Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

A Minister’s Winning Ways

Victor Dominello (Pictured) giving his speech as Warrane’s Wednesday formal dinner guest

The NSW Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs, The Honourable Victor Dominello MP, gave residents and staff an intimate and candid insight into his rise to power in the State Government during his visit on 5 October 2011.

Mr Dominello explained that after being a member of the Liberal Party, beginning with membership of the young Liberals, he had decided to quit politics and concentrate on his career as a lawyer.

He became a partner in Etheringtons Solicitors in North Sydney and was very happy with his life, but then, after about 10 years, an old friend from the Young Liberals approached him and asked if he would run for office in the electorate of Ryde.

Since then, he hasn’t looked back, winning the first poll with a 23.1 percent swing – one of the largest recorded two-party swings in Australian political history and the second with another big swing, and entering the ministry in his first term of government.

During his talk he spoke of all three of his portfolios. On Aboriginal Affairs, he expressed his conviction that the lives of Aborigines would improve in future generations due to efforts to ensure that many more Aborigines made it to university and completed degrees.

A big part in this, he said, is the work being done by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience which seeks to encourage school students to aim for university.

Turning his attention to “volunteering”, Mr Dominello pointed out that volunteer work is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion each year.

He said the Government would “go broke” if it had to pay for the services provided by volunteers and congratulated Warrane on the “extraordinary” contribution it has made in this area.

He congratulated the College in particular on its recent contributions to the aid for those affected by the Queensland floods.

He also mentioned the volunteer work by residents at the Mount St Joseph’s Home for the Aged and the assistance they give to the soup kitchen run by the Missionaries of Charity.

“These are fantastic works, as are the long-running overseas work camps that Warrane organises. “You obviously should be very proud of this College and the work that you do.”

[Warrane College offers more than just accommodation to students at UNSW: Details of other guest speakers are available here]