Marriage Equality: Local Councillor takes a stand

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Rachel Hill with her children and Willoughby Mayor Gail Gidney
Rachel Hill with her children and Willoughby Mayor Gail Gidney

Willoughby Councillor and mother of three, Rachel Hill, and has been passionately campaigning for Marriage Equality. She explains why she is so determined to make a stand for this issue on a local level. 

Some of you may know that I’m the Willoughby Councillor that co-jointly put a Marriage Equality motion to council. I am passionate about representing the views of our community and the high percentage of residents surveyed in our community that indicated their support.

With the motion, we weren’t expecting to change the views of those opposed, nor force churches into providing the service. It was simply a symbolic motion to have our Government acknowledge that all family constituents in Willoughby (and beyond) should have equality as a legal human right.

Equality simply means – the same opportunities for all.

I spoke up at a local level because when the leaders of our country fail to take leadership on an issue, it gives rise for others at various levels of government to be the voice of those they represent. Constituents were writing to me, frustrated by the politics, and as I was raised with Christian values and with some interesting insight, it gave me a deeper appreciation.

My job as your Councillor is to be a voice for our community, especially the vulnerable, and in this situation that means a legal opportunity to marry the person you love to create a safe and warm environment.

I work in Corporate Social Responsibility, focused on creating a sustainable future – where our corporate operations counteract our impact on our people, environment and community. I constantly review the current issues in our society, such as disease, illness, disadvantage and environmental destruction, and work to create ways to reverse or minimise our impact. How we treat our people is pivotal to the success of our program, so equality is always a priority as we pride ourselves on – such as working towards equal pay levels for all genders, parental leave allowances etc.

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Willoughby Councillor Rachel Hill co-jointly put a marriage equality motion to council

I was raised in a blended ‘modern family’. A single divorced Mum in a defacto, heterosexual relationship with a Chinese cardiologist whom she was with for eight years. It was the late 1970’s, early 80s, so quite unusual at the time, but these were the happiest years of my childhood – living in a loving, stable household playing tennis with friends on the weekend, skiing, swimming and racing our rabbits in the backyard. I felt completely loved and we were financially secure, yet I was aware that other people were judgemental of my mum and her partner’s unconventional relationship.

When the relationship ended (due to a number of factors including the traditional Chinese views held by parents), my Mum, whom he had supported whilst at university studying law, went into practice as a Criminal Lawyer.

She worked both sides of the law, both prosecuting and defending murderers, drug dealers and armed robbers. She also worked for the Department of Child Sexual assault unit at Parramatta prosecuting offenders, a position that affected her greatly due to the confronting and horrific crimes to children. Meanwhile, my sister and I attended an Anglican School for Girls and she worked hard to keep us there. We were taught at school and by our ‘Nanna’ (Dad’s Mum) to “undo to others as you would want them to undo to you”.

So you see, I look at the world that we live in – the unrest, crime, fear (mostly due to religion) and can’t help but want all the money and energy spent fighting and causing fear to go into curing diseases and illness, feeding the starving, protecting our environment, being smarter about how we operate so our next generations can enjoy our beautiful planet and give voice to those without the power or ability to speak for themselves.

Will there be failed relationships? Absolutely. Will divorce lawyers rub their hands in anticipation? Does a bee buzz? You bet. But we will also have the beauty (and economical improvement as New Zealand is getting a lot of our business) of a wedding in the most spectacular scenic venue on earth – Australia (totally bias).

Rachel Hill with her children and Willoughby Mayor Gail Gidney

Rachel Hill with Willoughby Mayor Gail Gidney

 


For the upcoming elections, Rachel is running in Sailors Bay Ward, second on a ticket (which means she needs a strong vote).

If you would like to support her she is Group A – Team Fernandez and require a ‘1 above the line’. Visit  ‘Councillor Rachel Hill’ Facebook page for details.

A note from Rachel: A little shout out to my husband. Our marriage is the only ‘official’ marriage I have ever experienced and we are celebrating 13 years tomorrow! Thank you for your commitment through good times and bad, in sickness and in health. We hope everyone has the choice to make this decision in Australia.

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