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From immigrant to Mayor

By Mat Hatcher, Mayor of Eurobodalla

In 2013 when living in Canberra I travelled to the coast to attend my Australian Citizenship ceremony at Eurobodalla Council. I never would have believed the path my life would take from that day to where I am now. It was that day I decided it was time to get back to the coast, so I left my job and made the move. For the first year I chose to work little and play a lot of golf. It took me around three months to realise I didn’t want to sit back. This was home now so it was time to make a difference.

First I joined the Batemans Bay Business & Tourism Chamber where I met business owners and leaders in the community. It was such a great chance to surround myself with others that wanted to make things happen and were energised to do it quickly. I started my first business - a mobile coffee van - and that gave me the opportunity to get in front of a lot of locals and meet so many people across the shire. From there I started donating time to various groups and raising funds for non-profits. This opened my eyes to the lack of resources we had in regional Australia and that by rolling up your own sleeves you could make a huge impact.

My passion is this community and making it great place to raise a family. I’m incredibly proud to have been elected by Eurobodalla residents to be the face and voice of their shire. I’m so pleased to work alongside my fellow councillors and so enthused by the work they have put in already in these early days. While we are mostly new to local government, we’re putting the hours in to catch up on the issues in the community.

Putting all that together in a region that is thought of as very parochial, it’s strange to think a boy from Alabama would be chosen to lead this community. But taking a step back, I think I understand why. Through bushfires, floods and the current pandemic, residents want someone who is going to roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches. Residents want clear communication between themselves and the council and want to “see themselves” represented. The new councillor group is just that; we are your neighbour, your social advocate and even your barista. Just a group of people who want the same things you want.

So, in closing thank you. Thanks to all those residents who took the time to meet a candidate and support them. Whether the person you voted for is a councillor or not, know that we are all here working for you. We are available and we want to deliver on promises made. Mayor Mathew Hatcher will share a message with the community on the first Thursday of every month


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