Good morning everyone, it’s a pleasure to see so many faces here today in the ancient capital of Perth.
I’m Stefan Hoggan-Radu, Convener of Mid-Scotland & Fife.
I’d like to give you a warm welcome to our fantastic region.
Stretching from St. Andrews to Stirling, bordered by the Tay and Forth rivers, our region is a little slice of Scotland in miniature.
Great cities, world class universities; home to famous sons and daughters of Scotland, the Industrial Revolution and even leaders of the independence movement itself.
We truly do stand on the shoulders of giants.
In my 17 months as Convener, the newly re-launched Region has gone from strength to strength. We have successfully campaigned and won in the European Parliamentary election; A snap general election and 3 Council by-elections.
We had several members assisting Tom Wills in Shetland and, as always, we have been out knocking on doors for our respective branches, representatives and for the independence cause.
I’m truly privileged to lead alongside such a brilliant Regional Executive Committee: I want to say thank you to Kirsty, Jamie, Jack, Sophie, Gabriel and Faye for pulling together and contributing to our continued success.
BUT the work’s not over yet.
An independence referendum is looming, and the Holyrood elections are just around the corner.
The next 18 months will be crucial to the party and our cause.
We’ve built a solid foundation and reputation across our region so far, bolstered by support from our neighbouring regions, namely YSI Lothians and YSI Central Scotland.
As a nation we have a tough time of it recently, we have gained a Boris Johnston lead Tory Government who only want to shut us up and make sure the Scottish people don’t have the right to choose their own future.
And well then there is Brexit… I stood outside the Scottish Parliament at 11pm on the 31st of January along side hundreds of other heart broken folk who just could not believe that this was the moment we were being dragged out of the EU against our will.
There were a lot of tears but also a lot of hope that his was not goodbye but rather A we will see you soon EU.
As some of you know I got married last year, my husband Damian is a Romanian Citizen who came here to study at the University of Stirling, he was able to do that because Scotland and Romania were both in the EU.
We met, fell in love, got married and are planning our lives together because Scotland was in the EU.
Now’s the time to take stock, take a breath, and strategise our next move.
We’re the generation that will win independence.
And here in our region today, in this very room, collectively we’ll be making decision that’ll echo throughout the history of our party, and nation, for generations to come.
Here’s to a brilliant conference, where you’re all most welcome.