Julia is the SA-BEST candidate for the seat of Croydon. She is a strong campaigner for pokies reform and has personally experienced first-hand the horrors of pokie addiction.
She was born on Eleventh St in Bowden around the corner from where her father opened the first feta cheese factory in SA on Hawker St. The family business grew and so they moved to the corner of East and Fifth St in Brompton. It was an industrial area - the Rowley Park speedway was at one end of the street and a furrier at the other.
“There were large families, Housing Trust dwellings, factories and warehouses,” she says.
“It was a large melting pot of cultures, kids riding bikes or kicking the footy on the street, roaming packs of dogs and the neighbours knew each other.”
Julia was the youngest of three children and went to Brompton Primary School and then to Croydon High before studying at the SA School of Fine Arts. Julia is a strong campaigner for pokies reform and has personally experienced first-hand the horrors of pokie addiction. Julia met Nick Xenophon about 17 years ago and he played a crucial role in her recovery.
“Nick explained that the addiction to pokies doesn’t discriminate,” she says.
Julia has not gambled on the pokies for over 15 years. During this time she attended Pokies Anonymous. Julia took over the meeting once the founder fell ill and passed away.
“Pokies Anonymous had helped me so it was important that it continue,” she says.
Under her guidance it grew from one to four voluntary meetings a week. Julia worked towards getting funding for the meetings and eventually gained funding to open an office at the Community Centre on Green Street in Brompton.
During this time she became a community educator on HIV, Hepatitis C and problem gambling and has since gone on to co-facilitate programs for migrants and refugees. She was invited to be part of Parliamentary hearings and was sought out by the media for news interviews, including on The Project, the SBS program Insightand in the documentary Ka Ching!
Julia now has a Diploma in Community Service and Co-ordination and has received the Irene Bell Award for services to the community on International Women’s Day. She knows that the community has suffered since the introduction of pokies on what seems like every corner.
“The local music industry has suffered in a huge way,” she says.
“They were pushed out and there are only a handful of pubs without pokies.”
“Families are being destroyed, and now there is online gambling and the normalisation of betting by places such as Sportsbet.”
“Our local businesses have dropped and a disappearing cottage industry is nearly all but gone.”
Julia says local issues for Croydon include traffic congestion on Hawker St and Torrens Rd, speed limit inconsistencies on Chief St and Hawker Streets and irregular speed bumps.
Julia is tenacious and resilient and wants to listen and be the voice for Croydon. She is a single mother with three adult children. While raising them she also cared for her father in their Croydon home before he passed away two years ago.
You can contact Julia via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the campaign office on (08) 8545 0400 and arrange to meet up with her to discuss any issue that concerns you in Croydon. To view Julia's electorate page, click here.