Sitting under a tree, eating Ban Mi from the Cairnlea shops, is what I enjoy doing most in Brimbank, where I can admire the grasslands while pointing out peregrine falcons and black-shouldered kites flying overhead.
My great passion to protect and restore the Victorian Volcanic Plains drove me to begin volunteering in Brimbank seven years ago. I have since moved to Deer Park to fully dedicate myself to the work of protecting grasslands and their endangered species, as well as our extended natural areas along our river systems.
It was at a biodiversity conference a few years ago, where the scientists presented the horrifying facts of biodiversity loss across Australia, where I realised that despite knowing the science for 30 years, policy makers still refuse to create meaningful policy and enforcement to protect our endangered plants and animals. If I really want to save as many grasslands and endangered species as possible, I would need to be involved in policy. So as an active volunteer, I saw the role of Councillor as a great opportunity to have a wider and more substantial impact on the ecosystems so close to home.
I love my work and would happily toil in grasslands all my life. I find it incredibly peaceful working in amongst the tiny flowers, under the sun. And after all, having a grass-hugging, science based person in Council will boost the chances of an endangered species survival.
During my term as a Brimbank City Councillor, I want to see more mental health supports, more grasslands protected, more open green spaces and lower youth unemployment rates.
These goals are interconnected. People’s mental health improves with better access to green open spaces, which supports finding work and training, which leads to even more improved mental wellbeing. I will support these goals through more community connection, finding ways to engage with young people in enabling and exciting ways, creating more local job and training opportunities, ensuring there are mental health supports in multiple languages.
I believe Brimbank’s people are its greatest strength, they’re tough and they’re connected. People are always talking over fences, down the street, in the kebab shop. It feels like the diversity of Brimbank brings an ability to get through anything and that’s why my goals are focused on supporting our wonderful community and its biodiversity.
I look forward to working alongside my fellow Councillors to bring fresh perspectives to Brimbank and to create real and progressive change for this great municipality.
You can contact Cr Branton on CrBranton@brimbank.vic.gov.au or 0407 836 064.