Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson has offered words of inspiration to young women considering a career in politics during her valedictory speech in parliament on Wednesday.
“I hope my term in State Parliament may have inspired, in some way, other young women to put their name forward for public office, whether it be for local, State or Federal government or other leadership roles,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“It is tough, but if you stick to your guns and follow to your moral compass, you will know how to handle it,” she continued.
Multiple redistributions have meant that Ms Hodgkinson has gained and lost towns.
She has been known as the Member for Cootamundra and the Member for Burrinjuck.
As part of her final words in parliament, Ms Hodgkinson described her electorate as capturing the heart of what country New South Wales is all about: growing agricultural productivity, supporting hardworking small business owners, enhancing local tourism and maintaining strong community values.
“As a member of Parliament, I have strived to advocate strongly for all in the towns and villages throughout -from Tallong and Bungonia to Marulan, Goulburn, Boorowa and Yass, Crookwell through to Gundagai, Tumut, Batlow and Talbingo, Narrandera, Naradhan, West Wyalong, Temora, Grenfell, Gooloogong, Young, Harden, Cowra, and everywhere in between – whether it be personal issues that constituents brought to my attention or advocating for our fair share of investment in important community infrastructure priorities,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
With agriculture, small business and tourism at the heart of regional New South Wales, Ms Hodgkinson said she has been privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as the minister responsible for the first two of these portfolio areas and as assistant minister of the third.
Ms Hodgkinson was the first female to hold the title of Minister for Primary Industries in NSW.
As she prepares to step away from an 18-year career in state politics, Ms Hodgkinson thanked her husband Jack, and children Georgia and Hamilton.