He’s a father of two, a business owner and a local resident of Mosman for more than 12 years and today Dean Harris is Labor’s candidate for Warringah.
Unlike his competitors, Mr Harris is an unfamiliar face in the political arena, having only entered politics in the latter part of his career.
“I’ve always been interested in politics, even as a kid," he said. "… but I always sat on the sidelines and just watched what was going on."
Mr Harris ran a market research consulting business for the majority of his career and it wasn’t until the Abbott Government removed taxes on carbon, that he decided "enough was enough" and it was time for someone to take action for his community.
“No longer could I be just a spectator or an interested observer. If I wanted a better government. If I wanted the Labor Party to be a better party, if I wanted to do something to address climate change, I knew I had to step up.”
Mr Harris faces a significant challenge in Warringah, an electorate with a long-standing history of Liberal representation.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held the seat for the Warringah electorate for the last 25 years, and now independent Zali Steggall is proving to be a popular alternative for locals not satisfied by Australia’s major parties.
But Mr Harris believes that the community wants change. And a stable party with a leader that represents the concerns of community is more important than political infamy.
“I don’t have a public profile but I am a member of the community and I’m a good listener."
“My focus has been connecting with people one-on-one,” he said.
While his focus is on the local community, he is keeping his eyes on the bigger picture and is encouraging voters to do the same.
There’s so much at stake in this election than who the local member is for Warringah.
Climate change and united leadership are all focus points.
Despite what has been a ruthless 11-month campaign, Mr Harris says it has been a rewarding process that has brought him closer to the community.
“I’ve literally met thousands of people and I’ve enjoyed the process of campaigning. I’ve enjoyed the process of meeting people in the community and talking to them about what they feel is important and I’ve enjoyed being part of a party that has developed a great set of polices, that are focused on the things that this community wants."
Regardless of today's outcome on Saturday’s election, he feels the campaign has been a positive experience for himself, the party and the community.
“I’m delighted to have been part of this process and regardless of the outcome, I feel like it's met a net positive for me personally and hopefully for this community more broadly." - Olivana Smith-Lathouris