Labor candidate for Hinkler announced
A JOURNEY from teaching to politics was not one Richard Pascoe had originally imagined for himself.
After 18 years living in Bundaberg, the former primary school teacher has today been announced as Labor's candidate for Hinkler.
Mr Pascoe spoke to the NewsMail about the highlights and experiences he has taken from his long career, and what he hopes to accomplish if elected.
The father of four has worked in numerous jobs through his life including at service stations, a family-owned business, a voluntary position as secretary for the Queensland Council of Unions in Bundaberg and the Independent Education Union as an organiser.
"We look after all the teachers and support staff in all your non-governmental schools," Mr Pascoe said.
Even though the Brisbane native has lived in Bundaberg with his family for almost two decades, he does not yet consider himself a local.
"Is 18 years long enough to be classed as a local if you weren't born here?" Mr Pascoe laughed.
Despite never seriously considering an entrance into politics, Mr Pascoe says he is now ready for the challenge.
"It was never one of those things that came to mind," he said.
"But over the last couple of years it certainly has - that it was something to look at pursuing."
Mr Pascoe's passion for teaching has never left him and he hopes his new role will allow him to campaign for education in the region.
"The passion is there because if we aren't educating our youths, if we're not giving them the skills and abilities it causes issues down the track," he said.
"The key things are being able to listen and hear what people are saying - both as a teacher and in my current role - and also the ability to stand up and fight for what's fair and say I want to see a fair go for everyone."
Mr Pascoe says his most rewarding experience was seeing former students and having a chat and having them update him on their lives since primary school.
"I think the best part was watching these kids learn and grow, seeing them from the start of the year to where they got to at the end of the year," he said.
"Some of the most rewarding things that actually happened since I moved on from teaching was running into kids I taught 10-12 years ago saying 'look what I've done', or 'look what I've achieved' and 'these are my two little kids'."
Mr Pascoe was driven to pursue government because of concerns he personally held for the region.
"Seeing the lack of infrastructure and services being delivered through to all the Hinkler region, I thought 'no, we need to stand up and do something here'."
Mr Pascoe will begin his campaign today. An election has not yet been called.