in fair, honest and transparent decision-making.

My aim is a balanced approach; always considering the value-for-money for ratepayers.

I advocate for economic development that supports residents; not only tourism, but local small business and low-impact housing that creates economic opportunity and adds vibrancy to community life.

Pete Dingey

During my 20-year connection with Denmark, the last six as a full-time resident ratepayer, I’ve experienced a diverse and vibrant community that gives so much.

Now I’d like to give something back. Communication is a strength, both as speaker and listener. I can absorb detail, maintain a big-picture view, and change my mind.

Denmark is growing and I want to contribute to encouraging local initiatives in sustainability, employment and resilience.

I believe these will meet the future needs of both our young people and our elders, as well as protecting our unique natural environment and culturally important sites from misuse and overdevelopment.

My current local employment, a small business background across three states, ongoing involvement in environmental groups, and volunteer work at Denmark FM give me a broad outlook on a wide range of regional issues.

These connections to our positive and creative community give me a strong foundation for constructive participation in local government.

Aaron WigginsI am an active member of the community along with my wife and three young children.

I am a Scotsdale cattle farmer and a small business owner with a broad background including being a former member of the Australian Defence Force.

I would like to be an advocate for an efficient, common-sense and transparent approach to the spending of public money.

I am a big believer in making sure the basics are covered first and making sure what is in place is sustainable.

With my background, I believe I have the ability to see the bigger picture and make informed decisions for the future.

I believe strongly in building the resilience of our community and supporting those growing up within it as the priority.

I will always work to preserve what makes Denmark such a special place.

Donald Clarke

During my two years as a councillor, I am proud of how our council has prioritised collaboration, transparency, and sustainability.

I want to use the experience and training I have gained to further this good work.

Denmark is in my blood; my great-grandparents came in 1898.

Ary and I honeymooned here and then moved with two children 15 years ago.

I co-developed and live in Deco Village co-housing.

After roles in academia, large enterprise consultancy and small business support, I have been involved with most parts of our community through full-time community service, including as treasurer for the Chamber of Commerce and Environment Centre, Denmark Arts festival manager, SES for 13 years and every parent role in football.

I am excited about working with fellow councillors, Shire officers and our community in implementing an improved road program, heritage and reconciliation, accessible Ocean Beach public space, Peaceful/Nornalup facilities, and youth activity at Berridge Park and Turner Rd.

Janine Phillips

In council, there is strength in difference and diversity.

We need people who have walked different paths so we can bring together a range of viewpoints.

With your support, I will:

  • Care about our community, share things that I am passionate about, listen carefully.
  • Continue to be environmentally aware following established sustainable development protocols.
  • Stand for sound financial management, good governance and encourage job opportunities for young people.
  • Reduce rate burden by scrutinising emerging projects to ensure they are worthy and affordable.
  • Encourage cultural vibrancy and place activation.
  • Support farmers and rural residents facing impacts of increased use of roads.
  • Advocate for solutions to affordable housing and services.

My personal philosophy is to value honesty, be open to opinion and criticism, robustly advocate community views and accept responsibility for council actions.

If elected I will do my best to bring balance and perspective to my local government role.

Kingsley Gibson

I have served as a councillor for six years, being deputy president for the last two.

I am proud of our achievements over that time, including good financial management, developing a new planning strategy that’ll protect the environment, support housing diversity, keep our village feel and foster tourism and the economy.

We are spending more on roads, sensitively developing trails across the shire and we’ve begun the redevelopment of the Prawn Channel/Surf Club Precinct including toilets, better access for dog areas and protected bird habitat.

We have a new cat local law.

Going forward I want to maintain good governance and our environmental work, improve roads, deliver the surf club and Berridge Park developments.

With our growing population we need better housing supply, more sporting facilities and targeted support, particularly for seniors and youth.

I am committed to open, honest, accountable government with decision making for the benefit of the entire community.

Please vote for me.

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