WHEN Michael Keenan – long-serving Stirling MP and Coalition Government minister – decided to retire at the 2019 May election, a sizable field of candidates appeared in the race.
Vince Connelly was pre-selected as the Liberal candidate, and after a gruelling 77 day campaign, was then elected as the Member for Stirling in a Morrison-led Government.
Vince’s background, experience and capabilities, developed over the last 20 years, have made him uniquely qualified to serve as a Member of Parliament.
Straight out of school he joined the Australian Defence Force and served overseas in peacekeeping missions as a Platoon Commander in East Timor and a Company Second-in-Command in the Solomon Islands.
After a decade of service as an Army Officer, Vince left full-time duty and spent more than a decade in the private sector as a risk and crisis management consultant in the mining, oil and gas industries of Western Australia.
During this time Vince also served as a reservist with the SAS Regiment at Campbell Barracks and volunteered as the President of the Stirling Progress Association.
A dad of three teenagers and husband to a fellow ex-Army Officer, Vince understands the daily pressures that families, and especially veterans’ families, face.
Vince is particularly passionate about helping veterans and their families adjust to life outside the defence force, including helping them to find long-term, meaningful employment.
Drawing on his experience, Vince is continuing to serve the community in his new role as an advocate for local projects.
It’s his mission to listen to the community in a variety of forums by attending local events, holding coffee catch ups and mobile offices, visiting schools and businesses and joining the community at fairs.
Since the election, Vince has delivered more than $1.5 million in Safer Communities funding to the Jewish and Greek communities in Dianella, and just under $10 million for critical intersection upgrades.
Soon, he will announce over 30 successful applicants across the Stronger Communities, Communities Environment, and Local Schools Community funds.
Vince is also working hard to drive support at home and in Canberra for:
– the re-development of the Jewish Community Centre,
– A Trackless Tram trial from Glendalough Train Station to Scarborough Beach, and
– More sustainable funding for the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre in Mirrabooka.
During his maiden speech Vince described the moment as feeling a bit like a wedding – sharing about his love for community and commitment to the people of Stirling.
He ended by saying: “And so, in the presence of friends, family, colleagues and the national media, I commit to contributing to the ever-unfinished business of democracy, I commit to the intergenerational imperative to leave for our children a better world than was left for us.
“I commit now and for every day ahead of me to do as I have always done—to provide selfless service as part of a team and to give my full measure of devotion to my fellow Australians, to doing the most good that I can do.”