Nineteen-year-old Darwin woman Emily Ford thinks the Darwin City Council could do with a younger, fresher voice – her own.
Ms Ford will stand as a candidate in the August 26 council elections.
The Darwin-born woman is among 16 people contesting the ward of Lyons, where she’s lived for more than five years.
The ward – one of four in Darwin – takes in the city precinct and the suburbs of Bayview, Fannie Bay, The Gardens, Larrakeyah, Parap, Stuart Park and Woolner.
Ms Ford said she believes she’s one of the youngest people to ever contest a seat on the council.
“Everyone is surprised at how young I am and that I’m running,” she said.
“I think that’s something really interesting for them. I feel like young, Indigenous people are not the run-of-the-mill people who run for politics.
“People are always very intrigued.”
A junior research assistant on Indigenous knowledge at Charles Darwin University, Ms Ford is also training for a pilot’s licence to fly a fixed-wing aircraft after receiving a scholarship through the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.
Until recently she was also a member of the Youth Advisory Committee to the Darwin City Council, but stepped down to contest the upcoming elections.
In May, Ms Ford was a member of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament.
She has also completed a Certificate in Business Governance through the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.
Ms Ford said she wanted to raise awareness of the maintenance programs available in Darwin.
Conservation and biosecurity were also important to her, as was preserving local histories, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
“Biosecurity is something I’m really passionate about, so managing invasive plants, animals and diseases,” she said.
“That’s something I would really like to bring into more focus in Darwin. There’s things that affect a lot of the nurseries like myrtle rust.
“There are things like Poinciana trees. They are very pretty, but they are an invasive species and they are not really good.”