Barker Libs elect new leader to help steer branch

Barossa resident Sophie Wilksch has been elected president at the Liberal Party’s Barker AGM, succeeding well-known Riverland local Stuart Andrew, who steps down from the role after nine years.

Mrs Wilksch works as an area coordinator at Young Life Australia in the Barossa, a global youth organisation that builds confidence, resilience, and values in Australia’s young people through mentoring and support programs, while helping to run her family’s agricultural contracting business.

Mrs Wilksch said she was excited to take on the role of president in the Barker Liberal Party and looked forward to engagement with local Liberal Party members across the vast electorate.

“I’m passionate about promoting the core Liberal values of freedom of thought, religion, speech, as well as minimising government intervention in our every day life,” Mrs Wilksch said.

“I also believe that by improving mental health outcomes, standing up for our regions and supporting the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy, we can improve our state and our nation.”

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said Mrs Wilksch would bring an enthusiastic and fresh approach to the role, along with her experiences working in the not-for-profit sector.

“As a young, driven, regional woman Sophie is a real asset to the local membership as president,” he said.

“I encouraged Sophie to nominate for the position because I believe she has something to offer the Liberal Party.

“It’s a great first step in what I hope will lead to more senior roles within the party.

“Just as I encouraged Nicola Centofanti MLC, Nicolle Flint, and more recently Laura Curren MLC to get more involved in the party, I hope that Sophie can have a positive experience, gain wider support, learn new leadership skills and help to shape our party going forward.

“Sophie’s experience in small business, farming and her strong understanding of the challenges facing our youth tells me she’s got the knowledge and skills for a very bright future.”

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