Stephen has been an orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal North Shore Hospital for 30 years, specialising in the treatment of spinal injuries. Fourteen years ago he established a network of surgeons, based at the RNS Hospital, that has provided orthopaedic and trauma services to Dubbo Base Hospital. It provides an essential service to a significant portion of rural NSW. With his leadership, this service continues to flourish. With Cathy his wife, he has raised five children, all of whom attended Chatswood high School. He is actively involved in the upbringing of his ten grandchildren.
He became involved in politics after observing the attempts of the state Labour and Liberal parties to divest the campus at the Royal North Shore Hospital. A decision that was clearly not in the best long-term interests of our community. After community protests, which were sustained over a period of five years, this decision has been reversed. Such poor decision making in government extends not only to the health system but also the education system, the management of our economy and defence expenditure. It emphasises the importance of community involvement in the political process. With that in mind, Stephen has nominated as an independent for the seat of North Sydney. His nomination has been supported by Ted Mack who has on two occasions been elected as the Federal member for the seat.
Stephen believes that the two-party political system as it currently operates in Australia does not ensure that elected members of parliament are free to represent the needs of their communities. Policy is determined not at the ballot box, but by internal party politics and influential lobby groups. The individuals that represent our communities are elected by the party preselection process. A process which increasingly does not occur based on democratic principles. He believes that Australian democracy would benefit greatly from the election of true independents who are free to act on behalf of their electorate in Parliament. Free to be advocates for affordable healthcare, affordable education and sustainable economic development. As a nation, we need to embrace the digital age and put in place the infrastructure that will facilitate economic development and innovation in the provision of essential services such as health and education.
In the last few decades, the public service has become accountable to politicians rather than the community that it serves. This has resulted in public policies which are neither logical or based on sound economic principles. This needs to change. Similarly, government needs to be accountable for its actions and to function in an open and transparent manner. If Stephen is elected to parliament, his role will be to be a advocate for these principles and to ensure that the unique needs of our community are made clear to the elected government of the day.