New MP tears up recalling childhood trauma
ONE of Australia's newest members of federal parliament has fought back tears recalling her difficult childhood.
Bridget Archer, the new Liberal member for Bass in northern Tasmania, raised her "not so happy" childhood memories to praise work the government has initiated towards preventing domestic and sexual violence.
"Childhood trauma has far reaching consequences for individuals and for our society, including significant mental health challenges," she said in her first speech to the lower house.
"In recent years, with the help of some wonderful doctors and support services, I have finally found better ways to cope, to build resilience and strength."
The former mayor of George Town Council on Thursday also highlighted some of her other priorities for her time in parliament, including tackling the challenges of an ageing demographic and education.
The mother-of-five narrowly beat her predecessor Ross Hart at the May 18 election, clinching the seat over Labor's candidate by a 563-vote margin.
She thanked Mr Hart for advocating strongly for constituents in the region, while also expressing gratitude for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny.
Mr Morrison surprised the new MP by visiting the Launceston-based electorate on election day, which also happened to be her birthday.
Bass and the neighbouring seat of Braddon were both won by the Liberals from Labor at the election, proving vital in the coalition's surprise win.
"Marginal seats speak for the nation," Ms Archer said, vowing to take up local issues with ministers and the partyroom.
She said the Liberals' win was proof the party had reconnected with its support base.
"The everyday, quiet Australians making their way in the world, taking personal responsibility, working hard, raising families, aspiring to live their best lives," Ms Archer said.