OPINION: My first impressions of Ipswich's mayor
LIVING in Melbourne in the nineties was a truly unique experience.
Life unfolds, twisting and turning through the years like a roller-coaster.
Ipswich wasn't the place where I saw my future-self living, but for the past five years this regional city has gradually worked it's magic on me.
Last week I sat down with our Mayor Paul Pisasale.
My mission? To find out what makes him tick and see the world through his eyes.
His schedule is vast and wide reaching to say the least.
He thrives in this community that he has had big hand in creating.
With the centre of town being re-developed, not only do big industry and community leaders trust his vision, our mayor is being called upon to assist and advise these efforts, being invited to international speaking engagements from New York to Asia and beyond.
As a young person in Ipswich the mayor made a point of saying to me, "this will be your town one day I'm doing what I can for you guys and girls”.
I got a sense he is aware of his own mortality, but what struck me is how much he cares, how fair he is and to me he has a natural decency.
As with anyone he has his critics and certain people definitely do run Ipswich down.
Being the mayor is challenging, he does what he can to raise the regions profile and boost morale with solid energy and effort.
Paul Pisasale wants people to feel welcome, to move out into our regions and to build a decent life for themselves in an affordable well-resourced city.
Cr Pisasale wants both he newer residents and long-standing locals to hold our heads high and work together to dispel the myths sometimes associated with regional cities like ours.
When it comes to security Ipswich has it covered.
We have our police force and CCTV network working in accordance with one another.
If that's not enough the F-18's at RAAF Base Amberley can always come and pay any foe a visit.
You can feel safe to run, walk your dog and raise your kids in a place like Ipswich.
Meeting the mayor was very interesting and a pleasure.
Although I still have much to learn we all need to know our leaders have the communities best interests at heart.
Paul Pisasale is not typical, old fashioned, or stuck in his ways.
He knows what community is.
In my opinion Ipswich is a great place to live.
It's about having pride and respect for where you live and being proud of where you come from.
When you care about something or someone you will protect it.
That's what I discovered sitting down with the mayor.
He is a fair man who does what he can to represent his city well.