…as the dust settles…


Following the council election I had three days away on a Pastors’ Renewal Retreat.  Pretty good timing, eh!

While I was away I had almost no information regarding the election result apart from Karen SMSing me the details as people reached the quota.

I had a courtesy call from Marianne Saliba on Sunday morning asking how I was and had I seen any results.  She told me that she had won a  seat and that I had, at that stage, .3 of a quota which, in her opinion, was not going to reach the mark.

So it is with some disapointment and also some relief that I have come home to being a  citizen but not a  councillor.

For those that haven’t heard the news it looks like this – in order of the count – 

Marianne Saliba – Labor

John Murray – Labor

Kellie Marsh – Liberal

David Boyle – a member of the Labor Party but not an endorsed candidate (truth be told it was a second shadow Labor ticket)

Paul Rankin – Liberal

Peter Moran – Independent – Peter is a member of the Greens but stood as an independent as he believes there is no place for party politics in local government

Helen Stewart – Independent (Helen was part of the previous council that was sacked for being dysfunctional)

So there is the Magnificent Seven

Where did I come in the race?  Of the 52 candidates (1 pulled out prior to the election) I* was sixth from the tail end on primary votes.  At the final count I had moved up from 46th place to 10th place, being carried by preferences.  If it had been the Dirty Dozen I would have got in!

Personally, it does come with some disappointment.  I threw my hat in the ring with a genuine desire to serve my community as a  councillor.  I knew it would come at some cost and I believed it to be worthwhile.  I gave it my best, if not a  little naive, shot.

There was also some disappointment in the lack of support I received in the poll from my little corner of the world; Warilla, Lake South and Mt Warrigal.  Perhaps I am not as well known (or as popular) as I thought I was.  Thanks to all those in the north-east corner of the city who did vote for me (and support me in other ways).  Thanks also to those from the rest of the city who got behind us.

I am also somewhat relieved.  Not having a  seat on council means that I can get back to my already full life.  My commitment is this; I am not just going to go back to the same-old, same-old.  There is still work to be done in the community  from both my position as pastor and as a community member and I want to get on with the job.  While the learning curve of becoming a  councillor is no longer in front of me I want to get on a different learning curve of finding better and more effective ways of loving and serving people around me and encouraging and equipping others to do that too.   (Expressions of interest are welcome at this point!)

Summing up; I stood primarily in order to provide and alternative to the previous council.  I gave it my best shot.  I held to my values.  I will still serve the city but not in the capacity of councillor.   I want to lift my game in future service.

I run under the banner of  ‘What we can do together is greater than what we can do on our own‘ and I still hold to that.  I still need help of others to do what I want to do and I believe that others also need my help.  So, let’s get on with it.  There is much to do.

* When I say I it is actually we.  I was part of a team of four with three wonderful friends joining my in trying to get me across the line.  I am indebted to David Cholson, Joanna Combe and Keith Robinson for their willingness to add their names to the ticket believing that I was the sort of person that the community needed and wanted to represent them on our city council.

Beyond the team is my wife Karen.  She has encouraged and supported my above and beyond anyone else.  She has willingly and generously shared her energy, her thought and her finances into giving this a  shot.  Without her I would not have even tried.

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About Brian Pember

Warilla, NSW, Australia View all posts by Brian Pember

5 responses to “…as the dust settles…

  • Mandy Towle

    well said Brian! My kids were impressed to see a poster of you at an election booth on the tele. As you know God will guide you and put you where you are needed.

  • Barbara Powell

    well done Brian, regardless of the results at least you stood and were prepared to ‘have a go’…most people prefer to stand back and criticise without having the you know whats to do something. I am sure your family etc will appreciate that you will have more time for them but would have all supported you if you had been elected. Good luck with future political endeavours

  • Huw Luscombe

    Brother – Bummer – I thought you would walk it in but it is pretty hard to take on the big parties in this country – they have too much inertia – too many resources already behind them. Getting a message out, even in your own area, is very tricky in this apathetic and hurried society, most people don’t want to think about it too much and just tick the box that they most easily identify with. Not everyone is like that – just enough people to make it difficult to break into. Great you gave it a shot – good things will result from it I am sure. If this council turns out to be as dysfunctional as the last one you may need to put your hand up again.
    Are you going to Stump – I am doing a few gigs this year with Spike on the horn – relaunching the book and doing a sort of artists lunch thing. Be great to catch up if you are there. Pax Huw

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