The important role to be played by the Greek Australian Councillors Network

first_imgLocal government is often referred to as the closest level of government to the people. This is on a daily basis; as constituents can approach their local councillor about their issues at the shopping centre, on the footpath, or in the bank, as we all go about our daily tasks. For this reason local government has a unique mandate well beyond the three-Rs of roads, rates, and rubbish. The complexity of the role spreads across a plethora of social, economic, planning and environmental issues and in many respects the council becomes an essential and significant conduit with other tiers of government. The intimate understanding between a Greek councillor and their constituency has become a comfortable space for the Greek Australian community to voice their views and concerns and have them addressed.Now in my fourth term with the City of Whittlesea, and as their first female mayor of Greek heritage, the advocacy function has been galvanised. My serving on the boards of Pronia and the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria means the issues of the Greek community can be addressed in a broader context. The activation of the Greek Australian Councillors Network can be an important forum to expand advocacy on behalf of our community. An initiative of former MP John Pandazopoulos a few years ago, there is a resurgence of interest in the idea following the recent local government elections. The network would provide opportunities to mentor newly elected councillors as well as prospective candidates. The network’s draft terms of reference are being developed and the process will involve consultation with interested councillors and others. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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