Cherie Smith is standing as an Independent Candidate for Gippsland, driven by a desire to be the change she would like to see.
The born and bred Bairnsdale woman found herself becoming more and more frustrated with politics in recent years.
“I found myself whinging and complaining to myself, and I thought, ‘maybe I should try and do something’,” the 34 year-old said.
So now she is standing for the House of Representatives and keen to let Gippslanders know she will vote how Gippslanders want, rather than follow a party line.
“They (those in the Gippsland electorate) will know every time I step into Parliament, I will be voting for them,” Ms Smith said.
“I won’t need to follow a party line, I can do what Gippslanders want. I can represent them and not a political party – I can put Gippsland first.”
Of the issues Ms Smith believes are most important to her electorate, true community representation stands high.
So too does the debate about coal seam gas exploration, which she says most Gippsland farmers oppose as they believe “it would damage their agricultural land”.
Tax reform also sits high on Ms Smith’s agenda, despite it being “the boring nuts and bolts of everything”.
She said if the nation was to ensure it had universal access to education and health care, it first needed “strong, comprehensive tax reform”.
“Nothing should be off the table when we’re talking about tax reform,” she said.
“With the particular discussions right now, the focus is very narrow and I’d like to see it all-encompassing.”
To stay updated on Ms Smith’s campaign, email GippslandIndependent@gmail.com, follow @gippslandvotes on Twitter or visit her page on Facebook, ‘Cherie Smith – Independent for Gippsland’.