Ambitious runner-up vows to return for round two
Cortney Claridge was one of the last two candidates standing in Division 10 , and today was firm in her resolve to have another run at local government.
Ms Claridge, 21 of Kureelpa, was finishing a university assignment for her studies in politics and international relations during the "surreal" moments the final votes and distribution of preferences were counted, favouring David Law for the role.
"I look forward to the time I see the numbers in my favour and that's an exciting prospect for the future," Ms Claridge said today, firm in her resolve to take another run at local government.
"I asked people through my campaign to challenge their perception of what a politicians is, I don't fit he profile, a young female, it isn't something we had before.
"To see so many people come out and put trust in me and my leadership … was extremely humbling."
Ms Claridge said she was determined to take the relationships, experience, skills and confidence she had gained throughout her six-month campaign and continue to be a voice for the community, even if it was not in her job description.
Ms Claridge said she would return to work within the chaplaincy program at St Patrick's College in Gympie next week, but said she would continue to advocate for the hinterland - the place that shaped her.
"I'm definitely hoping to see the Reimagine Nambour project get the support that it needs to really take off," she said.
"At the moment it has three governments' support, which is incredible to have for a town like Nambour.
"Obviously with the COVID-19 issue the Reimagine Nambour project will help businesses once this has passed.
"There's taskforces working on that, so maybe I am able to jump in to one of those now and offer my help and assistance in a different way."
Ms Claridge thanked and congratulated her fellow candidates, and Cr Law on his success.
"To David, congratulations on your successful candidacy," she said.
"I wish you all the best for the four years ahead. I am sure that this position will push and challenge you, but remember to always remain kind and humble.
"To Hilary (Wallace), Matt (Filippi), Keith (Campbell), Sue (Etheridge) and Paul (Monaghan), thank you for sacrificing your time, money and privacy to ensure that Division 10 was given every chance to elect a leader that represented our community values.
"We all brought and offered something very different, but the love and dedication to this community was certainly shared.
"My heart is so full of gratitude for my community and my passion to serve has never been greater. I am sad to see the end of this chapter, but excited to see what lies ahead."
Ms Claridge thanked her parents and supporters and encouraged others to chase after their goals.
"To my sisters and the young people I work with, don't ever let your age be a limit for what you can achieve.
"A reminder for me throughout this experience comes from scripture 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity'."