It would almost be easier to find a committee or community group Dubbo councillor Jane Diffey hasn't been part of.
She is president of the Management Committee for Dubbo and District Preschool, chair of the Orana Early Intervention Board, president of the Dubbo Public School P&C and runs Clare's Angels, which raises money for not-for-profit organisations to assist children with special needs and disabilities.
She was also a member of the Dubbo Show Society for almost 20 years, stepping down when she was elected to represent Dubbo Regional Council north ward.
Cr Diffey has decided not to contest this year's election, and wants to set the record straight on a couple of issues.
"That perception started very early on that I was only ever in council for the local member's benefit, which couldn't be further from the truth," she told the Daily Liberal. "I think that was probably one of my most disappointing parts of council, that there was always that perception out there right from the start. I was referred to once on Facebook as 'Troy Grant's plant'."
Cr Diffey is referring to her job as electorate officer for Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders. She started the role with former Dubbo MP Troy Grant, who she met while lobbying for a hydrotherapy pool.
Mr Grant was so impressed he offered her a job.
"When I told my husband that I had been offered a job with Troy Grant, he looked at me and went...'How? You don't know anything about politics'.
"I don't have a political background, I was a real estate agent and a mum. Clare, when she was diagnosed in 2011 with Rett Syndrome, was really my life - raising our daughters and focusing on her and her therapy."
Cr Diffey and her husband Angus are raising two daughters, Lucy aged 10 and Maggie aged eight.
"It's been a long few years and my girls need me and my family need me and I think it's time for me to have just a little break from council," she said.
"It hasn't been easy for anybody involved," she said, referring to the tumultuous past term of council which saw the first few years of the amalgamated Dubbo and Wellington councils, the introduction of a new ward system, the stepping-down of former mayor Ben Shields and the appointment of a new chief executive officer.
"Being on council has been challenging, and not always an enjoyable experience," she said. "Obviously 10 and eight-year-olds are fairly busy so I've had to rely a lot on family and friends to help me out, running around the countryside to the different activities that they have after school."
Cr Diffey also responded to claims she was a candidate for the prestigious Taronga Conservation Society - the board which governs Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
It traditionally has two representatives from the Dubbo community who are nominated by council and approved by the NSW environment minister.
Currently, Dubbo Regional Council chief executive officer Murray Wood is a representative.
Last week former mayor and current council candidate for central ward Ben Shields said, "there were powers higher up that were insisting on only having Cr Jane Diffey as the representative", and that "the councillors, like most councils beforehand wanted the mayor to be the representative". Before Mr Shields' appointment, the last Dubbo mayor who was a representative on the board was Allan Smith in the 2010 / 2011 term.
Cr Diffey said she had flagged early on that it would be a conflict of interest for her to be nominated.
"I think there were discussions in briefings about it, and I said that I would love the position but I can't be nominated because of where I work.
"I was never nominated, and as far as higher powers...I don't have any influence, contrary to what has been thrown around over what sort of appointments can be made by higher powers."
The appointment went to a September 2018 ordinary meeting of council, and was deferred to the October ordinary meeting to enable councillors to nominate for the position.
Council received two nominations from Mr Shields and from councillor John Ryan, who formally withdrew.
Cr Diffey was the only councillor to vote against Mr Shields' appointment.
"It wasn't because of who was nominated at all, it was because we weren't doing what was required of us from Taronga when they requested two nominations that be given to the minister," she said.
"Those nominations could be someone from the community, a woman or someone of Indigenous heritage."
The challenges in managing her job as an electorate officer with her role as an elected councillor have at times lead to frustration, anger, and some tears. But there's also plenty of things the council has achieved she is proud of.
"There's lots of things that I think have been of amazing benefit to the community as part of the amalgamation and I think that's something that council staff can be extremely proud of, seeing those projects finished and come to fruition.
"I would like the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who voted for me back in 2017, I have appreciated their support and feel honoured to be able to represent the people who voted for me.
"And thank you to my husband and my kids and all my family and friends who have stood by me."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: