Natasha Fyles was elected the new Chief Minister of the Northern Territory late last week, replacing Michael Gunner who announced his shock resignation just days before.
Fyles, the former health minister, was chosen as the replacement during a meeting of Labor’s caucus on Friday amid tensions between the party’s left and right factions.
Fyles is from the left faction and has become the second woman to be appointed Chief Minister in the Northern Territory. She is the 13th Chief Minister to serve the Northern Territory.
Her appointment to the top job comes as a bit of surprise, with many expecting Nicole Manison, Michael Gunner’s deputy from the right faction, to become chief minister.
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Who is Natasha Fyles?
“I’m a Territory girl through and through. I’ve put my hand up to serve because I love this place. I want to work every day to make it better,” Fyles told reporters on Friday.
Fyles, 43, was born in Darwin and grew up in the Northern Territory, joining the Labor Party at age 15. Before politics, she was a teacher.
Fyles became the member for Nightcliff in Darwin’s northern suburbs in 2012, which is considered Labor’s safest seat in the Territory. She has served as health minister, and attorney-general.
“It’s a bit of a shock, but an absolute privilege,” Fyles said on Friday.
“I know it’s a tough job, but I’m pretty tough. I’m Territory tough. There’ll be easy days, there’ll be hard days.
“I can’t promise everyday to make you happy, I can’t fix every problem overnight, but I can guarantee this: I will listen to you, I will always work my hardest for you, and I will always put the Territory first.”
Fyles said all Territory ministers will remain in their roles until the end of the parliamentary sitting week, and then there will be a reshuffle.
She said under her leadership, the government will be focused on creating jobs and growing the economy.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.