Funding flipside for Wightman

ON Tuesday, Brian Wightman walked to work, finished on time and saw his children.

It was a different day than the one his former colleagues had when State Parliament resumed this week, but while he says he will miss the theatrics of politics, the new chief executive of Cornerstone Youth Services is happy with where he is.

Today marks the last day of his first week.

``I've been taking time this week to learn how this place works and the role it plays in the community,'' Mr Wightman said from his Launceston office yesterday.

He said he was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the services the youth body delivered.

From its Wellington Street headquarters, Cornerstone Youth Services delivers Headspace.

Other programs include Mind and Body, which works with children close to the justice system, and Boost, a program for young women with self-esteem issues.

Mr Wightman said he would watch next Tuesday's federal budget keenly to see if Aboriginal drug and alcohol service Yadas received the funding he said was desperately needed.

While championing his cause, Mr Wightman will watch the television on May 13 with some empathy: in his first week as a minister, he was forced to make a decision on the angst-ridden and unpopular Brighton Bypass.

He reflected on his time with Labor positively and said he stood by each decision he helped make.

``I'm proud of my four years,'' he said.

``I look at the appointments we made . . . we strengthened our hate laws, and we made some difficult decisions.

``But things happen for a reason.

``There are far worse things than losing a seat, I've been very fortunate.''

It was little more than a month between jobs for Mr Wightman, who had considered a return to teaching before finding the Cornerstone Youth Services role in the positions vacant section of the newspaper.

He sent in his resume, sat the interview and was awarded the job.

He told his interviewers the biggest problem facing youth was the complexity of life and shared his vision of business partnerships, stronger collaboration between interest groups and strengthening the Cornerstone name. Mr Wightman is positive he has the connections and knowledge to make it all happen.

Will he return to politics?

``I look forward to another opportunity,'' he said.

``I'm happy, it's a very different lifestyle now, and I'm very energised.''

New Cornerstone Youth Services chief executive Brian Wightman on the job yesterday. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

New Cornerstone Youth Services chief executive Brian Wightman on the job yesterday. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER


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