BMO communications manager to run for councillor
AS SOMEONE who has lived in the Western Downs for most her life, Dalby local Megan James knows the value of loyalty to the community, and has an appreciation for its citizens.
It’s these important traits that Mrs James will be bringing as she throws her hat in the ring to become a councillor for the Western Downs Regional Council.
The local business consultant, active community member, small business owner and mother of three teenagers has committed to focusing on ‘what matters to you’ in her campaign to become one of the Western Downs Region’s Councillors in the upcoming local elections.
Mrs James, who grew up on a local cotton and grain property, is Communications-Marketing Manager of regional firm BMO Accountants and a former Dalby Chamber of Commerce board member, said strong communication is the key to creating a strong region.
Mrs James, who has 28 years business experience, tertiary qualifications, and further training in facilitation, team building, and pastoral care, has spent many years working at the “coal face” with farming and small business clients across the Western Downs region.
She said her goal was to provide locals with what they really want.
“Spread across our region are people who are doing amazing things despite difficult conditions, there are people with ideas, people with a strong sense of what makes our communities tick, people who know what services we need, what infrastructure can help us remain strong and grow,” she said.
“In talking to people in the region, I have found they are really looking for Councillors to represent them with commonsense, credibility, community spirit and compassion.
“It’s important to retain some experience in Council, but it’s just as important to inject new people to bring fresh ideas, renewed energy and healthy debate to the table. I’m excited about this opportunity to weave my personal and professional experiences into serving my community.”
Mrs James is no stranger to public service.
After finishing her schooling in Dalby, she went to Brisbane for university and worked in government and consulting in the mid-late 90s where she did regular briefings to Ministerial policy advisers and media advisers including briefing papers and speech notes for various Federal and State Ministers and Premiers.
She gained further business experience consulting in Brisbane, Newcastle, across industries including agriculture, town planning, energy, construction, health, aged care, medical research, before returning to Dalby in 2004.
After several years on a family farm, the James family established Western Downs Transport, a grain and cotton carting operation, and Megan joined a local accounting firm to establish a marketing division.
Mrs James said while government and corporate life taught her about business and governance, it’s the grassroots community connections that are the real learning ground.
“Being at the boardroom table can be a great learning experience, but it’s often around the BBQ at the school P & C fundraiser, at the local footy club or the Relay for Life midnight soup stall where you learn what’s really important,” she said.
Listening to young people is also a key part of Mrs James’ election platform.
“We have Gen Zs moving into leadership roles in our businesses and communities, we need to take the time to understand what type of community they want in 10 or 20 years’ time,” she said.
“My background is in journalism, PR, business and facilitation. Throughout my career I have had to take complex issues or projects, learn about them, and then translate the key messages to the key audiences – in a language that people can understand. I believe I can offer people of all ages the opportunity to share their stories, issues and ideas so that I can communicate them appropriately at the decision making table.
“This region has so much opportunity and potential. Together, we can make the Western Downs a place that others envy.”