Alice Warby hails from Coomrith, a sheep and cattle property near Meandarra in the Western Downs Region of Queensland.
Growing up in grazing country with 31 first cousins all living on nearby properties made for a comfortable and settled childhood.
Because of Coomrith’s isolation, her earliest schooling was provided by primary correspondence lessons under the supervision of a governess.
Her attention to the primary correspondence lessons, however, was limited and the succession of hard-working governesses who attempted to keep control of Alice and her sisters necessitated an early transfer to boarding school.
“As soon as the governess turned her back, we would be out the door, across the veranda, dashing across the tennis court, into the stables, off on our ponies and gone with the station hands mustering for the day,” she laughs.
Alice attended boarding school in Toowoomba and Brisbane. Her boarding days at Glennie in Toowoomba were made easier in that she had her ponies stabled with her father’s horse trainer and could go there several times a week to continue her own competition training.
Marriage brought jobs in Sydney and Indonesia – and sons.
“Those sons have now married, and grandchildren bring joy. They live in New York and Townsville and visit as often as they can,” said Alice, who is Electorate Officer for Federal LNP Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz.
Conservative politics have been an everyday fact of her life.
Her grandfather, James Sparkes, was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly on and off from 1932 until 1960 when, as a sitting Country Party candidate, he was defeated by a Labor Party candidate.
Country Party membership was encouraged by her mother’s brother, Bob Sparkes, a former Queensland National Party President.
Alice says years of volunteering and now working as an Electorate Officer for Scott Buchholz is satisfying.
“Wright is a busy office with hundreds of phone calls and emails yearly covering a multitude of issues – everything from Federal legislation to the roaming of neighbourhood animals. Many have no relation to Federal matters, but all issues are important to those who raise them. Life is therefore interesting and positive.”
Membership of Beaudesert Zonta Club and YACC has given Alice a rewarding involvement in community service that focusses on women and girls and supporting youth, while living near Beaudesert and being able to breed cattle is a positive and enduring interest for her.
“I am fortunate to have loving family, support and non-judgemental friends and an interesting job, and I am grateful for the myriad of opportunities which have come my way over many years,” she says.