After a professional rugby league career that comprised exceptional highs and lows, being at the mercy of a selection committee is nothing new for Terry Campese.
He’s just never faced one quite like this before.
On September 9 the former Raiders captain will contest the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council election as part of former councillor Kenrick Winchester’s ticket.
He hopes that the people of his home town will support him one more time so that he can give back to the community.
“Queanbeyan is my home; it is part of who I am,” Mr Campese said.
“I was born here, grew up here, went to school here and got married here.
“I am very keen to give back to the community that helped me become who I am today.”
When Mr Winchester, his childhood friend, reached out to him he agreed to join the team which includes a number of local sporting identities such as Justin Giteau and Tony Wood (aka Victor the Viking).
The team wants to promote sport across Queanbeyan-Palerang and sees it as a valuable tool in fighting social issues. It was this and a mutual love of the Raiders and Queanbeyan that convinced Mr Campese to put his hand up.
“We are on the same page in regards to community projects that I am interested in progressing,” Mr Campese said.
“I am hoping that by putting my hand up we can get a number of people from our group elected and see our priorities implemented.”
The group hope to see participation in sports increase by helping local sporting clubs and want to introduce a number of facility upgrades including new indoor basketball and netball courts. Mr Campese felt that a position on council could help expand work he’d undertaken with his foundation, primarily helping underprivileged youth through sport.
One area where Mr Campese could be of particular assistance is in bringing premiership rugby league back to Queanbeyan with his ties to the Raiders.
There are still substantial upgrades required to Seiffert Oval before plans can move forward but it’s a cause that would be a focus should he be elected.
“I would do whatever I can to make the dream of the Raiders once again playing premiership games in Queanbeyan a reality,” he said.
“A return of the glory days to Seiffert will be a huge boost for the town.”
Between his foundation, being captain-coach of the Blues and a father of two Mr Campese has not slowed down since his NRL days ended. However he has committed to seeing this through and should he be elected will continue to work for the town he loves.