Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Simpson's Desire to Serve Burns Deeply; New Speaker to Tackle Job with Christian Mores

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Simpson's Desire to Serve Burns Deeply; New Speaker to Tackle Job with Christian Mores

Article excerpt

Byline: KIERAN CAMPBELL

FIONA Simpson was never destined to sit on the sidelines.

Her passion for her community has driven her since she was a teenager.

During her 20 years as the Member for Maroochydore, she's tried to get one day off a week, but even when that happens, the phone is always on.

And she says that's the way she likes it.

It's why she became a politician.

The woman destined to be Queensland's first female Speaker of Parliament, says politics has never been about the power, although there is no denying she will have plenty of it in the new-look Queensland Parliament.

After a hectic election campaign, the excitement of last weekend's landslide LNP victory and a busy week preparing for her new role, Ms Simpson could have been forgiven for enjoying some quiet time at home yesterday.

But she was on the go all day.

aI just love that sense of being engaged in the community; that's what politics is,a she said.

aIt really is a way of seeking to be engaged in community and leaving the world a better place.a

It's that goal that made her one of the Opposition's leading MPs since she arrived on the scene as the Member for Maroochydore in 1992.

At 27, she was the youngest female in the parliament.

A lot has changed since, even more since her father, Gordon Simpson, held the former Coast seat of Cooroora.

Much is said about pioneering women in senior political roles, but too often the focus is on their clothes and hair, rather than what they have achieved.

Always known as a classy dresser, Ms Simpson said she decided a long time ago she wouldn't lose sleep over the few who judged female MPs on their looks.

aIs there too much focus on it? Maybe. I'm not particularly hung up on it,a she said.

aIs it a pressure? Look, I like clothes, so that doesn't bother me.

aI'm more concerned about getting on with the job.

aI can do the job. Fundamentally it has to be about your ability to do your job, regardless of gender.a

She takes inspiration from female leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, aa woman who faced some extraordinary challenges in the world and came under tremendous criticism but stood her ground because she believed that she had the best interests of people at hearta. …

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