A FORMER policewoman, who moved to Beechworth for her son's education, will stand in Indi for Labor at the next federal election.
Nadia David won preselection after she was the only nominee to run for the party in the North East Victorian seat which is held by independent Helen Haines.
Labor Indi candidate in the past two polls, Eric Kerr said he was approached to run but believed Ms David should have a tilt.
A criminal justice academic at RMIT University, Ms David grew up in Tasmania before moving to Sydney where she joined the police and ended up specialising in domestic violence matters.
The lawyer then worked for eight years for the federal attorney-general's department in Canberra with a focus on transferring prisoners between countries.
In 2016, Ms David, husband Charles Dean and their children Ben, 11, and Elena, 8, came to Beechworth.
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Ms David, who lives on rural land and breeds horses, said bushfires sparked her decision to seek election.
"I woke up one day in 2020 and I couldn't see my hands because of the smoke, that really galvanised me," she said.
"I'm looking at my farm and thinking this farm may not be viable for my children by the time they're adults."
Ms David believes there is frustration from voters with the Coalition government's performance and the effectiveness of Dr Haines.
"You can work 24 hours a day in the position and not get something done because you're not in government (as an independent)," she said.
"Everyone loves Helen Haines, she's a really good person but she can't make it happen."
Despite a party primary vote of 12 per cent in 2019, Ms David believes she can succeed in Indi, pointing to "progressive" tree-changers from Melbourne "looking for someone to vote for".
"I'm definitely in it to win it, I'm not here to make up numbers," she said.
"I think I've got an excellent chance of winning.
"It's always on preferences, Helen Haines won on Labor preferences and she doesn't hold the seat by a lot, so I think we have as good a opportunity as anyone."
The Labor Party has only held Indi for a short period, from 1928 to 1931, after the incumbent conservative MP failed to lodge his papers.
Ms David lectures in criminal justice subjects at RMIT and says one of her major concerns is the future of tertiary education in Australia.
She describes the funding model as broken and believes the federal government is not supportive of regional young people going into universities.
Ms David says hiking fees for non-vocational courses means the government is neglecting critical thinking.