Glen Fredericks – Candidate for Newcastle
Glen’s career started with a Fitter Machinist apprenticeship in Lithgow at the Small Arms Factory, making assault rifles for the Australian Defense Forces.
In 1995 he moved to Newcastle with his family, a wife and two young sons and continued in the metal engineering trade. Glen’s family would expand to include two girls.
While he didn’t work at BHP, its closure did affect all the ancillary businesses throughout the region. Up until then Fitting and Machining jobs used to take up a page in the Newcastle Herald broadsheet, after 1999 it shrunk to a couple of jobs, typically a labour co-op or advertising for jobs out at Port Hedland.
Given the downturn, Glen changed careers and went to TAFE to get into Design. Be it Graphic or Web. He would then develop his creative skills and find employment, or at times work freelance. Twelve years after doing the course at TAFE, Glen would become a part time teacher at TAFE, teaching the same course in which he was once a student.
In addition to part time teaching he was also a casual trainer at a Registered Training Organisation. Glen enjoyed the interaction with students and job seekers, imparting his knowledge, and developing his ability to interact and teach in group and one on one environments.
In 2015 an opportunity presented itself to own his own coffee bar. It was a life changing moment with his previous self employment as a small business expanding from just Glen, to having a couple of staff.
Some huge life changing moments would happen with the business growing quickly, and relocating to a larger premises and even more staff. The children from the marriage at this point of time were into their early twenties and living outside the family home. At this time Glen and his wife would become foster carers for a range of newborn babies.
Glen significantly felt the impact of the light rail project given their proximity to Hunter Street in Newcastle. They moved the business again going into the third year of trading. It would be a better location, and more staff. With the opportunity of a 6 month pop up at Charlestown Square.
Things looked good, successful even, but there were things happening outside of Glen’s control, such as the additional road closures surrounding the light rail and the loss of hundreds of car parks in the Honeysuckle precinct.
Glen has been an advocate for small businesses, pushing hard for promotion, change, and also highlighting the impact of business closures, too numerous to name in both Honeysuckle and Hunter Street.
He held events, nothing on the scale of Supercars (which failed to attract the financial reward that the organisers promised) but small events which made a huge difference to the business and the area. From an invasion of inflatable dinosaurs to Vader posing for Santa Claus photos surrounded by a Stormtrooper entourage, superheroes that look like they had just walked off the film set to Steampunk aficionados.
Cosplayers of every genre.
Honeysuckle came alive on weekends by becoming a slice of Hollywood, and thinking outside the box.
Glen’s passion is for Newcastle to be a destination for families to come and enjoy themselves.
Attract the people and the businesses will benefit.
But under the current climate that is getting harder. The public transport system is severely lacking, and families whose only option is to come in by private vehicles are being frustrated with nowhere to park.
Something needs to change.
A Liberal government treat Newcastle with disrespect and even contempt and when Labor hold the majority, they take us for granted.
We need to tip the balance in favour of small business and what’s good for our community.
An Independent who wants to tap into the imagination of the creative people of Newcastle, who not only have the talent but have proven that they have the guts to get things done. We’re all in this together, and we should all be in the same team.
If elected to the seat of Newcastle, Glen vows to fight for:
- Better planning for small businesses destroyed by Light Rail, and relief from the planned road works on Hunter street,
- Planning to ensure events like Supercars don’t just benefit the inner circle, but work with small business, and
- Working with NSW Police to install a cyber-crimes unit to Newcastle.