First and foremost, I will always listen and learn from the community which I represent, to deliver the measurable social and economic outcomes that Western Australians deserve.
Western Australia has been home to six generations of my family.
My great-grandparents, Michael and Kathleen Kilrain, migrated to Australia and seized an opportunity created by the Group Settlement Scheme in Manjimup. They used a small loan to purchase a cow, a bucket and an axe and got to work with the other settlers to build a community – and their future. The farm is still in the family today.
Mick and Sarah O’Sullivan, my other great-grandparents, worked and raised their children in Manjimup too. Mick was one of the first foresters appointed by the government with responsibility for implementing the Forests Act. He was pro-development, but knew it had to be done in a sustainable way.
These virtues of hard work and determination, personal responsibility, reward for effort, working with and giving back to community, the importance of family and family values have guided my life and my career. They are the virtues which have been passed down my family for generations and instilled in me by my parents.
My wife Montanique and I are raising our two children in Perth’s southern suburbs. Their selfless love and unrelenting commitment our family is something I know will carry us all through in this chapter of our lives.
My working career has taken me all over Western Australia. I began my career as a tradesman, completing an electronics and communications apprenticeship. While doing this, I was also with a youth service connected to my church.
The community needs that I was exposed to as a volunteer inspired me to pursue a career as a youth worker. Over the following eight years, I worked extensively with at-risk youth and their families.
In 2008, I was fortunate enough to join Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation. There I was given the responsibility of leading GenerationOne – a nation-building project that has seen tens of thousands of Indigenous people obtain work.
I was sworn in as a Senator for Western Australia on July 2, 2019.
As a member of the Australian Parliament, I am a member of the Senate Legislation Committee for Finance and Public Administration, the Legislation and References Committee for Education and Employment and the Senators’ Interests Standing Committee. In addition, I am also a member of the Joint Committee for the National Capital and External Territories and Joint Committee for Public Accounts and Audit.
My lived experiences have informed my deep conviction that strong families, good government policy and meaningful employment have a critical role to play in building successful communities. These convictions will inform my work in Parliament as a Senator for the great state of Western Australia.