The next Tasmanian state election is scheduled to be held on 15 March 2014 to elect all 25 members to the House of Assembly
For the first time in a long while, Tasmanian Christians (and those who support traditional Aussie values) may have the opportunity to vote for an overtly Christian Party.
The 16-year incumbent government, currently led by the Premier of Tasmania, Lara Giddings will attempt to win a fifth consecutive term against the Liberal opposition, led by Opposition Leader Will Hodgman.
Also contesting the election will be the Tasmanian Greens, currently led by Nick McKim, The National Party and the Socialist Alliance.
Kevin Swarts is our candidate for Braddon.
Kevin completed high school at John Calvin School and went on to start an apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery. While completing his apprenticeship, Kevin started studying for his diploma of Builders’ Registration part-time.
After receiving his trade qualification, Kevin started full-time study to finish his Diploma. Following his graduation, Kevin worked as a Construction Estimator for a residential home builder and went on to lead a small team for one of Australia’s largest builders. He then moved on to work as a Building Supervisor constructing new residential homes gaining significant building experience. This experience, together with a Diploma, allowed Kevin to successfully apply for Builders’ Registration and be admitted as a Registered Builder at the young age of 26.
Once registered as a qualified Builder, Kevin was able to start a building company together with his father. After a number of successful years building and renovating homes, Kevin’s father went back to teaching and Kevin managed the organisation, gaining significant management and small business experience.
In 2011, Kevin took the opportunity to go back to university to study Business Management at the University of Tasmania. Kevin also studied Public Policy at the university to complement his studies in Management theory. Kevin was successful in his academic studies, and was admitted to the Golden Key International Honour Society for being in the top 15% of his academic peers at the University of Tasmania. Kevin was also admitted to the Dean’s Roll of Excellence for 2011 and again in 2012. In 2013 Kevin won the Dean’s Award for demonstrating great initiative, courage, endeavour, and generosity of spirit in their studies at the university or community.
Kevin’s academic success allowed him to work for the university as a Student Learning Mentor to help other students develop their academic writing skills. Kevin also worked at the university as a PASS Leader in Quantitative Methods; assisting students in understanding the statistical concepts and methods required in business decision making and research.
In August 2013, Kevin was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Business from the University of Tasmania. Kevin provides business consulting services specialising in marketing, and works in developing social media marketing strategies for small business and not-for-profit organisations. Kevin is currently continuing Honours research at the University of Tasmania in marketing theory.
Kevin is married with three children. He is a dedicated Christian who worships at the Legana Free Reformed Church every Sunday. He is also a youth club leader and an active volunteer at his church. Kevin is passionate about providing a Christian voice in the political debate.
Ray Kroeze is our candidate for Bass.
Ray was educated at the John Calvin School in Launceston, Tasmania and also at the John Calvin School and John Calvin Christian College in Armadale, Western Australia.
Ray commenced employment with the West Australian Police Service (WAPS) at the age of 20 years. He served the state of WA for a period of 18 years and was awarded the Police Service Medal.
His studies also resulted in him obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in Policing, certifications in Work Place Assessment, Advanced Driving, Training, Bush Survival, Navigation and various other internal Police qualifications. He was also involved as a trainer in various courses for the State Intelligence Section, Australian Federal Police and the Fisheries Department.
After a voluntary resignation from the WAPS, Ray established a home based business in an area that was always one of interest to him – the building trade. Statewide Building Products was established in 2005 and over the years became a successful business, with turnover well exceeding expectations!
During this time, Ray also had the privilege of receiving funding to travel to Sri Lanka to assist a former High Court Judge in the establishment and administration of a Reformed Christian School.
In 2010, Ray and his wife and children decided to return to the place that was always dear to him, and relocated to Legana, Tasmania.
Another business opportunity presented itself and Ray purchased an existing Tourism business called Prestige Leisure Tours. During the 18 months that Ray had the business, he increased turnover by more than 200%, doubled the amount of vehicles in the fleet and was awarded the Certificate of Excellence for 2012 by international travel site Trip Advisor.
Ray’s commitment to Tourism and his excellence in marketing, customer relations and service to the industry saw him selected on numerous occasions to host specials guests for Tourism Tasmania, Tourism Australia, Wine Australia and Brand Tasmania, including visiting journalists, international and national travel consultants, and one of Tasmania’s great ambassadors, world renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda with a Japanese Film crew.
Ray was also selected to be part of a working group to establish a Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) for Northern Tasmania. This entailed much research, the forming of an interview panel, shortlisting and interviewing prospective applicants to manage the RTO and to steer it in the right direction so it would have a positive influence on the Tourism sector in Northern Tasmania. Ray was also asked to speak as a guest speaker at a Tourism related digital coaching / social media workshop in Launceston.
In 2012, Ray acquired another business called Kasteels Quality Dutch Snacks. This was a business that had been established in WA for about 30 years. The business name, equipment, and associated Food Safety Program was purchased and relocated to Legana, Tasmania.
In 2013, construction of a new Commercial Kitchen and Food Manufacturing Facility commenced to house the new business. The business name was changed to Peppermill Gourmet Kitchen and Smokehouse. Having a passion for good food and wine and changing the business trading name enabled Ray to be able to produce other quality food products for the local and national market.
Ray has been married to Christa for 16 years and they have three children.
Ray is the former Board Treasurer and the current Board Secretary of the Free Reformed School Association (TAS) Inc. He is an active and dedicated member of the Free Reformed Church in Legana, Tasmania and also serves as one of the youth leaders, with Senate Candidate Kevin Swarts. Ray also assisted with the Church youth camp held earlier in 2013 in the capacity of the Camp Cook.
Ray and his family enjoy travelling around our beautiful state, camping, fishing, dining out, and have also traveled extensively internationally.
Ray is passionate about promoting a Christian lifestyle and would like to use the political forum in doing so.