MEMBER for Armadale Tony Buti’s goal was to change both the image and the reality of the area, shaping it into a vibrant economic and community centre.
His top concern was unemployment and improving the prospects of local children.
“I want to ensure all our children have the best opportunity; to see our kids think they can do anything,” Dr Buti said.
Raised in the City of Armadale, Dr Buti attended Kelmscott Senior High School and was the first person in his family to attend university.
He was the only one of his siblings to complete Year 12 and graduate from high school.
“Education was an incredibly useful tool, it increases opportunities,” he said.
“I see it from a romantic perspective, as education being good for society and having an intrinsic value.”
He acknowledged that crime was a major concern for residents and cited Labor’s promise for a 24/7 police station and its policies on drug intervention and rehabilitation as potential solutions.
Dr Buti said his left-leaning politics came from being raised by parents with blue collar jobs among working class people who he saw as being forgotten and with less power.
His parents, both of Italian heritage, were very welcoming, often opening their door to neighbours and people in the community, who always supported their childrens’ passions.
“I was always interested in politics but I was also a mad sports fan so I probably became politically active later, around 22 or 23,” Dr Buti said.
He started out as a high school teacher but switched to studying law, which he took all the way to a doctorate at the University of Oxford and a stint at Yale.
He spent 13 years as an academic before making the leap to politics following a “tough” pre-selection contest in 2011.
Despite being the member for Armadale for six years, with a margin of 9.8 per cent, Dr Buti said no seat could be considered safe.
He worried the public’s perception of politicians had been skewed by media reports and the antics of Federal politicians.
“A healthy cynicism is fine but I think it’s gone further than that; it’s good for the public to question politicians but I worry about people’s perception of the reality of politics.”
Tony Buti has his sights set on a ministerial position in a Mark McGowan Labor government.
He made no secret of his desire to hold a portfolio and said he would be disappointed if he was not considered if Labor won power on March 11.
“I believe I have the capacity and ability to be a minister; then I’d be able to use my clout for Armadale,” he said.