David and Susan Lewis have now lived in Hervey Bay for over 43 years, the last 33 in Division 6. They came to Hervey Bay in 1976, not long married, towing their sailing dinghy, and looking for new opportunities in an emerging coastal town.
David grew up in and around Proserpine, where his parents first had a cane farm, then became proprietors of the local newspaper, The Proserpine Guardian. After high school boarding at Nudgee College, he stayed in Brisbane to complete degrees in Arts and Law at the University of Queensland. He worked in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast after qualifying as a solicitor.
Susan lived mostly in Brisbane, but also for a few years in Chicago, her father’s home town, and in London. She worked as an airline hostess and, on return from the UK, as a public servant.
When they arrived, Hervey Bay had about 6,000 residents. They bought a house in Urangan. In 1986 they moved to Point Vernon, where they still live
David worked continuously as a solicitor after he arrived. David had accepted a job offer with Hervey Bay’s first law firm, which later became Lewis & McNamara. He went into partnership in 1977 and remained a principal of that firm until he sold his interest in 2010.
After leaving his partnership, he also did some consultancy work in Brisbane, and for three years worked part-time as a Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) hearing and mediating cases as diverse as lease disputes, building disputes, appeals against government decisions like applications for a “Blue Card” and the appointment of guardians for people with disabilities. He worked for a Torquay law firm for a number of years, and since election to council in 2016, has done a small amount of legal consultancy.
The Lewis family have a long record of community involvement. They settled quickly to life in Hervey Bay, David becoming secretary of Hervey Bay Sailing Club within a year, and each of them rapidly becoming committed and involved locals. David served on council committees including chairing the Regional Arts Development Fund for several years, and as a member of the council’s Arts and Cultural Steering Committee which recommended the establishment of the Regional Art Gallery and a performance theatre. He has served on the executives of many community and professional groups. He was President of Hervey Bay City Musicians for about 8 years, and played in the City Orchestra.
He chaired the local branch of a major political party for a similar period.
He is a director on the board of Hervey Bay’s Bendigo Community Bank and a committee member of the Hervey Bay Boat Club Yacht Squadron.
On election to council he was appointed to the portfolios of Environment, and Art and Culture. He also chairs the Environment Advisory Committee and the Heritage Advisory committee. Since the abolition of portfolios, he has served on the Community and Culture Roundtable, and the Environment and Regulatory Roundtable. He is also a member of the Audit Committee, and the Regional Arts Development Fund committee.
Susan was Councillor for Point Vernon on the Hervey Bay City Council in the 1990s, in a council which saw the establishment of the Wide Bay campus of USQ, the commencement of the Regional Art Gallery, the securing of the railway land for the now mobility corridor, and the saving of the Urangan Pier. She has recently completed 20 years’ service as president and committee member of the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, of which she is a life member.
They have two children, Bridget, who is a lecturer in the Law Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, and Paul, a high school teacher on the Gold Coast, and two grandchildren, Hugh and Marigold.
- Councillor for Division 6, Fraser Coast Regional Council, 2016 –
- Previously: senior partner, Lewis & McNamara
- Sessional Member, QCAT
- Lawyer with Milburns Law, Torquay
- Volunteer, Taylor Street Community Legal Service
- Consultant, Given Law, Brisbane
- Lecturer (part time) University of Southern Queensland
- Director, Fraser Coast Community Enterprise Ltd (Bendigo Community Bank, Hervey Bay)
- Member, Hervey Bay Boast Club, HBBC Yacht Squadron, Volunteer Marine Rescue
- Chair, Regional Arts Development Fund
- President, Hervey Bay City Musicians Inc
- President District Law Association
- Chair, Liberal Party Hervey Bay branch
- President Star of the Sea P & F Association
- President Hervey Bay Public Kindergarten
- Secretary, Hervey Bay Sailing Club
- Member of HBCC Arts and Cultural Steering Committee
- Member of various groups including Chamber of Commerce, Life Line board, Zpac,
- Performer, Yag’ubi Comedy Debates, City Orchestra,
- Presenter on Community Radio