"My goal is to be able to be a voice for the voiceless in our community, and work on the great foundation that the current council have set in motion."
Those are the words of Goulburn Mulwaree Council candidate Daniel Strickland, who has put his hand up for the local government elections set to be held on Saturday, December 4.
He regrets not being able to say he is Goulburn born and bred (he and his family have been here seven years), because he loves his adopted community with the passion of a convert.
"I love the community I live in, I'm passionate about Goulburn and the greater area, not just the city itself but the other smaller communities who often feel left out," Mr Strickland said.
"I'm mindful of that and keen to give them a voice.
"I've been here for seven years and it didn't take me long to realise that Goulburn was such a welcoming and warm community, and the work I do in community services has allowed me to get involved in many ways."
The 44-year-old Mission Australia southern NSW and ACT area manager also works out of hours for RJ Sidney Craig Funeral Directors.
In his spare time, he is also Lilac City Festival vice-president, a member of the Suicide Prevention Network and an initiator of the Man Walk, promoting male mental health.
In 2020 Mr Strickland was named Goulburn's Australia Day citizen of the year.
The endlessly energetic Mr Strickland also has five children with wife Julianne (whom he credits as giving him the support that allows him to juggle all his roles) aged between 20 and nine; two are still at school and three are studying or in the workforce.
In fact, watching his children transition from school has made him a fierce advocate for retaining young people in the region.
"Supporting young people with their mental health is part of that, so that they're in a position to take advantage of those opportunities."
But Mr Strickland is wary of making a list of his primary concerns, saying his approach was to listen to the concerns of others and act on their behalf.
"It's not about me - it's about us as a community," he said.
"I'm putting my hand up to be voice of our community, so I want to find out what those issues are.
"I've been meeting with people all over to hear their thoughts.
"There are a lot who don't have a voice, but in my role with community services, I hear their concerns
"They might not be rate payers, people might not necessarily listen to them, but they're on the ground and know what's happening in our community."
That being said, he mentioned both the Tarago waste incinerator and the Wakefield Park expansion as two issues on his radar, as well as the need to focus on big events post-COVID.
"We'll need to look at those events and activities for people, focussing more on tourism," he said.
"When I lived in Sydney, I would make a trip down to Goulburn - we need to draw people to town like that."
He praised the present council and pointed to significant achievements like the Wollondilly River Walkway, the Performing Arts Centre and the Goulburn Aquatic and Leisure Centre as a sign of their "amazing work".
"It would be such a privilege to be involved with that," he said, saying that he was excited about what was ahead.
"Just being in town today, the main street is bustling with a hive of activity.
"It's awesome to see for Goulburn and as we move to elections, I'm looking forwad to speaking to peopl face to face."
He encouraged residents to "reach out, have a yarn and connect" with him on social media, or invite him to visit or speak.
"I'm open to all opportunities," Mr Strickland said.
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