Member of the Week - Margaret Fulton
Caption: Murray MP Adrian Piccoli, Margaret Fulton and Sonia Piccoli
Margaret Fulton is a passionate woman who has been strongly community-minded her whole life. Originally from Northumberland, England, Margaret migrated to Australia as a young girl with her family in 1949. They found their way to Leeton, where they met up with her other brother who was working hard as a builder after World War II.
It was in Leeton that she met her husband John, who was a strong Country Party supporter. Although his father was a Liberal, John believed that ‘the Liberals would never do anything for country people.’ Soon after that, they married and she joined the Country Party in 1957.
Margaret has many warm memories throughout her time in the Party. Her fondest is of the large meetings they hosted, and the strong membership in the Leeton Branch. Attending Conferences and working with former MPs Peter Nixon and Doug Anthony were real highlights for Margaret.
But perhaps one of her greatest memories was a large rally in Leeton against the Whitlam Labor Government. Things got quite heated, with Labor members throwing beer cans at those rallying against the then Prime Minister.
Margaret has a passion for other areas of the community as well. A dedicated Church-goer for many years, she is actively involved and puts her hand every time up to assist with functions − especially when it comes to cooking. For many years she has also been a devoted volunteer for the Red Cross.
Outside of politics and church, Margaret’s biggest passion is singing. Over many years, Margaret has joined many choirs including small country choirs and bigger choirs with orchestras. Perhaps one of her proudest moments was being the Soprano soloist in a production of The Messiah. “Music breaks all barriers”, she says. People from all over the region come together to sing and listen.
With a very big family, Margaret loves having her many grandchildren in her home. She always has some of her home cooking for the constant stream of people coming in and out.
Over many years in the National Party, Margaret and her late husband have hosted numerous events such as luncheons and dinners to keep their branch engaged, and to raise money. They were proud of their strong Branch, knowing that they could call on the membership at any time and someone would be ready and waiting to lend a hand.
However, she is concerned for the future of the Party without more active young people getting involved and keeping things going.
Margaret believes that parliamentarians need to stand up for what they believe in for the good of the nation. She sees Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to expand the Snowy River Hydro project as an excellent way of boosting our economy and bringing more jobs to regional NSW.
She is also very pleased with Barnaby Joyce’s reminder to Australians about the importance of agriculture and our regions. As she says, “here in the regions, we provide the resources for those living in the cities.”
Right now, Margaret declares that it is critical for MPs to listen to their members. The people know what is needed in their areas, and if they are speaking up about them then all they need is to be heard. “We’re a grassroots party, and we need to put the focus back on the people, back where it was before,” she says.
Margaret believes that recent events such as Southern Conference are just what we need to achieve this. “Engaging with local issues is the way to succeed. I haven’t seen so many local people from the area together in so long. We need to make sure we keep having events like this,” she said.