Being of Irish and Dutch ancestry, I originally come from Colac in country Victoria, moving to Melbourne to study on a scholarship at Monash University twenty years ago. After finishing my studies I worked in hospitality locally (at the famous, or rather infamous, Matthew Flinders Hotel), then in the tertiary sector and later working for the State Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Work with local Timor Leste friendship groups then lead to an assignment in Timor Leste as a volunteer, researching and writing the ‘Guide to Timor Leste political parties and groupings’.
With the outbreak of civil unrest in Timor in 2006, I was evacuated, however have returned many times, most notably as an international election monitor in two subsequent elections.
After this I formed my own business and spent time being primary carer for my children, before returning to the tertiary sector in 2012 to manage the Deakin University Student Association. DUSA is a strong local employer in Burwood, which provides students at Deakin University with support services, clubs and representation.
Being from the country however, my work experience has also included dairying, lobster fishing, and haycarting!
As someone for whom gardening is a way of life, I care deeply about our natural environment and for the ecosystems that support us. Having started an environmental group to combat climate change in Colac way back in 1989, it naturally followed that I would be active with environmental groups at a local, state and national level such as Conservation Volunteers, Environment Victoria and Bush Heritage Australia. Having composting facilities, productive gardens, community gardens and urban food forests locally are pet projects of mine, and I salute all those volunteers who give their time so we can eat our own produce locally, particularly in our schools, community groups and public housing. Keep up the good work!
The local area where I am now standing for Parliament is where my wife Gillian and I bought our first home and started a family. It is where our two boys go to school and kinder, where we work and where we are active in our community.
I will fight for opportunities for working people and those in need. It is crucial we have a progressive Government that will deliver the hospitals, schools, emergency services and public transport we rely on every day. The current conservative Governments we have are a disgrace – they take pride in cutting kindergarten funding, destroying our TAFE system and having a lamentable vision for transport - $8 billion for a toll road. They think it should be those with the least who have to pay the most. Just look at the recent budget.
We need a Government that believes in supporting our community, not one that smashes into the building blocks of a decent society – let’s grow education, jobs and healthcare, not destroy them.
I can only do this with the support of local people and I would love to hear your views. I am endeavouring to speak to all of our local communities in the lead up to the election – just get in touch with any concerns you may have.
Authorised- Michael Watson 14 Montrose Street Ashwood Vic 3147
Voter involvement is key to the success of our campaign. Take the first step by joining us!