The WA Labor Party has announced former Shire of Collie councillor Jodie Hanns as its candidate for the seat of Collie-Preston in next year's state election.
Born and raised in Yarloop, Mrs Hanns moved to Collie in 2005 to teach at Collie Senior High School, where she now serves as deputy principal.
Over the last 15 years, Mrs Hanns has served as the chief executive officer of Collie's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as a board member for Coal Miners' Welfare, the Collie Early Education Centre and St Brigid's School.
Mrs Hanns said she was eager to work alongside Premier Mark McGowan and the WA Labor Government to deliver on its plan for Collie-Preston, to create more local jobs, deliver infrastructure projects and upgrade health and education services for communities across the South West.
The announcement comes less than a fortnight after long-serving Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray formally announced his decision to retire.
Mr Murray was first elected to parliament in 2001 and has since helped to secure a range of projects for the region, including the $20 million Collie Futures Fund and the $60 million Collie Industry Attraction and Development Fund.
Following the announcement, Mr Murray said Mrs Hanns had already demonstrated her ability as a community leader and he couldn't think of anyone better suited to the role.
Although acknowledging that she had big shoes to fill, Mrs Hanns said she looked forward to continuing Mr Murray's work in delivering on the Collie Futures Plan and fighting for a stronger future for families across the South West.
"Mick Murray has been a true hero for Collie-Preston," she said.
"He has shown us how to fight for our community.
"I have big shoes to fill, but I look forward to being able to continue his work.
"I want a future for my kids to live and work in the South West, just like I have been able to."