BENDIGO’s Sarah Sheedy is off to Canberra in a new role with assistant health minister Fiona Nash.
The former Nationals candidate will today take up the job of electoral officer, working on government policy and advising in the health portfolio.
The 25-year-old received the call-up in the days after her tilt for the federal seat of Bendigo.
She said it was a chance to focus on national health issues after a whirlwind local campaign.
“It has just been non-stop since the election,” she said. “I was sort of winding down from it all and had a call from Fiona (Nash) who said there was a job that had come up. It's a really exciting opportunity.”
Ms Sheedy described her campaign for Bendigo as the ultimate internship for her new role.
She said she wouldn't rule out a return to contest the seat again.
“It gave me a good taste of it,” she said. “I enjoyed every minute. I’ll just see what the future has in store. Whatever opportunity arises I’ll take it with both hands.”
Ms Sheedy said she was acutely aware of the needs of regional health issues, having lived with epilepsy.
In an interview after the election she spoke about the debilitating effect the disease has had on her life and how it almost forced her to abandon her political aspirations.
She said her own experience would not define her outlook but would give her more of an understanding of health challenges for young people.
“It does make it easier to empathise,” she said.
“Regional health is obviously a hot topic at the moment. There's a lot of great work going on already in that area and there's more to do.”
Assistant Minister Fiona Nash praised Ms Sheedy's campaign in the recent election and said she would be a great asset.