The adage, “you can take a [wo-]man out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of a [wo-]man”, has never been more apt then when referring to Angela Toppin, Mayoral Candidate for Mareeba Shire Council. Angela has always been passionate about the Far North, she has strong family values and is committed to the greater community, education and sustainable development.
Running for mayor seemed a natural “next step” for this indefatigable Mareeba-ite.
Angela is equipped with the skills required to navigate and lead the shire into the new decade. She has served as a councillor for the past four years, and has over twenty years’ experience as principal in several large independent public schools with the Department of Education. Her career has provided an incredible training ground for the roles expected of mayor; managing large budgets, partnering with people and teams, collaborating with state and federal governments, ministers from all political parties, pursuing the needs of the community and its people while always operating with integrity, transparency and fierce passion.
Angela has a good understanding of her community too. She is the eldest daughter of Italian immigrant tobacco farmers and was raised to always look for solutions, to work hard until the job was done, to live within her means, to help where help was needed and to extend that care and consideration to the extended family and friends. Angela continues to be invested in the wellbeing of her community members, the growth of our local economy through responsible industries such as tourism whilst balancing the interests of different groups.
It’s her genuine interest in her fellow-Tablelanders which underpinned her success as one of the preeminent school principals in the Far North, and today sees her volunteering in a variety of community groups, charities and organisations. Passionate about education and the power that knowledge and skills instil in people, to change their lives and assist others, Angela may have retired from Education Queensland but she didn’t relinquish the role or the significant part that education plays. She continues to chair the Business Liaison Association (BLA) overseeing support for local high schools and secondary school students in FNQ. The BLA continues to provide vital links between our rural industries and regional secondary school students, motivating them to pursue further education and vocational pathways.
Collaboration and strategic planning and action are key to strengthening the shire. Angela is committed to sustainable and affordable management of water resources to ensure that both residents and the agricultural sector can thrive. Safe, efficient and reliable transport corridors are essential for all residents; council needs to work with state and federal departments to ensure that all needs are met in a responsible way without compromise or at the cost of the environment. The Kuranda Range is simply not up to scratch. Angela is committed to open and frank dialogue with all interested groups and is especially invested in the economic growth and stability of the shire.
The Mareeba Shire is an attractive place for people to not only live, but to build a lifestyle. We have everything that people need and an amazing balance between wellbeing, traditions and progress – beautiful sites and recreation, parks and sporting facilities for families and young people, arts, entertainment and events and strong infrastructure for retirement and ageing (including health, aged care services and diverse interests/past times). Angela is committed to a strategy that balances the social need for parks, recreation and events and will ensure that council maintains and enhances this strong community fabric and unity.
As an active member of the Community Consultation Committee with the Cairns & Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, James Cook University Council and the Wet Tropics Consultative Committee, Angela is passionate about being a voice of the people, working for and with the people in her community and ensuring that our region is promoted, respected and supported. The word, “no” appears to be missing from this woman’s vocabulary and her preparedness to help, sees her volunteering with Rosies’ Friends on the Street, inspiring women at a grassroots level in the Cairns Business Women’s Club, and Mareeba Business Women’s Club.
Volunteering with Rotary, arts and festival groups, the church, the Mareeba International Club, local schools, Mareeba Friends of Hospital Foundation, and Kuranda Arts Co-op, just to name a few, Angela also keeps her finger on the pulse of business in the region by being actively involved with the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce. Leading by example is second nature, when it comes down to it, you cannot fake community spirit and investment at this level – this woman talks the talk but more importantly she walks the walk.
Angela leads with fierce passion and she gets things done.