THE sadness Sabine Winton felt at packing up her classroom after 27 years as a teacher was replaced by elation the following day when she was officially declared the new Wanneroo MLA.
Adding to the honour was the fact proceedings took place at her former school Wanneroo Secondary College.
“As a former student of the school and as a local teacher, it is important to recognise the opportunities that this fantastic public school, and the education sector more broadly, has provided me,” she said.
“I remember my days as a student there very fondly, being inspired by many brilliant teachers and innovative programs.”
Ms Winton will not be putting away the chalk just yet, maintaining her teacher’s registration with the aim of making herself available for educational outreach opportunities as a parliamentarian.
She said she was eager to enact commitments made during the campaign “as fast as possible”, including building overpasses at two Wanneroo Road intersections, helping to facilitate the move of Inghams from Sinagra and the “personally rewarding” promise of $5 million for a sports centre and drama theatre.
Jobs were also high on the agenda, with Ms Winton citing underemployment as a problem along with high unemployment rates.
“Employment is the number one thing that needs to be looked at locally,” she said.
After 12 months of campaigning, the Labor hopeful felt a “hunch deep down” the results would fall in her favour on election night, where she polled nearly 4000 more votes than Liberal incumbent Paul Miles.
“I was quietly confident but you never know,” she said.
Some of her more interesting highlights from campaigning were realising one woman she had phoned was her Year 9 English teacher and door knocking at the home of the first boy she kissed.
While being an anecdote no other candidate could better, she said it showed the “really strong family connections” in Wanneroo despite large population increases.
Ms Winton described the process as a steep learning curve but one she was excited to embark on.
“I pinch myself every day,” she said.
“It’s a huge, huge honour for people to vote for you and to represent them…(and I aim to) represent everyone now, not just one side of politics.”