Labor candidate for Katherine Kate Ganley believes government must address the needs of the whole community, not just the top end of town.
"The role of member for Katherine must be community first, and it must be family focused," she said.
"I think a lot of people go into government with unrealistic expectations of what's possible, and without understanding the separation of powers between levels of government.
"I believe Katherine is in a good position overall, but there are a lot of things we can do to better support the community here."
Ms Ganley has stepped up as the Labor candidate after the incumbent, Sandra Nelson, stood down after one term in the role.
Ms Nelson was the surprise packet of the 2016 election, wresting Katherine from the conservative parties for the first time for the ALP.
It was thought impossible Labor could ever win the seat, and there are those saying it is almost impossible for Ms Ganley to win it again.
"Community organisations need continuing support, education is also incredibly important and we need to be supporting young families no matter where they were born," Ms Ganley said of what drove her to stand.
"The biggest impact you can have upon a person's life is in the first five years so that has to be a priority.
"Anyone can become a parent but not everybody automatically knows how to be one, so we need to keep strengthening those systems for a stronger Katherine.
"To ensure everybody has access to the services they need, and to work for the little guy as well as the top end of town - that's the role of government at this level," Ms Ganley said.
This perspective is informed by Ms Ganley's background in service provision.
Raised by a pharmacist and nurse who farmed beef and olives in rural New South Wales, Ms Ganley completed her secondary and tertiary education in Melbourne.
During her Arts and Commerce double degree at Melbourne University, Ms Ganley took the chance to volunteer in a remote community west of Alice Springs.
That, she says, was "the start of my love affair with the Northern Territory."
"I worked in Kintore as an in-class assistant, and found not one of the year five and six kids I worked with could identify every letter in the alphabet.
"I was amazed by the mind-blowingly complex systems of law and story transmission, I didn't even know until then that there were still people in Australia speaking ancient languages.
"I met my husband Carney there and I graduated my degree in absentia, then I've worked and lived in the Territory ever since," Ms Ganley said. Ms Ganley's worklife then took her through a range of government and not-for-profit services.
She worked at the Ngintaka Women's Centre delivering aged and child care where she learnt to speak the Indigenous language of Laritja.
She then moved to Barunga and had her first government job administering the Howard government's 'Intervention' on child abuse in remote communities.
Her next gig was with the Jaywoyn Association helping run Barunga festival, where she oversaw the event's first release of tickets and enlisted volunteers to expand the event.
During this time she says she was privileged to observe historic moments in Indigenous independence, such as then Prime Minister Bob Hawke receiving the Barunga statement which still resides on a wall in Parliament House.
Among a broad range of roles since she has worked in inter-agency collaboration upon crime, been CEO of NT Friendship and Support for three years building its care delivery systems, and worked as a community mediator solving disputes.
Most recently, she was working for the Department of Education having achieved a Master's degree in Early Education.
Her husband is also a senior NT police officer, and Ms Ganley says the approach to youth crime pursued by other parties was upsetting.
"We absolutely know that imprisoning young people does not fix them," she said.
"Mandatory sentencing is has been proven time and time again to produce negative results and young people re-offending again.
"I feel really proud that the Labor government has taken an evidence-based approach to youth crime, and it's one of the biggest reasons I'm on board with the party."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.