Education, representation first for Labor’s Melita Markey

Melita Markey, Labor, Stirling


Image supplied

Labor candidate Melita Markey

A desire to see the people of Stirling represented regardless of “gender, race or financial situation” inspired Labor’s Melita Markey to stand in the marginal seat for the upcoming federal election.

The Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia chief operating officer is running against Liberal candidate Vince Connelly to replace retiring MP Michael Keenan.

Among priorities to provide funding for public hospitals, ease pressure on family budgets, stand up for workers, and invest in renewable energy, Ms Markey said she was campaigning against the Morrison government’s $14 billion public education cuts.

In an email interview with The Junction, the Scarborough resident said she attended Mount Lawley Primary School as a child, which she described as very multicultural with many migrant families living in the area and attending her school.

“One of the things common to migrants is the high value many of our parents place on education as it was typically denied in their own countries,” Ms Markey said.

“Stirling is still a very multicultural electorate and I have a strong understanding of the values important to new migrants and those who have worked so hard to build a life here for themselves and their families, especially the importance of valuing your family and your cultural heritage while still finding your place here as an Aussie.”

“I want to see money invested back into public education.

“I had a great public (education) and this is not the case today with so much funding cut over the years by successive Liberal governments. I am proud that Labor is investing in public schools, and prioritising education over tax loopholes.”

Ms Markey was born in the Kimberley Region of WA before moving to Perth as a child, eventually settling in Karrinyup with her husband and two young daughters.

“I Iove living here and I am ready to get things done for our community,” Ms Markey said.

“My husband has a small business so we understand how tough it is today to be parents, while striving to provide a solid home and education for our children and dealing with the high cost of living.

“I am keen to see the people of Stirling adequately represented whatever their gender, race or financial situation. We can really enhance Stirling if we work harder to bring people together.”

Her parents founded the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia in Osborne Park, and Ms Markey said she had been involved formally and informally with the society for most of her life.

“Dealing with so many people from all walks of life has helped me develop strong communication skills and an ability to deal with the many complex problems that people can face on their life’s journey and how to be there to assist with a compassionate and pragmatic style,” Ms Markey said.

Over the past year Ms Markey visited shopping centres, schools, TAFEs, and door-knocked in Stirling for her campaign.

Campaign coordinator Jack Thornton said Ms Markey’s rapport with her community had resulted in a “simple effective and natural” campaign.

“After working alongside Melita for over a year, I can say she has effective communication skills in terms of talking with people in the community, she is easily relatable and has a frank (and) honest approach,” he said.

“Many people we speak with have meaningful issues that deeply affect them, hoping their MP will be able to help. Generally I would say there is a divisive range of views or feeling about politics out in the community.”

Ms Markey is also involved with Labor’s “Towards 50” Initiative which aims to have women making up 50 per cent of Labor’s representatives, as well as being a part of #ChangeTheRules, a non-partisan non-profit aiming to “change the rules of (the) political process”.

There is a 6.1 per cent seat margin to the Liberal Party and the electorate of Stirling has had four Liberal and four Labor members since 1955, when the seat was created.