Farewell and thank you

Mayor's Diary 18 October 2019

Time for me to hand over to the next City of South Perth Mayor.

Thanks for the honour and privilege to lead this City. It has been sometimes fun, sometimes challenging – yet always rewarding. 

To everyone who has travelled on this journey with me by supporting, arguing and interacting with me during my time as Mayor – I've learnt a lot about myself and people of all ages and all walks of life – thank you. 

To learn I have been the longest serving woman on the Council of the City of South Perth is something that surprised me and has made me proud. Proud because I've long been an advocate for women’s rights and am glad to have led by example as a woman in a prominent leadership role making tough decisions and using my innate qualities as strengths. 

When I first nominated for Council back in 2002 I didn’t realise just how much I’d relish the opportunity to represent our people and make a difference.  Now, 17 years later, I look back on the changes and achievements that have occurred in the time and am pleased to say I believe I’m leaving the City in a better place than I found it. 

My highlights 

I’ve been lucky to have had opportunities to affect positive change during my time as Mayor, and a few things stand out for me when I reflect on my time. 

I’ve previously mentioned the change in the town planning scheme that enabled more childcare centres in the City, supporting the public art program, facilitating further community engagement, and the Battle for Burswood, which ensured we remained a separate entity to the Town of Victoria Park when amalgamation was proposed back in 2014. 

No single Councillor achieves anything by themselves – we are all reliant on the support of others in order to form a majority position. So I thank all Councillors, former and current, I have served with. I am unable to remember the names of all the elected members I have worked with – they were a varied assortment of personalities who had varied priorities, I can assure you. And each and every one of them brought their unique views to the decision-making table.  

Upon further reflection, I have loved the opportunities to celebrate with local organisations when achieving their milestones as I did with the Manning Tennis Club for its Diamond Jubilee in 2016, and working with youth organisation Millennium Kids, whose volunteers help make the City a better place.

For me, it’s not individual events that stay with me, it's the people I’ve met and stories I’ve heard along the way.  Thanks to those who have shared their personal stories and struggles with me and I hope I was able to provide support when you’ve reached out. 

Socially sustainable communities 

Lately I have been reading about socially sustainable communities and what it really means to be sustainable. 

Yes, it is about the environment, but it is also about the whole ecosystem of our community, including our engagement, connection, participation and innovation. 

A lot has been written in this space, yet the best explanation I have read says the development of a sustainable community “requires a balance between economic, social and environmental elements”. The explanation goes on to say that while “the future of our communities depends on strong employment opportunities and the ability to access quality natural environments … the strength of our community networks and opportunities to interact are equally important”.

I’m proud to say I believe our City does work towards this ideal, with the soon-to-be-released 2019/20 Arts, Events and Culture Calendar offering a range of opportunities for the community to meet, get involved and make the most of the built and natural spaces in our area. 

We are mindful of the economic climate while planning ahead and continuing to spend on essential services and infrastructure that makes day to day life enjoyable for our residents. 

Community has always been my key focus and I want my departing message to emphasise the importance of being engaged, involved and educated about your community to ensure a prosperous future. 

Moving forward

In these past few weeks, I’ve had more questions about what I plan to do next. I’m wanting to step back and smell the roses – and care for mine a little more! 

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart, I look forward to new challenges and a change as I spend more time in the personal realm. 

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