Don arrived in Australia as a 14-year-old looking for a better life. He joined his brother Tony and his wife Ann in Manjimup, went back to school after a long absence, eventually attending University and graduating as a Psychologist and Social Worker.
As a proud Australian, Don feels that this country has been exceptionally good to him and throughout his career and life, has always tried to give back to regional Western Australia in every way.
Married at the age of 24, Don moved to Moora and then Collie and had two children, Alan and Daniel. Don’s first wife passed away through heart disease. A few years later Don met and married Helen, a Bunbury girl whose family also migrated here just after the second world war and together they have a third son David.
Don worked in community services throughout the South West and eventually throughout regional Western Australia as a member of the Executive Service of the Public Sector. For Don, this experience confirmed that careful planning needs to be undertaken to adequately achieve sustainable growth of our regions. He feels strongly that social, economic and community issues need to be well-thought-out in this planning, to ensure that no one is ‘left behind’.
In 1998 Don became the CEO of the South West Development Commission and led a strong team, committed to the future of our region. During this time projects have been as varied as supporting the development of aged care services, youth services, town centre renewal programs, and tourism development, just to name a few. More recently Don was responsible for developing and taking through Government major business cases for projects such as the Busselton Airport, Bunbury Port and the Bunbury waterfront. Don left the SWDC in July 2016 to stand for the Seat of Bunbury.
Over 35 years of his career Don has developed an understanding of Government and how it works. He wants to use this knowledge to be a strong and effective voice for Bunbury and our region.
Don has many other passions in life and with his wife Helen, has developed a small business in sailing and boating education and understands the trials, rewards and challenges of small business.
Don believes we need action on environmental and financial sustainability issues, in inclusion of all people in our community and a ‘fair go’ and social justice for all. In building a prosperous Bunbury for the future, Don believes that these principles are of vital importance.