It has been a great honour to serve the Andrews Labor Government as the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Sport and Veterans in the 58th Parliament of Victoria.
My story is an example of the opportunities that this country can create for migrants to our great State.
I arrived in Melbourne from Turkey with my parents as a child. I grew up in the high rise commission flats in North Melbourne. English was a second language but I learnt English quickly and I worked hard to fit into Australian culture being mindful of my heritage and background.
I worked on the production line at Ford. I was elected as a union delegate at the age of 22 and represented hundreds workers for the Vehicle Builders Union.
I am proud of my Labor values and my advocacy for the good people of Lara and Geelong.
I have chosen to step down from my Cabinet duties to focus on my family, my health and my responsibilities representing the people of Lara.
I want to thank my Ministerial office staff, with special mention of my Chief of Staff Christina Smith, for their hard work over the past four years.
Delivering the program of commemorative events for the Centenary of Anzac was a great privilege. Representing the Victorian people for the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings will remain with me forever.
I am proud of the work we’ve done to lift the profile of women and girls in sport. In particular, the record investment of over $30 million for female friendly facilities and the creation of the Office of Women and Girls in Sport Recreation Victoria.
I am proud of our legacy in creating Visit Victoria. We now lead the way nationally with a strong Visitor Economy creating 25,000 new jobs in the industry since 2014.
I thank the people of Lara for re-electing me as their Member of Parliament and will continue to work hard to deliver outcomes for my electorate and the Geelong region.
I look forward to continuing to work hard as a member of the Andrews Labor Government.
Reviewed 19 August 2020