When newly-elected Greens MLA Rebecca Vassarotti was growing up in Canberra, all she could think about was finding the quickest route out of the sleepy capital city.
"First Sydney, then the world," she would tell her mother.
She's a second generation Canberran, the product of the major expansion of the federal public service in the 1970s, when her parents moved to the territory.
But she never did make it out of Canberra, instead witnessing the city growing up as she did.
In time she realised Canberra had everything she needed, and opportunities well beyond its size.
Her first gig out of university was with the ACT government in its graduate program.
But most of her career since has been spent in the community sector, including 10 years at YWCA.
She then spent years consulting for a range of smaller organisations such as Hepatitis ACT and Dementia Australia.
Vassarotti says it was her experience working with federal politicians through the 2014 budget process as a community sector worker that really got her politically active.
"The more that I dealt with senior politicians the more I realised it wasn't that they were bad people, it was they were really disconnected from the reality of people's lives," Vassarotti says.
She grew up in a traditional Labor-voting family, but came to feel disenfranchised by the party's lack of action on social issues, including refugees and climate change.
The Greens, on the other hand, just felt like a good fit.
It was only about four years ago that she joined the party, but quickly became heavily involved.
She ran as a support candidate in 2016, before ultimately winning a seat in the 2020 election, now one of six Greens MLAs in the Legislative Assembly.
Vassarotti says she loves Canberra, but has always been concerned about the underbelly of poverty in the city.
Thanks to the Greens' strong showing at last year's election, she has been catapulted into Cabinet, along with two of her colleagues.
It's through these ministerial positions that she thinks the Greens will make real change to people's lives - including those living in poverty.
"It's not the first time I've been in a role that's a big job and I'm starting from scratch."Rebecca Vassarotti
After years lobbying and watching the decisions being made from a distance, she will be the one making them.
She is now responsible for the key portfolios of homelessness and housing, building quality, and environment. With these portfolios come significant promises to deliver.
Among them was a pledge to eradicate homelessness in the territory by 2025.
She thinks her community sector work will stand her in good stead to be able to deliver as a minister.
"My experience had led me to feel that it was important that people who were involved in community and understood the issues got involved in party politics," she says.
"[But being a minister] was not something that I ever banked on."
She says she's on a steep learning curve - as both a first time minister and MLA.
But she's confident she's up to the task.
"I really value the fact I have quite a lot of life experience I can bring to this role," she said.
"It's not the first time I've been in a role that's a big job and I'm starting from scratch."