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Hi, I'm

Andy Skidmore

A candidate for Wingecarribee Shire Council

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A voice for...you

I'm passionate about the Wingecarribee Shire being a place where families and small businesses thrive 

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About Me.

Hi my names Andy Skidmore, proud resident of the beautiful Wingecarribee Shire. My wife Rhi and I are local business owners and in my day job I am the CEO of a large youth mental health charity, working with over 200,000 young people across Australia and New Zealand.

We are just like the many families who call the Wingecarribee Shire home. Returning to our regional roots, we were drawn to living here to raise our family and love engaging with the many wonderful locals we meet daily in our retail store on the main street of Bowral. 

 

I believe that family is the bedrock of all communities, and in a community made up of families of all shapes and sizes, everyone should be able to experience all of what Wingecarribee Shire has to offer. With Council playing such a big role in how families live, work and play, I am excited at the prospect of representing you to ensure your voice is heard in making the Shire all you need and want it to be.

At 21 I founded the youth mental health not-for-profit Burn Bright, and an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to solve some of society's most complex problems has seen me work with over 250 schools across Australia and New Zealand. I now lead The Youth Impact Foundation, working with hundreds of thousands of young people a year delivering programs to help them thrive. These years of starting, growing and running small and medium sized businesses, as well as sitting on countless boards, have given me invaluable insight into not only the needs of communities, but also the needs of small businesses. 

 

It is the combination of my love for the Shire, and the experience I can bring that leads me to running as an Independent. I believe our role as Councillors should focus on locals representing locals, ensuring that community needs are met without the constraints of party political agendas or politics. Being an Independent allows me to serve our community with the kind of integrity and dedication my loved ones will be proud of. 

Throughout this campaign - and as a Councillor, here's what you can expect from me:

  • Clear family values, the community and your needs are my priority

  • An unmissable laugh

  • Authenticity, approachability and transparency

  • A positive vision for the Shire

  • Respect for my fellow Candidates

Together, let's build a Shire that is a great place to live, work and visit. My wife and I can't wait to meet you.

Kitchen

LIVE

A place we love to live

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WORK

A shire where small businesses thrive

Dinner in Restaurant

VISIT

A visitor economy that works for us

I'll be your voice to build a Shire that's a great place to:

LIVE

A Shire all love to live in

As a resident of the Wingecarribee Shire we enjoy first-hand one of the most beautiful places to live in the world.  When it comes to The Wingecarribee as a place to live I'll advocate for:

#1 - Protecting the character of the Shire - how it feels to live here. To protect the natural and built character of our Shire. 

 

#2 - Improving the Shire experience - our experience of living here. To ensure that council creates the opportunities for fun and enjoyment are actually fun and enjoyable.

 

#3 - Getting families access to what they need. To ensure that council doesn't hold up opportunities for more childcare and that it's easy to get around on connected footpaths and quality roads. 

#4 - Increasing support for our young people better especially their mental health and ensuring our Shire is a place they thrive too.


#5 - Better Natural Disaster Preparedness - With such vast land it's imperative that we are better prepared for natural disasters like fire and flood.

WORK

A shire where small business thrives

As a local small business owner, I know the hard yards of owning a small business. 98.5% of businesses in the Highlands are small businesses so let's make it even easier for them to do business. I will advocate to:

#1 - Increase small business connectivity to council and community

 

#2 - Support our small business economy to grow 

 

#3 - Increase transparency and collaboration on council processes and reduce the administrative burden

#4 - Ensure council procurement supports local businesses within appropriate legislative frameworks. 

VISIT

A Shire with a visitor economy that works for us

Tourism is a huge driver of our local economy and it will grow to being more significant in the years to come. Let's ensure our visitor economy works for those that live in the shire and those that visit it. I want to ensure:

#1 - The visitor experience is world class. From the events visitors attend, to where they stay and where they eat.

 

#2 - To harness the visitor economy to grow our local GDP and increase employment opportunities for locals.

 

#3 - Ensure we promote the full shire experience including our towns and villages 

My Experience and Values

Driven By My Values and For My Family

Strong values that guide how I lead and make decisions

  • I care deeply about the local area having spent lots of my childhood growing up here and am now raising my family here. 

  • My values mean everything to me - I lead from my values of integrity, trust and service.

Local Business Owner

We contribute to the local economy

  • Local business owners - My wife and I own a local business on the Main Street of Bowral.

  • We know what running a small business takes, how much they play in the fabric of our community and how reliant we are on a well functioning council to make our community great.

Charity CEO

CEO of one the largest youth mental health charities in Australia

  • Founded one youth charity when I was 21 and with my team grew it to change the lives of over 110,000 young people across the country. Which was recognized as Australia’s Most Innovative Charity in 2018 and 2019 by Westpac and UNSW.

  • Now the CEO of a different youth mental health charity that works with over 200,000 young people a year across Australia and New Zealand

  • Lead a team of over 40 staff across Australia and New Zealand.

Proven Leadership Experience

Experience in governance, finance and strategy

  • CEO of a charity - I know what it’s like to build communities but also to deliver services to vulnerable people but also report to a board.

  • A provern leader in making peoples lives better, leading teams and resolving problems

  • I have sat on or sit on over 10 not for profit boards and I have extensive governance experience 

  • Strong financial experience and financial acumen

Emergency Management 

Extensive experience managing emergencies

  • I have over 10 years of experience volunteering in emergency services and incident management. I understand command and control - I know how to respond to a natural disaster and councils role in that process through immediate response, the Emergency Operations Center and recovery. 

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What You'll See From Me

I want to build on the strengths of our shire and council and not stay focused on or repeat the problems of the past. I'm not here to focus on what happened but what's happening. I will be a voice for our community, for our local small businesses and for our local families who want to see council standing up for their needs.

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An authentic voice

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An unmissable laugh

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My values shine through

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A positive vision for the shire

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I won't dismiss another candidate. You can make your own mind up about others.

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A campaign my friends would be proud of

The opportunity for our new Council

I believe many positive steps have taken place since our former Council was dismissed in 2021 - however our need for local voices has never been greater.

With the election of a new Council this year, we have the opportunity to reconnect the local voice. Since the Administrator was appointed and the new General Manager employed, council has made some positive progress that has brought stability back and should be celebrated.  Whilst things may not be perfect, I truly believe that good work is being done and will only improve with local voices. True Independents have an amazing opportunity to be the local voice, and increase the transparency and effectiveness of the services that council provides. 

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Getting Back On Track

The report into the old Wingecarribee Shire council found that the dysfunction of the council created a culture that lead to poor performance of the staff of the council. I believe since the administrator took over much needed stability has been returned to the council staff and operations. 

2

Increasing Communication and Transparency

Council has worked hard to increase the transparency of council operations and communication to the shires residents. Specifically through participate Wingecarribee website and the Local Matters Forums. It is clear council is making huge strides in this regard.

3

Creating Clear Plans For The Future

The council General Manager and her leadership team have been well focused on plans that consider the future needs of our shire and working hard to reduce some red tape and administration in the space of development and customer service.

It's time for experienced and passionate local voices to return to Council.

  • Am I aligned with any political party?
    I am not aligned with, a member of, or have ever been a member of any political party; I am running as an Independent. My focus is on community-driven solutions and not party politics. I firmly believe that council roles should be about locals representing locals, not about party politics or agendas, allowing us to directly address the unique needs and interests of our community without the constraints of party agendas.
  • How will you work with other councillors?
    As a Councillor I have to work with 8 other Councillors to ensure we can best govern the Shire. As such I will be releasing the issues I will advocate for as a Councillor, but as a candidate I can't make many promises. What I can promise is that rather than being set in my ways I will be a voice for the Shire and the families and small business who need better advocacy to council. I will work with the other Councillors to ensure the best outcomes eventuate for our Shire.
  • How do I think council has performed over the last few years?
    The current Administrator has certainly made significant strides in steering us back to stability and progress following a period of turmoil under the previous Council. While I acknowledge that the council has performed commendably in reestablishing order and beginning to address key issues, there remains much work to be done. It's important to recognise and commend the efforts that have brought us this far and of the many wonderful council staff who serve our community, yet we must also maintain a focus on continuous improvement. Our community deserves diverse local voices on council, they deserve a council that not only rectifies current challenges but also innovates and looks forward to ensure sustainable growth and enhanced community services. As always, while we are on the right track, the journey towards a shire thats a great place to live, work and visit continues.
  • Why don't we currently have an elected Council and have an administrator instead?
    As per the Wingecarribee Shire Council website "The appointment of Mr Viv May PSM as an Administrator for Wingecarribee Shire Council follows the suspension of the Councillors by Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock on 12 March 2021. On 1 September 2021, the NSW Government announced a Public Inquiry will be held into Wingecarribee Shire Council. The Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has also suspended the councillors, reappointed the interim administrator and deferred the 4 December Council election until the public inquiry was completed. On Thursday 14 July 2022 the Minister for Local Government The Hon Wendy Tuckerman announced that she had accepted the key recommendations from the Commissioner's report. " I believe in complete transparency and open democracy, all residents should be able to read this report, to know what went wrong before and to ensure the right council is elected in 2024 to make sure these issues won't occur again. If you would like to read the report it can be accessed through the link below. https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/tp/files/82504/Wingecarribee%20Shire%20Council%20Public%20Inquiry%20-%20Commissioner%27s%20Report.pdf

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