Sam BirrellSam BirrellSam Birrell

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I grew up on a property between Murchison and Toolamba, on the banks of the Goulburn River, with my three sisters. Mum was a teacher at Shepparton High School and Dad was a lawyer.

I went to primary school at Toolamba and then St Brendan’s in Shepparton. After two years at Shepparton High School, I went to board at Assumption College.

I started University after year 12, but it wasn’t for me at that stage, so I started work on a farm in Ardmona. The farm had orchards, cattle and hay production, and after two years of absolutely loving the work there I began a degree in Agricultural Science at University of Melbourne Dookie campus.

After graduation and travelling around Australia a bit, I started work as an agronomist at a local rural supplies business. My main job was soil and leaf analysis and pest identification for local orchards and vineyards. The most important thing to happen to me in this time was meeting Lisa, my wife. Lisa is from Melbourne but as an agricultural science professional, had moved to Shepparton to work in the dairy industry. We have a daughter who is 13 and a son who is 11.

I then worked as an agronomist for an Israeli company – Netafim, who are pioneers in micro irrigation solutions for agriculture. That job took me all over Australia and New Zealand, working on agricultural projects. I also presented at conferences in Chile, Thailand, China, and Israel. It was a great opportunity to understand different regional communities, and how our region compared and could progress.

After completing the Fairley Leadership program in 2013, I was very interested helping the newly formed Committee for Greater Shepparton as a volunteer. I thought that the development of the Committee was a great step forward for us, so we could align the leadership in the region and ensure our story and aspirations were front and centre in the mind of decision makers in Canberra and Melbourne. I became CEO of the Committee in 2016 and remained in that role until 2021. I believe we made a positive contribution to the development of the Goulburn Valley, and I learnt a lot about the political process and how best to ensure that our region is catered for when it comes to investment and policy.

I love this region, and am very proud to live, work and raise a family here. Many people would say that I never miss an opportunity to talk the place up. I want to be the MP for Nicholls because I want to see everyone here do well, with great educational and economic opportunities and pathways into the career of their choice. I want ensure people are looked after by the government, especially those who are marginalised, while at the same time making certain that Australia continues to be one of the best governed countries in the world. After all I have seen and learned, I am convinced that an locally engaged National Party member in a coalition government is the best way to achieve this.