By Jade Lockwood and Natalie Moraghan.
Mark Verschuur is a self-made man confident that his experience in business through which he put in practice his philosophy that you can take charge of your own destiny has prepared him well for state politics.
‘We need politicians that have had real life experiences,’ says the former sales representative who at just 25 and with a budget of only $600 set up his business selling imported surgical instruments before manufacturing its own products.
He started out with just one employee and now has more than 90 workers at his Bayswater-based Fairmont Medical Products, a ‘global corporation’ exporting surgical and other devices to New Zealand, Asia, Europe and South America and the US.
Verschuur said people who have been involved in business are better equipped for politics than ‘those who come from a hierarchical and union background’.
He said that though that politics was ‘still new’ to him, he was determined to make a difference. He had found so far that politics was ‘a lot of hard work, very busy, and very different to business’.
The Fairmont Medical CEO said he had decided to contest the seat after finding that he had started to ‘engineered [himself] out of the job’, was ‘not working in the business, but over it’ and had more time to draw on experience for the benefit of the community.
Verschuur, who grew up in Montrose and has lived locally for the past 45 years, said he supported plans to deliver growth, jobs and opportunities, improvements to roads and footpaths to protect schoolchildren in particular and sporting facilities for activities that brought the community together and ‘help(ed) with issues such as depression’.
Jade Lockwood and Natalie Moraghan are Swinburne University journalism students