Lisa Bentley is hoping Williamstown considers their choice and whether they want a new voice, with the local resident to run as an independent candidate in the upcoming Victorian State Election in November.
Making a run for it in the seat of Williamstown, which includes Kingsville, Newport, Seddon, South Kingsville, Spotswood, Williamstown, Williamstown North, Yarraville, and parts of Altona, Altona North and Brooklyn, Lisa Bentley is bringing sunshine to the table.
“Part of the reason why I wear yellow is because yellow represents sunshine, and the colours also represent Williamstown – yellow and blue – which sort of fitted well with that,” she said.
Though the sun was not always shining for Lisa Bentley who recalls some rather dark days in the past, revealing she grew up without a father and once lived in the high-rise housing commission flats on Nelson Place.
“Like others, you could say that I had an interesting upbringing. I grew up in Williamstown before it became the hip and trendy Williamstown it is known as today. I even lived in those commission flats that you can see in the skyline when I was a young girl,” she said.
“Back in the 70s my mother was a single mother and I remember walking down the street going to school and feeling really lonely, being bullied every day and always feeling different to the other kids at school due to the social stigma.”
“Due to my rough start I wound up in an unhealthy co-dependent relationship that lasted for many years, and when that ended, I finally realised I deserved better and maybe I could even create the kind of life that we all deserve full of love, meaning and laughter.”
“When my self-esteem was very low, I’d got to the point where I didn’t think I would ever find anybody to love me, or ever be lucky enough to become a mother, or be a part of a loving family, or would ever get the same opportunities in life that most people had.”
On a mission to regain control of her life, turn things around and make something of herself, Lisa Bentley sought support from a counsellor, though it did not take long for counselling sessions to turn from tear to career.
“When I got out of that counselling, I realised that I could create the life that I wanted, I could find someone to love me, I could get married, I could have children, and I could be successful in life. It didn’t have to keep being the way it was,” she said.
“When I was at that point in life, I was the victim, and I think a lot of people get stuck feeling like a victim and for a long time I was also felt stuck before I realised that I needed to take responsibility and the first step was taking control of my life by creating the steps necessary to move forward.”
“I recall many years ago now when walking my dog down at the dog park right here in Williamstown and all of a sudden I experienced what one might call a ‘light bulb’ moment. I was feeling so good about myself and the personal growth I had achieved.”
“I decided then and there that I was going to make a difference and help people too. Why? because if I could come out the other side feeling better about who I am then perhaps so could also help others in the same way.”
“So, this was how I metamorphosed into what I would call “a helper”. I don’t like labels. All counsellors, coaches, and therapists live in a profession of helping others. So, my entire personal growth journey actually started with wanting to gain a better sense of self.”
At this point in the interview, Willy and Hobby felt a little hypnotised with honesty, which may have occurred due to Lisa Bentley’s knowledge and experience in ‘the helping profession’ as a counsellor, coach and clinical hypnotherapist.
“Hypnotherapy was the first course I completed which was followed up by a degree in Social Science specialising in Coaching and Positive Psychology which I consider a tool box we can all benefit from using time to time,” she said.
“Through a placement program I was offered job as a pathways career coach at a secondary school – a role I continued in for two years – before deciding to start my own life coaching business here in Williamstown post-graduation.”
“This decision to enter politics isn’t about me, as much as it’s supposed to be, I actually believe it’s more about the community you represent and what they want. So, as a helper I’m doing it on a larger scale on a political platform, anyway that’s the way I see it.”
You can learn more about Lisa Bentley and her campaign – small business, education and health – at a ‘Meet the Independent Candidates’ event from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 25 October at Altona Sports Club – 11 Altona Road, Altona.