From farm to parliament, Marino remains on target

Humble beginnings: Nola Marino has risen to become Australia's first and only female chief government whip but she said her focus remains on doing a good job for those who elected her.
Humble beginnings: Nola Marino has risen to become Australia's first and only female chief government whip but she said her focus remains on doing a good job for those who elected her.

Sitting across from the first ever female chief government whip in Australia, those who don't know her would be forgiven for thinking Nola Marino was just like any other person.

With the federal election expected to be called in May, the Forrest MP of 13 years still shows passion for her region with a long to do list.

"Every election is hard fought and this one will be the same - people are going to want to know they can trust you to get the job done," she said.

"Given the South West is one of the most diverse electorates in Australia, having a strong economy from a federal level down really matters to business and to people who live and work here.

Mrs Marino lists her work for youth allowance, endometriosis, cyber safety, mobile connectivity and bringing headspace to the region as some of her greatest achievements. 

"I'm inordinately proud of the producers here, I'm the only dairy farmer in parliament and to be able to represent not only that industry but the agriculture sector, you have to be able to have strong voices in this space and I certainly do that," she said.

"I've worked with so many amazing volunteers and I've got enormous respect for our emergency services people, partly because my mum and dad were really dedicated to the community and we were raised in Brunswick where there were no services readily available and the community had to look after itself and each other.

"Looking after each other matters and caring about people, their families and their businesses really matters and that's what I'm here to do." 

Her advice: "just put your hand up" and it is this that has gotten her to where she is today.

"My husband and I bought our first dairy farm on the day we got married - a steep learning curve," she said. 

"Every thing I've done has been about having the courage to put my hand up, take the job on and do it the best way I can - that's my advice to any person wanting to take on any role."

Mrs Marino said it was important to her to never take the opportunity for granted.

"I just think you've got to make the most of every day, whether it's life, whether it's politics, no-one is guaranteed tomorrow," she said.

"I think it's a fantastic example of our system of government that someone raised in Brunswick, a dairy farmer from Harvey, involved in community can get to do the things I get to do.

"I walk into parliament house and it's frequently dark, minus seven and I walk up the hill to this house and I can see the flag. 

"How amazing is it that someone like me can get to do this."