Former Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan, was born in Kalgoorlie and grew up on a pastoral station in the goldfields. She was educated by School of the Air and recalls times when she went out gathering bush tucker with the local Aboriginal women as among her most precious memories. Wendy’s passion for politics and concern for human rights was awakened by a year on a Rotary Exchange scholarship in South Africa during the apartheid era. She cites Nelson Mandela as one of her strongest influencers. After completing a degree in politics and Australian history at the University of Western Australia Wendy undertook post-graduate studies in Canberra and worked with the National Farmer’s Federation on its formation. On her return to Western Australia Wendy and her husband ran their own business in the pastoral industry and farming in Esperance. During that time Wendy had four children, worked with law firms, local government and small rural enterprises while studying externally through Curtin to gain a Graduate Diploma of Business.
Seeing the neglect of regional areas by government, Wendy became involved in the Nationals rising to be its first female State President. Working alongside Brendon Grylls, she helped develop the Royalties for Regions policy. She entered Parliament in 2008 and successfully held three seats – two in the Legislative Council and one in the Legislative Assembly, retiring at the 2013 election. Wendy was the first female Leader of the Nationals in the Legislative Council, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Regional Development, and Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly. More recently Wendy graduated from the Institute of Company Directors Course.
During her time in Parliament Wendy was a passionate advocate for regional development with a particular focus on the health and well-being of those in more remote areas, and the mining industry and mining education. She was the founding chair of headspace Kalgoorlie-Boulder and actively campaigned on issues of FASD and aboriginal child health and has been a passionate supporter of Earbus Foundation since its inception.