Member of the Week – Joan Douglas
Often found somewhere down the Edward River with husband Russell and their trusty caravan, Joan Douglas is a proud Deniliquin local and NSW Nationals member.
Joan's long-standing connection with The Nationals began when she was roped into taking the minutes by her now husband's grandfather in 1968. After finding herself in that role permanently she joined up in 1973.
Throughout her time in The Nationals, Joan has served the Party as Chairman of the Murray-Darling SEC and then as the Chairman of the Murray SEC until last year, and she currently serves in the role of Murray SEC Secretary.
She greatly admired the work of former Federal Leader Doug Anthony, and particularly former member for Murray-Darling John Williams, for whom she had a great deal of praise:
“He is a very switched on man who worked his heart out, always came up with the goods, and was always on tap. Always there to see and talk with everyone to find out what their thoughts, opinions and issues were.”
Joan believes that there is a great deal of negativity in Australian politics at the moment which The Nationals must overcome by continuing to “put our best foot forward”. She maintains The Nationals must promote and portray ourselves as the voice for regional Australians, making their needs known in Parliament. To achieve this she sees the Party as needing to maintain the public’s total trust, in order to achieve greatness.
For the Party to be the voice of regional Australia, she believes the members must speak up on issues.
“It’s no good to be a member and not show up for meetings or not try to get involved somehow. Members must go to meetings and have their say. The more members that go to meetings and have a say, the more difference is made.”
"Even if your local meetings are well attended, your opinion may make all the difference on an issue."
picture: Joan and Russell Douglas.