100 Years, Tracy Lefroy is the Second Woman Shire President
“We are resilient, and we are resourceful, we are multiskilled, we are underrepresented”.
Regional women have life experience, access to community leaders and strong values—all the right ingredients to deliver great outcomes for regional communities.
Tracy Lefroy is a mother, Livestock and Cropping farmer, previously a small business owner and now Shire President of Moora.
Tracy said her motivation for being involved in local government stems from her community and regional Western Australia love. “Things were happening within our community that I felt could be improved and changed”.
“I am not one to sit back and complain about things without affecting change. So, it was a time where I felt like I could contribute to creating positive change in our community.”
Tracy spoke warmly of her grandfather, who was the Shire President of Irwin for over 20 years. So, when someone suggested that Tracy should run back in 2017, she said,
“I think someone suggesting it to me was just the little prompt I needed to be able to have that moment of reassurance, that it could be a spot I could go to…I was also aware that if I was going to do it that I wanted to do it constructively, I needed to wait until I had the time to devote to being a solid Councillor because that is what I wanted to be.”
Preparation for the local government campaign was not too onerous, explains Tracey.
“I ran a fairly limited campaign – within the community, I had a fairly decent profile. They knew I had opinions, and I would like to think they did not see me as opinionated but rather that I had an opinion, as there is a distinct difference between the two.”
Fortunately for Tracy, she had engaged with the community many times before and in various ways. So much, she was confident that she believed her community understood that she was committed to them and communicated effectively and, most importantly, listens and learn from others.
“I think sometimes people go into elected roles or roles within a community or organisation with fairly set ideas of what they think should happen and how they should do things. I like to go into projects with a blank slate, to consider everyone’s ideas.”
Before she knew it, Tracy had started her journey in local government. In year three of her first term, she was elected to the position of president. After almost a year in the position, she said, “I feel humbled and honoured to be in this position”.
Tracy said the last four years have been busy, most notably saving the Moora Residential College. As a result, the college now has the highest enrollments it ever has, and it is a vibrant and essential part to continue to build the community.
On the flip side, Tracy states that there was some aggressive lobbying to State and Federal governments to change their minds on the Moora Residential College situation. Moora Shire chose to lobby both State and Federal governments to retain the residential college, which led to the Federal Government’s success with the funds to keep the Residential College open.
“We won the battle, but the next thing we are working on is strengthening our relationship with our state government as we have the utmost respect for them”.
Before being President, Tracy told her husband, “I have zero desire to be shire president”, thinking there would be no chance she would be taking on that role or responsibility.
Tracy is only the second female shire president of Moora, of which she said, “I find it interesting as we have been going for well over 100 years”—adding that she feels a lot of support from all the Councillors, previous and current.
One of the most challenging aspects of Tracy’s work in local government within a tight-knit community is that she always feels ‘on’. Whilst this can be exhausting, it is also rewarding, knowing she must be approachable for her local community members to come up to her to share their concerns.
Tracy, during her term, has focused on some of the more niche areas. She refers to them as the ‘softer aspects of the community. These include community development and enhancing the lifestyle of those who live, work and socialise in the Moora district through the services and amenities. In addition, Tracy has heavily focused on education, health, and the arts.
An example of Tracey’s commitment to the arts is the Gardiner Street Arts Collective, which has been a mission of hers over the last few years.
“I am passionate about helping others with their dreams and eliminating any barriers that might be in their way”.
Full audio interview available via our membership section on the website.