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Candidates - Country

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Brenden Brown

Fairness, equality and hard work, are some of Brendens values and he believes you share them with him.  

Brenden believes things can be better, that as a community of progressives we have the best understanding how to make things not only grow but thrive! Those “Things” being communities, economies and families.

As a Podiatrist, DrFoot, Brenden is the beneficiary of that capacity to grow, matched with equality, assisted by free education. Without the values of the Party his working class family, Dad a boiler maker, mum who an early childhood teacher would have never have been able to afford me those opportunities. 

Brenden would like to help continue the strong narrative we have, as part of the policy forum. 

Michelle Miran


Michelle is asking for your support as a focused Country Labor woman to represent you on the NSW State Policy Forum. Michelle offers extensive experience in the NSW branch of the ALP, having held many positions including branch president, secretary, SEC President, country and state conference delegate, NSW state election candidate, Upper House candidate and policy committee representation. Michelle is a retired member of the ASU.

Sadly we did not win the 2019 state election in spite of superior people and policies. The electorate either didn’t hear or didn’t understand what was on offer. Michelle believes it is abundantly clear to all of us that we must rebuild policies and articulate a narrative that is understandable, relatable and achievable.

Health, affordable housing, education/TAFE, regional economic development, jobs, domestic and family violence and mental health are policies that Michelle is mparticularly concerned about in the regional context.


Mark Braes


Born and undertaking primary schooling in Broken Hill, Mark Braes returned home in 2016 to take up employment as a Mediator.

Mark has previously worked as a Lawyer in private practice and as a Member of the South Australian Workers Compensation Tribunal working as a Conciliation Officer.

Mark is a previous member of the Millicent sub-branch of SA Labor and a past President of the SA Country Labor Association.  Mark was a Councillor of Wattle Range Council serving one term as Mayor.

Mark believes it is critical to ensure when developing state policy that it is informed by the needs of rural and remote communities. Ensuring consistency and equity in state service delivery and funding is crucial to ensure all communities in NSW develop and prosper in a socially just manner. Mark knows this can only occur by ensuring policy development rigorously accounts for the needs of rural and remote communities.         


Asren Pugh


Asren Pugh is asking for your vote to be a Country Labor member of the State Policy Forum. He has been a member of the Labor Party for over 17 years and is committed to ensuring that Labor gets elected in NSW with a strong platform of environmental sustainability, social and economic justice and economic policies that support working class people to have good, well paid, union jobs. He was the Country Labor candidate for Ballina at the recent election so has a good grasp of the policy challenges that face Country Labor in regional NSW.


Asren has worked all his life in the union and environment movements and looks forward to working with unions, MPs and other rank and file delegates to build a solid policy platform that delivers action on climate change, great schools and hospitals, good regional jobs, transport, housing and a Labor victory in 2023.

Leanne Atkinson

Leanne believes that in the wake of a third state election defeat, we must now redefine what Labor stands for.
Leanne was the candidate for Bega in the last State election and had the privilege of talking to people from all walks of life. It became clear to her that rural people did not feel the Coalition was working for them. Despite this they did not choose Labor. Leanne believes we need to change that by developing policies that work for them.
Leanne believes that Labor has lost sight of its important story and that it needs to include rural people. She believes core Labor principles must provide the basis for policy in the future.
Leanne’s work experience in the country includes engagement with rural community and business groups, farmers, local Aboriginal representatives, young people and Local Government.
Leanne’s experience will help shape policy going forward and therefore would like the opportunity to contribute through the NSW Labor Policy Forum.​

Vanessa Keenan

Vanessa Keenan has been a strong advocate for improving public transport with a focus on intra-regional passenger rail services. She has an acute understanding of regional issues and plays an active role in lobbying for equitable services for regional communities through her role as a City Councillor and work in developing strategic plans for regional communities across the state.

Vanessa was elected as a Labor Councillor to Wagga Wagga City Council in 2016 and stood as a Country Labor Upper House Candidate in the 2019 State election. Vanessa works as a Management Consultant specialising in strategic planning, policy development, community engagement, and communications. 

She is a Director of Riverina Water County Council, Chair of Wagga Wagga Floodplain Risk Management Committee and a member of several local committees.

She has over 18 years of experience working with and within the private sector, non-profit, State and Local Governments across regional NSW.

James Bartlett

James is a current student of Social Work after completing Studies in Community Services and Mental Health.

Since moving to the Hunter region in 2015 James has been working with State and Federal MP’s.

James was motivated to join the Labor Party having grown up on the Mid-North Coast, seeing the consequences of regional neglect.  James is passionate about social justice with a desire to protect and improve the quality of life for all people.

James has been passionate about Youth and Mental health working in a number of forums to promote the rights of Health consumers and

James is an active board member of Health Consumers NSW, having been elected at 18 years old to represent the Schizophrenia fellowship of NSW. 

James has been actively involved in Local, State and Federal campaigning and is looking forward to building on our platform of policies to ensure the issues that challenge regional communities and members of our party.

Kylie Rose


As a true believer who joined the Labor Party as a teenager, Kylie is proud to be nominating for the NSW Policy Forum. 

Kylie Rose was raised in the Barwon electorate, Educated in the Northern Tablelands, worked in what was the Murray-Darling, lived in the Tweed electorate and now call the electorate of Lismore her home.

Kylie and her husband Danny have raised their two children Isaac and Ella on the beautiful NSW North Coast where I own and operate a small business as a country solicitor.

There is a great diversity amongst our rural and regional areas and our core values remain the same.

Kylie holds strong Labor values and will always stand up for the things that matter to country people such as:

  • Retaining Government services in regional areas
  • Ensuring Country NSW gets its fair share of funding
  • Creating training and job opportunities in the regions
  • Investing in our schools and hospitals
  • Standing up for social justice and fighting disadvantage
  • Protecting our environment and keeping NSW CSG-free


Kylie is asking for your vote for the Policy Forum to build on policies that ensure Labor returns to Government.