Member for Port Macquarie
Leslie Williams is a nurse and a mother who became involved in politics after her campaign to build a primary school in Lake Cathie fell on deaf ears with her local independent MPs. In 2011 she was elected as The Nationals' Member for Port Macquarie on her third attempt.
Leslie has served in a variety of portfolios during her time including as Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education. She also held the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and has just been appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health.
Leslie has lived in Lake Cathie with her husband Don for 14 years, after moving to the region to take over the local Post Office in 1996. She grew up in South Australia, where she worked as a teacher. She was also CEO of the SIDs charity in the Northern Territory when the family lived in Darwin.
Operating a small business and raising two children in the area has given Leslie a natural understanding of the problems facing local families. In 2002 she began training as a nurse and before her election was employed at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
In 2007 she stood for The Nationals and was the first candidate to achieve a swing against the sitting independent. In 2008 she came very close to winning the Port Macquarie by-election in one of the largest swings in NSW history. Finally, in 2011 she was elected as the Member for Port Macquarie with a margin of 6.4 per cent.
Since then she has been fighting hard for the people of Port Macquarie, the Camden Haven and surrounding areas (and Lord Howe Island) to make sure that the government is well aware of the issues facing her local communities.
One of her proudest moments was turning the sod to commence construction of the Lake Cathie Public School in 2014.