SOUTH West Ward’s Cr Kris Pavlidis has been elected as the new City of Whittlesea Mayor, with Whittlesea’s youngest-ever councillor Emilia Lisa Sterjova elected as deputy mayor.
Both councillors were elected on Thursday night, November 2 at a special council meeting ahead of fellow councillor Caz Monteleone.
Cr Pavlidis has served as a councillor for the last four terms and this will be her second stint as mayor, having held the top position 10 years ago.
Cr Sam Alessi nominated Cr Pavlidis to the role, citing her passion, strong leadership skills and strong social commitment.
“Cr Pavlidis is an experienced an energetic councillor having represented Whittlesea residents for many years. She is also a passionate community advocate for social justice and cultural diversity,” Cr Alessi said in his nomination.
Cr Pavlidis said it was an honour to be elected mayor for the next 12 months and said she looks forward to serving with a high standard of integrity, transparency and accountability.
“These are exciting, new and changing times for us here in the City of Whittlesea and I am grateful to have the privilege to lead a strong, skilled and committed team, moving forward with a firm direction and a clear vision of where we are heading,” Cr Pavlidis said.
In her mayoral speech, Cr Pavlidis said it was vital for council to strengthen partnerships with local MPs to deliver key projects, such as advancing Edgars Road connectivity and the duplication of Plenty Road to Bridge Inn Road. She also encouraged her fellow councillors to listen to their community.
“With unwavering determination we are committed to continuing our strong advocacy to address these issues in close collaboration and partnerships with our local MPs,” Cr Pavlidis continued.
“As the sphere of government closest to the people, local government has a real opportunity to develop its vision and strategic direction in a close collaborative relationship with its local residents.”
With more than 131 people moving into the municipality each week, Cr Pavlidis also said that council needs to be better prepared and wiser in its planning approach, and avoid impediment on resident’s amenity, safety and the City’s liveability.
Elected into council in November 2016, North Ward Cr Emilia Lisa Sterjova said she was honoured to be elected the youngest deputy mayor in the history of the City of Whittlesea and looks forward to establishing a youth council.
“I’m truly honoured and humbled to be elected the youngest deputy mayor in the Victoria and the City of Whittlesea,” Cr Sterjova told the Whittlesea Review.
“I would like to congratulate Cr Kris Pavlidis on being elected our new mayor. I look forward to working alongside her and the other councillors to make our city the best it can be.
“In the next year I hope to establish a youth council and inspire other young people in our area to have a voice on all matters relating to local government.”
Local Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green was in attendance at the special council meeting and said it was a “privilege to witness history in the making at the City of Whittlesea with two women in the roles of mayor and deputy mayor”.
“They’re (Cr Pavlidis and Cr Sterjova) the perfect blend of knowledge, experience and youthful enthusiasm and I’m sure they’ll lead the City very well.
“I very much welcome the new mayor’s focus on local jobs because this has been something that has been missing for some years in the City of Whittlesea.”