Koala crusader keen to ‘serve and save’
LEADING Noosa koala protector Meghan Halverson has joined the campaign fray to become a councillor after the March 28 election.
The Queensland Koala Crusader linchpin and qualified midwife is a native of upstate New York with a passion for conservation instilled deeply as a volunteer at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Now Ms Halverson wants to harness a life of caring to help Noosa remain a special place for locals and visitors to enjoy.
"We have a great deal to be proud of and our region is a destination for many," Ms Halverson said.
"Keeping the balance right will be the key to a sustainable future for our children and their children.
Her election slogan is "Your voice for all" and has promised to help meet the shire's "emerging challenges".
"The next few years will be vital ones in preserving and enhancing the special nature of the Noosa region without sacrificing either liveability or livelihoods," Ms Halverson said.
"My passion is to see a thriving and connected community with consideration and abundant opportunities for all - including the hinterland as well as our coastal areas."
She co-founded Queensland Koala Crusaders and serves as its president.
"It was there that I honed my skills in finding common ground for collaboration between individuals and groups in order to create successful outcomes," she said.
Ms Halverson said this has sparked a "keen desire to be an effective advocate for all of Noosa".
"Our community legacy is one of both environmental and business leadership which has resulted in Noosa being such a desirable place to live, work and visit.
She said to maintain its ecological and economic balance Noosa "must be prepared to be both vigilant and innovative in creating and communicating a new vision that benefits both commerce and community".
"I don't claim to know all the answers. What I have is an approach of asking the right questions to find the right answers together," Ms Halverson said.
Ms Halverson and her partner Rex have three adult children
"I also have a love for the arts and have volunteered in various theatre capacities, from acting in the occasional theatrical production at Noosa Arts Theatre, to stage management at Noosa Alive! as well as the Woodford Folk Festival.
"Our world was rocked in 2014 when our youngest was involved in a fatal crash while on a school field trip in New Zealand where she lost her best friend and teacher. As a result I have been educated first-hand with the healing of trauma and the effects of PTSD on mental health."
Ms Halverson works in manufacturing and production at a family run business in the hinterland.
"This has been an education in the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses and local economies," she said.
"We are so fortunate to be in a place where so many have striven to provide a thriving environment, varied economy and vibrant culture.