NEWS, COMMUNITY, RECREATION, FRIENDS & FAMILY | MUSWELLBROOK, SINGLETON & SURROUNDS

June 22, 2024 3:55 AM

Peree Prepares for State Election

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BY ALEX TIGANI

There were mixed emotions for Branxton’s Peree Watson when announced as Labor’s candidate for the Upper Hunter on Saturday.

Standing before family, friends and supporters, the proud mother of three paid tribute to her late father moments after she was brought forth to the public.

It made for a melancholic introduction at Singleton’s picturesque Rose Point Park.

“I am a Branxton girl and proud daughter of a mining union president,” she explained.

“My Dad, who we lost this year, would be very proud of me today.”

Her father Mick Watson was described as one of the most important mining union figures of the modern era when he passed away with complications associated with a melanoma in April, aged 78.

“He taught me what it is to fight for your community, and this is something I have done my entire life in all of the roles that I have had,” she added.

Peree’s CV is diverse, revealing that she has gone from working for her local newspaper to owning a Café before working for charities, including Got Ya Back Sista and the Mark Hughes Foundation, for the past 15 years.

“The past 15 years I have been working in charity and the reason I have worked there is I felt that was the place where I thought I could do the most good,” she continued.

“I could work with communities and work with people who were at the lowest point of their lives to really make a difference in lifelong investment from medical research and making a massive difference to the lives of women escaping domestic violence.”

Labor has only held the seat in 1910 when William Ashford won the Upper Hunter by-election in April only to lose the general election in October that year.

Former candidate Melanie Dagg showed promise in 2019 when polling 13,900 votes with only 44 days of preparation for the last general election while Jeff Drayton represented Labor at last year’s by-election.

The inclusion of Branxton in the seat’s revised map may be a factor ahead of March 25.

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