Rookie MHA earns seat at cabinet table
Sherry Gambin-Walsh comfortable with her portfolio
Moments before walking into her first cabinet meeting, Sherry Gambin-Walsh felt comfortable with the task at hand.
The rookie MHA from Placentia-St. Mary’s was recently named the minister of child, youth and family services during the swearing-in ceremony held at Government House in St. John’s. She was also named the minister responsible for the status of persons with disabilities, as well as the minster for seniors, wellness and social development.
“It’s my first time being elected, but when you look at the 31 of us that got elected, I am the one with the most experience working with people with disabilities,” the Placentia native told The Compass. “I was hoping to get that portfolio and I am very delighted that I did.”
With this being Gambin-Walsh’s first go-around in the political realm, few expected her to be named to Premier Dwight Ball’s cabinet. She is joined by 12 other ministers.
Given her background in healthcare, Gambin-Walsh makes an ideal candidate for the role, especially in the realm of persons with disabilities. She worked for 25 years in the healthcare profession, which included some time as a neonatal nurse at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s.
She’s also worked with the provincial advisory council to the minister responsible for the status of persons with disabilities.
“We dealt a fair bit with assisting people to maintain services in the community,” said Gambin-Walsh. “I’m very comfortable with it.”
Before digging into the portfolio and determining where to turn her atten- tions, Gambin-Walsh’s first order of business is meeting the staff she will be working with.
“I’m heading into our first meeting now and I’m sure we’ll be well versed in what’s the proper protocol and what we should do,” she said last Monday. “I’m really looking forward to meeting my staff.
“I’m not nervous at all. I’m really excited actually. I’m a go-getter. I’m a person who really enjoys work and I’m really looking forward to this.”