As NSW voters get ready for the poll on March 23, seven candidates have put their hands up for the seat of Wagga. The Nationals' Mackenna Powell has drawn the number seven spot on the ballot paper.
Mackenna Powell has called the Wagga area home for her whole life and, having been raised on a farm, continues to work primarily with the rural sector.
"I grew up on a farm west of Wagga at Galore and I've lived here all my life. My nan is 95 and no one in our family has moved away. My nan has four children, and all of their families are here," she said.
Ms Powell, who has two daughters, Grace, 22, and Honor, 18, is an insurance manager.
"I do all insurance, but about 85 per cent of my portfolio would be farming clients," she said.
"I worked for 12 years as an accountant and I specialised in agriculture. A lot of that was during the 2000s drought. I helped a lot of our farming clients with their rural assistance loans and things like that."
My aim is to take the voice of our people to Sydney, not deliver the voice of Sydney back here.
Ms Powell said her daughters being adults was behind the timing of her bid.
"Now, because my children are grown, I can dedicate the time to it. I don't know how people in parliament do it with young children. I think that is amazing," she said.
"I've always been involved in the community - and from a strong farming background - so I just want to make sure that we have a strong voice and we don't miss out.
"It's not an easy time in politics at all. A lot of people have had enough. But I say to people 'If you don't want to follow a particular party, vote for who you think will be the strongest voice'. My aim is to take the voice of our people to Sydney, not deliver the voice of Sydney back here.
"I think, coming from a farming background and working hands-on in the community and being a part of the community and being a mum, I know and appreciate what people go through.
"The government is in a great position and we don't want to miss out because we don't have a seat at the table.
"I'm going there to fight for the people from here. I'm not going there to get a message and bring it back. I'm not here to deliver a message, I'm here to listen."
Ms Powell is the only female candidate in the line-up of seven, and says her being a woman has been largely unremarkable during the campaign.
"I haven't received any backlash. The Nationals is a party that does have 40 per cent women representation, which is fabulous," she said.
"But I would like to think people don't vote for me because I am a woman, but because I'm the best person for the job.
"Someone asked me the other day do I believe in quotas. I absolutely believe every time it should be the best person for the job.
"I know that in politics, people have been overlooked because they were a woman, but they were the best person for the job, so that's really disappointing.
"I'm never here to push my own agenda. I'm here to be the voice of the community."
During the most recent Wagga floods, Ms Powell said she found it difficult to "sit by and do nothing".
"That's another reason I'm running for politics because if you're in a position and you can, then you should," she said.
Ms Powell organised a trivia night and, having brought in the support of more than 300 businesses, raised more than $10,000, which was used in improving community gardens.
The biggest issue in Wagga at the moment, Ms Powell believes, is crime.
"The reason this came to me was because I was sitting at home with my air-conditioning on and my windows open and I closed my windows because I didn't feel safe," she said.
"I wake up every night thinking 'Is my car being stolen and burnt out?'. I'm feeling this and so many other people in our community are feeling this. Everyone has the right to feel safe.
But, Ms Powell believes, addressing crime "isn't just about putting more police officers on the ground".
"There's a whole range of stakeholders involved. We need to engage with youth. We need to transition young people into jobs, we need to get people off the streets. We need to stop these burnt out cars and crack down on crime," she said.
"Everyone needs to feel safe in the community.
It's a really big concern for people in our area. In my discussions with stakeholders, I've found out that we have a lot of facilities here that are fabulous, but they are only open 9am until 5pm, five days a week.
"If my child came home at 2am, high on ice, I wouldn't know where to go or what to do. At the moment, the options are you can ring the local police station, you can go to the emergency department or you can ring the national drug hotline.
"We need to do more. That's why I've come up with the petition to open a 24-hour drug, alcohol and domestic violence centre, a safe haven for people to go to, but also for families and supporters to go to and get help and advice as well.
"Whether I'm elected or not, I will be continuing with that petition because I just think that is something we so desperately need in this area."
Ms Powell also wants to see mobile phone black spots eliminated and more funding for country roads.
In the Powell family, there is apparently a saying: "What would Nan do?"
Nan is Joan Powell, 95, and what would she do in this election? Vote for her granddaughter, of course.
Mrs Powell said she's "not much for politics", but she had taken an interest since her granddaughter's pre-selection.
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