About Sandy

My Vision

I’m a local mum and a high school history teacher, and have worked in both St George and Sutherland Shire schools. Originally from the US, I’ve lived in the same postcode since I moved here in 1997. I’m a busy mum of 3 kids who are all active in local sports, so I see first hand the benefits of Council’s increased investment in local infrastructure such as playing fields, playgrounds, and footpaths.

Volunteering in my community is hugely important to me. I’ve proudly volunteered for the past 12 years with Oatley PS P&C, and am now the School Council President, as well as the P&C President at Port Hacking HS. I also volunteer with Adopt A Healthcare Worker (which supports frontline healthcare workers at St George Hospital during Covid), Primary Ethics and Sans Souci Swim Club. Volunteers are the backbone of our community, and I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some incredible people who selflessly give up their time to make our area a better place.

I have a degree in Foreign Policy from Georgetown University (USA), a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Sydney, and a degree in Secondary Education from Charles Sturt University.

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WHAT I BRING TO COUNCIL

Independence

I’m a genuine Independent, and not beholden to any political party.  I make decisions based on the best outcome for the community; not party bosses or self-interest.  I want the independence and flexibility to support policies that will be good for our community, regardless of whether they are Liberal or Labor proposals. Partisanship gets us nowhere in local issues – I believe we all need to work together in the interests of the local community, not in the interests of major parties.

Local

I’m a local. As the mother of 3 children, I’ve proudly volunteered with Oatley P&C for the past 12 years, and am currently School Council President. I’ve been involved in many local sporting clubs and organisations and understand the needs of local residents because I am one.  My 3 kids play sports locally, and as a family, we’re frequent users of Council facilities whether it be through swimming at Sans Souci Pool, playing footy and oztag on local parks such as Renown Park and Gannons Park, to leisure activities such as exploring local parks and waterways.

Integrity

In April 2019, I called on ICAC to investigate claims in the media against two sitting Councillors.  As a result, those Councillors are now under active investigation.  I have consistently called on these Councillors to stand aside until the investigation is complete, but unfortunately for our local area, the majority of Councillors voted to protect them.  I’ve shown that I’m not afraid to speak out against unethical behaviour, and will continue to do so, because our community deserves better from its public officials.

Community

Volunteering in my community is hugely important to me.  I’m proud to have served on the Oatley PS P&C for the past 12 years, previously serving as P&C President and now as School Council President, as well as the P&C President at Port Hacking HS.  I also volunteer with Adopt A Healthcare Worker (which supports frontline healthcare workers at St George Hospital during Covid), Primary Ethics and Sans Souci Swim Club.  Through my volunteer work, I’m known as a person of integrity and good character.  I enjoy working in and being a part of our local community, and serving on Council is an extension of this.

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Experience

With more than 20 years experience working at all levels of government, I have more knowledge and skills in policy development than most other candidates.  I have a proven track record in delivering results for our community, and I know how to get things done.

Prior to becoming a teacher in 2015, I worked as a policy advisor to Lucy Turnbull (Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Sydney), policy advisor to the NSW Minister for Transport, and an electorate officer for Robert McClelland MP, Member for Barton, as well as for Robert Furolo MP, NSW Member for Lakemba.  I know how government works, and have a long history of working with residents to solve problems.

Resume

  • I was born in the US, but came to Sydney in 1995 to study government at the University of Sydney. I fell in love with the country and my husband, and moved back in 1997. I became an Australian citizen in 2003
  • I have an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University (USA) in Foreign Policy, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching from Charles Sturt University.
  • I’ve had a varied and interesting work career. I’ve been a policy adviser for Lucy Turnbull when she was Deputy Mayor of Sydney, and for Carl Scully as the Minister for Transport. After having kids, I made the decision to work locally, and worked in the electorate offices of the Federal Member for Barton, the Hon Robert McClelland, and then the State Member for Lakemba, Robert Furolo.
  • In 2015, I completed my teaching degree and have worked at St George & Shire high schools as a history teacher.
  • Prior to Covid, I facilitated programs with the Australian Business Community Network, a non-profit which pairs corporate mentors with high school students from disadvantaged areas. Some of the programs include fostering female leadership (my favourite program!), encouraging students into STEM, and giving students practical interviewing skills.
  • I have 3 children who attend local public schools and are all involved in local sports
  • My hobbies include swimming, reading & travelling
  • I’ve really enjoyed my career change to teaching, and while working with high school students has been incredibly rewarding, I’ve found that I’ve missed politics, in particular the capacity to work with the community and to help people. Serving on Council gives me the opportunity to continue my day job as a teacher, as well as assisting residents with local matters.

Volunteer positions

  • School Council President at Oatley PS (2020 – present), formerly P&C President (2016 – 2019).  P&C Volunteer since 2010
  • Founder, Adopt a Healthcare Worker to support frontline healthcare workers at St George Hospital through Covid (2020 – present)
  • President of Port Hacking HS P&C (2018 – present)
  • Vice President of Sans Souci Swim Club (2017 – 2018)
  • Ethics Coordinator of Oatley PS (2011 – present) and ethics teacher (2016 – 2020)
  • Squad Leader, North Cronulla Nippers (2012 – 2016)
  • Foundation Member and Patron of Hurstville Community Garden (2006 – present)

My TEAM

Sue Szalay

I’ve lived in the St George area all my life, and am married with 2 sons (aged 21 and 23). I have a very strong community presence and am very passionate about what happens within our community.  During my children’s school years, I was President of Connells Point Public School P&C for 6 years, and President of Sylvania High School for 4 years.  I’m still involved with Connells Point PS, acting as the Community representative and Secretary on the School Council.  I also have a strong affiliation with St Mark’s Anglican Church, South Hurstville. 

“I believe that local councils should not be about politics, but should be all about the community”

Lisa Da Silva

I have lived in the Georges River area all my life and growing up we were all passionate about sports, especially athletics and football. I am now married and have a daughter (16) and a son (12) who also share a strong connection to sport.  My background and passion for football has given me the motivation and drive to assist with the growth of female football through the Connells Point Rovers Football Club.  For the past four years I have been fortunate to be the female football coordinator and a member of the club’s committee.  I am currently a volunteer coach and manager for the past 9 years and the last 2 years a subcommittee member at St George Football Association.  I am always keen to help in my local community as I was involved as a parent volunteer and school gardener at St Raphael’s Catholic School for 6 years.

“It’s important for all to be part of a safe and friendly local community.”