NSW's new Premier, Dominic Perrottet, has strong Catholic beliefs. A father of six children, he's a faction man - a member of the conservative right of the Liberal Party - and has been involved in politics since university, having been president of the Young Liberals.
He also has a range of beliefs that many see as out of step in a modern Australia - having voted against decriminalisation of abortion, opposed marriage equality, been critical of action on climate change and opposed voluntary euthanasia laws.
However, those who have grown up with him say he's no "religious extremist", and is, above all, a pragmatist. They say it's easy to put people in a box, but people are more complex than that.
I hope this to be true.
Many in the LGBTIQ community have strong, and genuine, concerns about Perrottet's ability to govern for all of NSW. A Facebook post from 2016 following Donald Trump's election as US President saw him comment it was "a victory for people who have been taken for granted by the elites in the political establishment". Regarding climate change, he's previously said spending was a "gratuitus waste" of money, and that "if you question man-made climate change, you are not a 'sceptic'".
Regarding marriage equality, he's stated, "I don't think the definition of marriage should change ... marriage is about every child's fundamental right to grow up with their own mum and dad". On reproductive rights, he's said supporters are on the "wrong side of history".
Many have seen the social media posts supporting Donald Trump, and the track record on social issues, as a sign of things to come.
It is for this reason that I ask, and hope, that Perrottet leads with an open mind and heart.
Many of the bills currently before the NSW Parliament have real implications for not only vulnerable and marginalised communities, but also the community at large, including Alex Greenwich's bill to legislate voluntary assisted dying right through to One Nation's education bill that would impact teachers and students.
I hope those in our communities that are wary of Perrottet's premiership can progress their issues and causes. Indeed, I think both sides must keep an open mind - and heart, too - as the Perrottet government proceeds in its first days.
People like Perrottet and I might not agree on everything, but we should always be open to working together where we can, and know where points of collaboration begin or end.
I cannot predict how he will perform in the office of Premier. Indeed there have been past leaders who were able to use their skills and the power of the office effectively despite being condemned by critics early on, as well as those who never lived up to high expectations.
I'd imagine he has been preparing and waiting for this moment for a long time, and considering what his leadership would look like and how it would be remembered.
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In 2017, Perrottet told The Sydney Morning Herald: "You don't get into politics to stay still, you get into politics to reform."
I hope he is a leader of reform, but I can't help but feel he will need to reform parts of his image in the community before moving ahead with meaningful change.
There are great opportunities to do this in reviewing the Anti-Discrimination Act, reviewing the ban on blood donations by gay men, stopping One Nation's education bill and protecting all groups from discrimination.
I invite the new Premier to work with us, not against us.
The community, including the LGBTIQ community, does not want another leader to use their profile to malign and criticise others. We do not want to feel unsafe in our workplaces, our schools, our churches and communities.
Indeed, as Premier of NSW, Perrottet has a responsibility to represent all of NSW, and not spread speech that incites division or discrimination. In the true tradition of Catholic faith, he must now be focused on bringing the people of NSW together at this time of uncertainty.
- Jack Whitney is co-convenor of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.