Susan Davies

Susan Davies received a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education in 1976.

In her own words

I was the Victorian Member of Parliament for Gippsland West 1997-2002 (Independent).

My unexpected win at the 1997 by-election gave hope to people who opposed the Kennett Government at a time when Kennett seemed all-powerful and triumphant.

My win also gave the Labor party hope when they needed it.

I was a voice of dissent in the Parliament and outside; a very ordinary person who was able to speak up at a time when speaking up was hard.

My (even more unexpected) re-election at the 1999 State election gave me the balance of power with the other two independents- both of whom were conservatives when I am not. I initiated and did most of the drafting of the Charter which we used to decide government.

Once we were in Parliament, I kept the Bracks Government looking like a stable government, while Craig [Ingram] and Russell [Savage] usually voted against their legislation. Without my support, the Bracks minority Government would not have been so successful or popular. In fact, their success and vote-swinging led to Labor topping me out into the unwinnable third highest vote, and subsequent loss, at the 2002 state election.

After politics, I started the Bass Coast Community Foundation and later the Energy Innovation Co-operative in my own region (South Gippsland/ Bass Coast). I still work with the Co-op and with a local food producers' group, ‘Grow Lightly’.

I run a 24ha farm at Outtrim - in the heart of what was my electorate - with cows, calves, fruit and vegies, and revegetation along the creek.

I’m trying to write a book of that period because that history has not yet been written, but life and farm work keep getting in the way.