Parkes Shire Council election candidate profile: Trundle principal John Southon

Parkes Shire Council election candidate John Southon.

Parkes Shire Council election candidate John Southon.

The Local Government Elections are coming up on December 4, and here's more about Parkes Shire Council candidate, Trundle Central School principal John Southon.

I left school the very first day I was legally able to. Unfortunately, I was almost illiterate but very physically strong because I carried a giant size chip on my shoulder.

After a serious motorcycle accident and subsequently being unable to work, I needed to grow up, and taught myself to read and finished school by correspondence whilst working full time as a machinery operator.

I was accepted to Newcastle University and graduated with first class honors in education, and it is very ironic that a person that was considered a failure by the system is now leading a successful innovative school in the Parkes Shire.

I'm married to Anastasia with three children. When we were married the sun was shining behind her lighting up her face as she walked down the aisle and I thought she was the most beautiful women in the world and this light has not diminished after many years of marriage.

I believe an alternate path of education makes me very passionate about programs and facilities with the shire to help young people reach their potential and contribute.

If we allow through our innovative services and programs even one young person to reach their potential and contribute, moving them away from a negative life pathway we not only save money in welfare, police, and other services, we enrich our towns and villages.

What promoted me to stand for local government you ask?

I have always believed in not criticizing from the sidelines but being part of the solution.

I live in Trundle and am very proud of the contribution this small village makes to the shire.

The residents of the shire villages need a strong voice in the decision making process and with councillor Barbara Newton retiring after a long and distinguished contribution to local government, I thought someone needed to step up and become the voice for the villages and farmers.

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I'm passionate about equity, and I feel without representation in the decision making process, services to residents outside the township of Parkes will be reduced.

I'm also passionate about council creating an environment where small business can become the engine of prosperity with the shire.

The council needs to encourage innovation by removing red tape and reducing the start up costs for small business, because after all, big projects and big thinking is only effective when a strong business community is driving the shire.

Another passionate cause of mine is youth mental health.

Youth mental health services across the whole shire are either stretched to breaking point or nonexistent, and after thirty years of education, I have never seen the situation in country NSW more dire.

If elected, I would prioritise the following areas:

  • Improve the poor quality roads that force farmers to travel on unsafe machinery damaging roads
  • Look to how we can revitalize the small villages within the shire, because .any of these places are on life support innovative thinking is required. Location should not affect opportunity
  • Encourage a review of council processing and charges to determine how as a council we can better encourage small business to survive and employ more locals
  • Encourage private and government providers to establish services and infrastructure across the Parkes Shire to support positive mental health

Being a Parkes Shire councillor is important to me because local government is the most accessible to the people.

This allows it to be an effective agent of positive change.

As a councillor, it would allow me to be a conduit to allow the residents voice to be heard and bring about change.

So, on December 4, Vote 1 John Southon.

If you are a Parkes Shire Council election candidate and haven't yet been contacted for a profile, please contact kristy.w@parkeschampionpost.com.au.

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