About Frank Wilkie

Mayoral Candidate for Noosa

Frank Wilkie gained his understanding of the Noosa Shire communities as a journalist and editor for local and regional newspapers from 1996-2007.

“Even then, the focus was on understanding local issues and helping residents, community and business groups achieve their aims and objectives,” Frank says.

“Being a councillor involves making decisions on behalf of the community but always as an extension of a collaborative, service-focused approach and independent of any party political membership or ideology.”

Frank’s Experience in Council

Throughout his 10 years as a journalist, Frank often reported on Noosa Council issues, but it was in 2007 when a Noosa Councillor resigned that he decided to take a leap into the world of politics.

He won the by-election, but it wasn’t long before the then Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, announced that Noosa was to be amalgamated with Sunshine Coast Council.

Frank marched with 10,000 Noosa residents to Parliament House in Brisbane against the amalgamation. He did stand as Councillor for the amalgamated Sunshine Coast Council, but was defeated and went back to journalism and teaching at a local school, a period he has described as both “humbling and enlightening”.

“It reminded me that today’s young people are so incredible and evolved. They give me great faith in the future, which is why we must do everything as custodians to leave Noosa in better shape than we found it if possible.”

In 2013, eighty-one percent of Noosa residents voted in favour of the de-amalgamation, following a campaign that was political, strategic, vocal, and well organised.

It was a heady time, focussed on an issue that brought the community together like never before.

Noel Playford became Mayor in Noosa’s de-amalgamated Council, and Frank was elected as Councillor. Frank gained invaluable experience in what it takes to rebuild a financially sustainable council, from the ground up.

In 2016 he was elected again and appointed Deputy Mayor by colleagues under Mayor Tony Wellington. He was again elected in 2020 and unanimously appointed Deputy Mayor under Mayor Clare Stewart.

Frank chairs the council’s General Committee where key issues are debated, steering discussions toward a formal decision. Frank also chairs the Capital Works Executive which oversees current and emerging infrastructure projects and The Climate Change Response Plan Community Reference Group. He served for six years on the Tourism Noosa board just after de-amalgamation and is the councillor invitee on the Cooroy Future Group which runs the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre.

Frank has never been a member of a political party and his political philosophy has always been “Noosa residents and environment first”.

“I understand that only a very small minority of Australians are members of political parties yet they dominate state and federal governments. For me, being independent makes it easier to ensure my loyalty and focus remains firstly on the needs of Noosa’s residents and the environment we all love.”

“It’s always about the issues, not the personalities. You can be robust with the topic and respect the people you are dealing with as members of this community, so you have to always be prepared to listen.

“It’s how you learn and discover that great ideas that improve our community are great ideas, regardless of where they come from.”

Young Frank

Frank grew up in the northern suburbs of Brisbane where musician Keith Urban lived across the street. Although the Urbans eventually moved to Caboolture, Keith’s guitar expertise had inspired young Frank to pick up a guitar as well.

Frank busked his way through University and Teachers’ College and still plays in a duet with friend Jo Hendrie at community events and aged care facilities.

Like so many other Aussies in their 20s, Frank responded to the call of adventure, riding around most of Australia on a push bike and eventually worked in the Whitsunday Islands, learning all aspects of hospitality.

It was on South Molle Island that he met his wife-to-be, Palmira, and together they purchased their home in Peregian Beach in 1994 and have one daughter.

Frank’s parents already owned a unit in Peregian Beach since the 1980s.

Frank in the Noosa Community

Noosa Main Beach during the Gallipoli Anniversary performance
Frank during in the Blackall 50km ultra event
Frank with the cast of Mamma Mia

Frank worked as a journalist for the now defunct Noosa Citizen, and later for the Sunshine Coast Daily and the Noosa News, at which he spent several years as editor. During this time he won an award for Environmental Journalism.

One of his tasks as a community theatre reviewer triggered his interest and Frank joined Noosa Arts Theatre in 2001. He has since appeared in over 50 productions, directed and written plays, some of which have been performed around Australia.

In the 100-year commemoration of the Gallipoli Landing in 2015, Frank’s single actor monologue, “The Soldier”, was performed to 10,000 people on Main Beach in front of the Noosa Heads Surf Club. “It was an honour to be entrusted by the Tewantin Noosa RSL with writing that work,” Frank said.

Other highlights include treading the boards in a David Williamson play “Charitable Intent” with David and Kristin Williamson at the inaugural Noosa Long Weekend.

Frank has served as President of the Noosa Arts Theatre since 2015. Frank pays forward his good fortune by helping and encouraging aspiring actors of all ages and serves as the Secretary for the Noosa Gymnastic Club where he has been involved since 2007.

“Gymnastics is a fantastic foundation for all sports and, like theatre, a brilliant way of integrating the physical, mental, emotional development of young people.”

A former journalist, teacher and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Frank has a record of service within volunteer community groups and is a regular participant in distance running road and trail events.

He has a strong record of support for the Noosa Planning Scheme and evidence-based initiatives that protect Noosa’s beaches, rivers, waterways and open spaces and projects fostering economic innovation.

On 16 March 2024

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FRANK WILKIE

for Noosa Mayor
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