Following in family’s political footsteps

Independent Redland City Council candidate Janine Healy will be following in the footsteps of her great-great-grandfather when she runs for election in Division 7 on March 19.

The heroine of Passage to Pusan: Janine Healy's grandmother with her travel diary in front of a picture of her war hero son Vincent.

The heroine of Passage to Pusan: Janine Healy's grandmother with her travel diary in front of a picture of her war hero son Vincent.

Ms Healy’s great-great-grandfather John Healy served as a councillor and then mayor of Warwick in south east Queensland from 1875 through to the 1890s.

During his term, Mr Healy became known as the father of the Warwick town clock as he was instrumental in having it installed in the new Town Hall tower.

“It was a real light bulb moment when I read about my great-great-grandfather; I had no idea I was following in such giant footsteps,” Ms Healy said.

“It’s so exciting to discover that a member of my own family was a representative of the people at local government level. It makes me feel very proud that there is a family history of community service and ‘giving it a go’."

Ms Healy discovered the political connection while reading a new non-fiction book Passage to Pusan, which follows the epic voyage taken by her pioneering grandmother Thelma Healy to find the grave of her war hero son Vincent, Janine’s late uncle, in war-torn Korea in 1961.

The book reveals John Healy was originally from Limerick in Ireland and arrived in Australia in 1862 on the ship Conway with his Tipperary-born bride Kate Depazzi Perdeaux. 

They settled in Warwick and opened a bakery before running for public office.

Originally from Beaudesert, Janine Healy moved to Brisbane as a schoolgirl and has lived for 13 years in the Redlands area where she is a single mum raising three young boys.

She said she was motivated to run for Division 7 as an Independent because she wanted to convert her years of volunteer community work into something more permanent and lasting.

“Much like my great-great-grandfather, I want to put my community on the map,” Ms Healy said. 

“I’ve been a competitive swimmer all my life and I work as a swim coach, so health and fitness are very important to me.

“I want Redland City to be a sports and recreation destination where parents and kids are fit and active and where people can come to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and good community facilities.”