First elected a councillor in Newtownabbey in 2005, where she became mayor in 2011, the mother-of-two is on two key Assembly committees -- health and social development.
Why did you want to become an MLA?
I was asked to put my name forward after being a councillor and I feel I am there to make a difference, even if it isn't perhaps apparent at the minute!
Apart from family and work, what are your main passions in life?
I love travel and sometimes have combined that with charity work, which included going to the Andes. I love to cook.
What single issue would you hope to champion in the current Assembly term?
When I started I had various issues, including cervical cancer on which we have made great strides, as well as children and young people. But now I would say the advancement of women.
What, if anything, is in most urgent need of change in the current Stormont set-up?
The public perception of us certainly needs to change. Many MLAs work 10-12-hour days, and Saturday surgeries, and there is good work being done.