Allison Harker will be leaving Council in August when her five-year term comes to an end but was full of positivity when discussing her experience and hinted at the high likelihood of running for election in the future.

“I’m going to take a break from council for this term.”

“I have school aged children who are just entering high school, so it’s a really busy time for our family.”

“There is always the opportunity to come back and run again for Council, and we’ve seen many councillors do that,” said Harker.

“It’s been extremely enjoyable working with the community, the councillors on this term and the council staff.”

Allison cited the flexibility of the role to her other responsibilities and the people that she worked with across her journey with Council as the things she has valued most including the Economic Development Committee.

“The flexibility of meeting times and use of technology helps you balance the responsibilities.”

“The flexibility around the workplace and juggling school aged children can present a real challenge,” she said.

Coming from a financial background, witnessing the steady development of the Yass Valley Council’s ability to attract and receive grants has been one of her favourite achievements.

“Each year we have been successful in gaining more grants with increased amounts of funding.”

“I was looking back at some of the grants that we have been successful with over the last five years and they total $41 million over the term of us as a council,” she said.

On a more personal note, the achievement of using those grants to contribute to community projects is where her most enjoyment has come from,

“The part I’ve really enjoyed is the application of that funding back into the community.”

“One of the most memorable moments for me was the opening of the Joe O’Connor Park netball courts,” she said.

“I think recently we’ve been talking with the community associations on a more regular and informal basis and I would really like to see that continue,”

Allison hopes that the Yass Valley Council will continue to increase the opportunities for community input in her absence, in particular for the smaller villages.

“It was really great to hear what their current and future focus is, particularly for those outlying villages.”

“I think that collaboration will help and drive the strategy of Yass Valley Council,” she said.

With an extensive corporate background, working in the United Kingdom and Asia as a Director in the investment banking industry, Yass Valley Council provided the perfect opportunity for Allison to utilise her professional skills, for the betterment of the community of her hometown.

Allison stated these skills have been useful when performing her role as a councillor,

“Particularly the financial skills, it gives you confidence in what you are actually approving and agreeing to.”

“It’s great to apply that to a community-based organisation,” she said.

We at the Yass Valley Times would like to thank Allison for all the work she has done for the community and wish her the best in her future endeavours post-Council.

Max O’Driscoll

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