Wednesday 1 April 2009

Schier's book launch marks one year as Mayor

"I want to record this important chapter in my life," Cairns Mayor Val Schier says, as she launches her first auto-biographical book today.

The publication marks Schier's first 12 months in office as the first female civic leader of Queensland's northern-most city.

'Changing the Guard - Why Cairns had to change', is Val Schier's second book, the first being a small collection of poems published by Tasmania’s Turtle Press in 1989.

"Woman have always been under-represented in political life and in positions of decision-making, so I wanted to share my story and the journey I took to inspire young girls to look at a leadership role in their community," Val Schier says.

'Changing the Guard' charts Cairns' first female mayor's rise in politics, after being defeated by former Mayor, Kevin Byrne in the 2004 local body elections.

Schier also reflects on her inauguaral speech as the newly elected Mayor on the 3rd April 2008. "I said back then, that many people feel dis-empowered by the political process, however it is inherent upon us, as a part of a true and healthy democracy, to govern for all - and to do so in an open, transparent, accountable, and thoroughly professional way."

"These are personal reflections, and I have told my story very honestly about why Cairns needed to change from the path it was heading down," Val Schier says. "So many things worried me greatly, like the proposed high rises on almost every hill slope around our town, that the former Cairns Council was wanting to allow."

Val says that she simply had to stand up and 'be counted'. "Too many people in life sit on the sideline and complain and wonder why things aren't a certain way," she says. "I knew I had to get involved and make my voice heard."

The Cairns Regional Mayor will officially launch her book, published by Cairns designer Jandom Press, this morning at Council's ground floor reception lounge.

She dedicates a chapter to her family losses of both her mother and brother in the last 12 months.

"I wish her all the best," Schier's closest friend and confidant Cr Dianne Forsyth said. "This is a great achievement, something that all of Cairns should celebrate."

However some Councillors have already expressed concern. "A Council chamber isn't the place for a private commercial book launch," Division 9 councillor Sno Bonneau says. "As a former printer and publisher I can see this is simply an opportunity for someone to make some money."
Cr Alan Blake was equally cautious to endorse Schier's book. "I'm a bit disappointed that the Mayor is telling her story like this. I question the timing, and reasons for bagging Kevin Byrne - saying he was an 'incompetent fool'," Blake said. "Byrne was one of the greatest political statesmen of Northern Australia. I will be looking into a code of conduct breach," Cr Blake said.

Councillor Robert Pyne says the Mayor has deliberately left out personal truths that 'we are all entitled to know.' "Where is the full story about her questionable female relationships? The Cairns Post has already asked for answers. Surely we have a right to know?" Cr Pyne asked.

However, Councillors Lesina and Leu were supportive, as was Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane, who intends to publish her 'Living my Dream Job' memoir early next year.

Val has kindly provided a few short extracts from 'Changing the Guard'

  • "As I sit here on my seafront balcony at Machans Beach, sipping Daintree herbal tea, I know we are blessed to live in God's own paradise. Cairns was going to become a concrete jungle if people like myself, Dianne [Forsyth] and Kirsten [Lesina] didn't take office. Women power was needed!"
  • "Cairns was going through such growing pains, it was obvious that a significant shift in politics was needed. For way too long, the right wing factions of the Liberals were driving our local economy, purely for profit and not for the locals. It had to change."
  • "The new town planning for both Mt Peter and Smithfield Beaches will be our single unique achievement and will embrace true tropical sustainable design elements, with no or little air conditioners. All streets will be named after local flora, fauna and insects."
  • "While I am Mayor, I will promote a By Law to approve our first legal nudist beach at Clifton - which is long overdue. Attitudes have changed over the last 15 years and so must we to meet our visitor and community's expectations."
  • "Increasing rates, whilst difficult, is something that Council's must do to pay for all the services we are mandated to provide, regardless of how people feel."
- 244-pages, contains 22 colour photographs.
- The first 100 signed copies will be available from today from Council's reception at only $19.95 (retail price $29.95). Tel 4044 3044.

'Changing the Guard' can be purchased from:-
- Crystal Ball Bookshop in Lake Street,
- The BookShelf, supporting Ruth's Women's Shelter, 95 Grafton Street.
- You can also order direct from Jandom Press.


Jude Johnston said...

Ha, Ha, Ha Mike.

Brian, Kewarra said...

This Mayor will leave with a memorable legacy to her city, unlike the former drop kick.

Good on ya Val

Schier's Sisters (Susan J) said...

Val Schier is truely a local politician we all should be proud of.

I voted for her and to see her reflection like this makes me very chuffed that we have a woman like her at the helm of our Council.

Val will make a contribution long after this ... but have we heard a thing from Bynre since he 'retired'??? Besides his rants on McKenzie's radio of course!

Women power!

Syd Walker said...

I didn't vote for Val but I did once buy her a drink.

In the good old days that would have bought me favours. How the world has changed since femocrats started taking over. Where will it all end?

Anyhow, I shall definitely visit Clifton Beach more often, to watch the dengue-infested population squirming on the beach 'au naturel'. But will kids be forced to wear clothes? I hope so. Otherwise, expect prompt Federal intervention.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

You are so going to get your arse whupped Mike, but it's very good, very good.

Paul - Maryborough said...

Well done Mike. Another scoop for Cairnsblog.

BTW .... look out for Bubba. He is asking for you. LOL

Tony Hillier said...

Nice try MM, but I'm afraid it's not in the same parish as the legendary April Fool's spaghetti tree jape!

Dutchie said...

Thanks Michael, that sure made me smile!

Thornton's Peak said...

Shier has been here 5 minutes and already thinks she has made history. What about the fantastic contribution that Councillor Blake has made thru BBQ's Galore, Furniture Associates and his private collection of sports cars...

inneu said...

Michael Moore, you're despicable.

Blow me.

Mandy Moo & Toby said...

I just knew there would be a great April Fools joke on your blog Mike....Well Done.

Noj Nedlaw said...

Noj is smiling! One of the best. Congratulations Mr Moore.

inespea said...

Michael Moore Media Tart on the local TV news no less. Total pwn - well done! (Google it if you don't know what it means)

Pam B, Edmonton said...

Syd, you talk about 'Federal intervention' if kids don't wear clothes on Clifton's proposed nude beach..... well, only if Senator Conroy has anything to do with it!

Sammy Pete said...

I reckon Uncle Mike, that 'inneu' above has the best offer, Congrats, & what a bit of fun in this dank, damp & dark climate of the $sssssssss.

Blake's cousin said...

Cr Alan Blake was equally cautious to endorse Schier's book. "I'm a bit disappointed that the Mayor is telling her story like this. I question the timing, and reasons for bagging Kevin Byrne - saying he was an 'incompetent fool',"

Now Val seems to have some sage insite here about the former mayor!

Blake said. "Byrne was one of the greatest political statesmen of Northern Australia"

I'm very surprised Alan would say that about KB! I certainly would not categorise KB's political contribution in that light!

Jude Johnston said...

What gave it away for me, apart from the Nudists at Clifton (I guess the Glencorp Apartments could have become the new "White Cockatoo), was the new Smithfield Town Centre having no or only a few aircoditioners. I must say that I did get to there before I "twigged", but in my defence, I hadn't had my morning coffee.

Val Schier said...

It brought a smile to a lot of faces and brought both Channel 7 and WIN to the council for the "launch"!

Not sure what quotes the news bulletin chose but I did say that the clever hoax demonstrated the creativity of Tropical North Queenslanders.

Good to know that April fooling is still possible.