From a Bachelor of Laws at Southern Cross to securing one of Queensland’s most hotly contested seats, Laura Gerber has a dynamic legal and political story to tell.
In March this year, during the disruption of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Gerber was named the Member for the marginal Gold Coast seat of Currumbin in the Queensland by-election following the resignation of long-term LNP member Jann Stuckey.
It was during her maiden speech to parliament in May, Ms Gerber shared about the family and education that helped shape her, and teared up when thanking her husband Dan, wider family, friends, colleagues, volunteers and mentors for their support.
“Mum tells the story of how from the age of six I told her I wanted to be a lawyer. I do not know what it was that planted that seed, but I was determined to achieve this dream. I worked my way through University… and I enjoyed learning and gained an appreciation about the importance of education. In 2008 I obtained by Bachelor of Laws with Honours from Southern Cross University,” Me Gerber said.
“I firmly believe all children should have opportunities to achieve their dreams and as the Member for Currumbin this will certainly be a focus of my work. We need to plan for the future and ensure our children have opportunities to experience clean beaches, world-class education and local jobs.”
The Currumbin electorate includes the suburbs of Currumbin, Coolangatta, Bilinga, Elanora, Tugun, Currumbin Valley and Tallebudgera Valley, and includes many important landmarks including Southern Cross University, the Gold Coast Airport, John Flynn Hospital, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary, as well as the World Surfing Reserve and Hinterland.
Ms Gerber was born in Allamanda Private Hospital in Southport, lived in Carrara, Tallebudgera Creek and Terranora while growing up as the eldest of four children. She spoke about how she met her husband Dan in Coolangatta and the two married on Currumbin Beach five years later.
She reminisced learning to surf at Rainbow Bay, and joining nippers at Currumbin Vikings club where she earned her bronze medallion and volunteered as a Surf Life Saver.
While studying law at Southern Cross, Laura worked as a waitress in Coolangatta and Tweed, and secured her first legal role at local Coolangatta firm Attwood Marshall Lawyers. After three years as a litigation lawyer she accepted a position as a federal prosecutor in Brisbane, in a team prosecuting bikies, people smugglers, drug importers and paedophiles.
Her maiden speech outlined her strong stance against child pornography and her commitment to work with colleagues to be tougher on crime, fix the M1, retain Currumbin’s natural beauty, support small businesses and create jobs.
“I used to prosecute the law-breakers to protect the public, now I join the law makers, to continue to preserve and protect my community,” she said.
She described the by-election win as her “most difficult achievement”, and will head to the polls again in October for second time this year for the 2020 Queensland State Election.
View here maiden speech here.
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