Councillor profiles - Victoria Brown President of Shire of Esperance
From community to Council
Esperance Shire sits on the south east coast of Western Australia, 725km by road from Perth.
The population of over 14,000 is scattered across 42,000 square kilometres spanned by a large road network of approximately 3,745km of unsealed roads and 848km of sealed roads.
The Shire’s outstanding natural features such as Cape Le Grand National Park – which includes the iconic kangaroos on the pristine white beaches and crystal blue waters of Lucky Bay are my favourite parts of the Shire.
I was elected onto Council in 2011.
I’ve always been involved in committees and associations such as the school Parents and Citizens, Country Women’s Association, sporting and recreational groups, including the local theatre guild, so it seemed like a natural progression that the next step in my commitment to community was to put up for Council.
My husband and I farm 4500ha with my son; it’s a cropping enterprise 85km east of Esperance.
This gives me a solid understanding of the financial challenges of running a small business and an empathy with the agricultural industry which is the backbone of our district.
Outside of work I’m helping to renovate the historic Dempster Homestead and its gardens, I look after my grandson Ned, and I write and perform humorous narrative bush poetry under the persona A Bird in the Bush.
Current council projects
Two long term and highly controversial issues for our council are the replacement of the historic Esperance Tanker Jetty and the location of a new waste management facility site.
The Community Waste Strategy, recently endorsed by Council, involved significant community input. It relies on the community being actively involved in avoiding, reducing and reusing waste. Council is also developing a state of the art waste management facility.
In response to the exponential increase in tourism numbers, and with the help of social media, we are assessing our tourism and marketing strategy to ensure visitors have an amazing experience whilst protecting our pristine environment.
On being a councillor
I love the contact with the community and the ability to share all their achievements in the diverse range of activities and social groups.
I’m a people person and being on Council has given me the opportunity to become more involved with my community.”
The award winning Esperance foreshore is a personal achievement. It includes the very popular new skate park which recently hosted a round of the national King of Concrete Skate Bowl Competition.
As a board member of the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission I have been able to engage in conversations with state and federal politicians to ensure that our local voice is heard and the challenges of our region understood.
With the advances in social media the job is constantly changing. In a small community you know everyone. Inevitably this means you are often dealing with long term friends who may find it difficult to separate me as a person from my position as the President.
It’s never been my objective to leave a long lasting legacy. That is not my interpretation of a good local government leader.
I hope to leave our council in sound financial health and with sustainable assets and infrastructure for our vibrant and growing community now and into the future.