WHEN it comes to the ins and outs of Corangamite Shire Council, Noorat’s Helen Durant knows more than most.
After more than two decades as manager of community services at the shire, Ms Durant retired last year and is now pursuing a role as a Central Ward councillor.
Ms Durant will nominate for the council elections, having lived in the area for 25 years, with two decades at Glenormiston and the last four years at Noorat.
There will be at least one new councillor representing the Central Ward for the next three years after former mayor Chris O’Connor announced he is stepping down from council.
“I worked for over 20 years in a senior management position with the council,” Ms Durant said.
“I believe I have the skills and know how council works to be a successful candidate.”
Ms Durant said representing the community is not something she takes lightly and believes all councillors have a responsibility to their constituents.
“It’s important to have an understanding about the behaviour of council and the councillors’ code of conduct,” she said.
“You need to act honestly, with integrity and to be acceptable.
“One of the most important things is dealing respectfully with council and council staff and I believe I can uphold all values council expects.
“I’m a good listener and weigh up the information before making decisions.”
Ms Durant’s key passions include education, youth and aged care.
If elected, she hopes to continue the council’s good work with projects such as Beyond the Bell and the various Corangamite Community Plans.
“I think that Beyond the Bell Year 12 or equivalent attainment project is really important,” she said.
“With regards to the Corangamite Community Plan initiatives with a variety of towns, we’ve already seen some wonderful responses.”
The mother of two said supporting the shire’s youth is crucial to the development of future leaders and sustainability of the communities.
“The youth council is a really important group that needs to be supported,” Ms Durant said.
“It gives opportunities for younger people to develop their leadership skills.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Ms Durant said the elderly were also in need of council support.
“We’re an ageing community and I’m really passionate about continuing to provide services to older residents.
“Some big decisions need to be made in the future regarding the Home and Community Care program and I think we need to have the best interests of the older residents at heart.”
Ms Durant also believes that rather than working against one another, those in support of environmental sustainability and those in favour of economic development should work together to create positive outcomes.
“It’s important to support the environment in our area and I also think we need to support and encourage tourism,” she said.
“Economic development is really important and I think both protecting the environment and encouraging tourism can work together.”
While council elections are not until October, Ms Durant wants the community to know she is passionate about representing the shire.
“I think we live in a beautiful part of Victoria,” she said.
“I love living in Corangamite, it’s a great place to live.
“I’m looking forward to the election and hope I can gain the community’s support.”