New Collie Shire president Sarah Stanley is raring to go as she takes on her new role.
Ms Stanley, who is only the second woman to lead the Collie shire, says personally this was not significant for her, preferring instead to just get on with the job.
“Former Shire president Rosanne Pimm is a great mentor for me, and I know that she is excited to see another woman in the role.
“We’re seeing a lot more women stepping into leadership roles across all industries and it’s becoming more accepted, thanks to all the brave women before me.
“It’s been a slow evolution, but I hope we’ll get to the point where it’s no longer and issue to talk about, and instead we can focus on the right person and skills for the job, regardless of gender. Personally, I’m just keen to get on with the job.”
Ms Stanley said Collie was entering an exciting and challenging phase “as we seek a measured and stable transition from our dependence on the coal industry to a much broader, sustainable and self-sufficient economy”.
“We have worked hard over the past few years to establish the groundwork for broadening our economic base and improving our amenity. It is now time to put that planning into action.
“A strong future in Collie depends on working collaboratively with key local and regional organisations and stakeholders as well as state and federal government for mutually beneficial outcomes.” she said.
She is passionate about all things Collie and her vision is that of a strong, stable community that is interesting and diverse, and has opportunities for people of all walks of life.
“We are all proud of our town and work together to make it a great place to live, visit and invest.”
Ms Stanley said Collie was a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
“ We have all the creature comforts in town and are minutes away from serene bush and beautiful landscapes in all directions.
“Our community is tight-knit and supports each other through any crisis, and it’s nice to know when you walk into any shop or pub, you’ll get a smile and a hello.”
In order to realise her vision for Collie, Ms Stanley said she could not do it on her own.
“I can’t improve our town on my own, but I’ll be working hard with my fellow councillors, Shire staff and other stakeholders to improve Collie’s economic diversity. That’s the big focus right now. If we get that right, everything else will fall into place.”
Born into a teaching family in Northam, Ms Stanley moved to several towns in her youth before eventually settling in Collie in 1990.
“I met my husband in Collie, so when the rest of my family moved on, Collie remained my home.
“I’ve spent brief stints living in other places, including a year in Canada, and some time in Perth and Rockingham. When Jason (Ms Stanley’s husband) was offered a job back in Collie, we jumped at the chance and bought our first home. My now 13-year-old son Toby was born in Collie.”
Ms Stanley said before taking up the public office mantle she worked in a variety of fields, including in the family furniture business, in not-for-profit organisations and in community relations and communications for multi-national companies.
And when not working diligently to improve Collie, she indulges in her passion for music, dancing, art and the great outdoors.
“If there’s ever live music playing, you can find me on the dance floor. I also love to paint and draw when I get time. I love camping with friends and family, and I also love to travel.”
And her ultimate passion? Her metallic blue 1966 XP Falcon, which she recently purchased. “We love to take ‘Flo’ (short for Florence) out on road trips,” she said.