Councillor Profile articles

The making of a lord mayor

The making of a lord mayor

Robert Doyle’s six years as Lord Mayor of Melbourne has benefitted both the city and the man himself. Melbourne has had a highly articulate, hard working and talented champion.  And Cr Doyle has experienced a rehabilitation of sorts and has emerged a better person. This is largely because of the nature of local government.  Although

Behind every great lord mayor, there’s …

By Shane Scanlan Susan Riley’s remarkable career as deputy lord mayor is a by-product of being driven to succeed. Cr Riley says she never asked for the role but successive lord mayors John So and Robert Doyle have both enlisted her services. She says she never imagined herself in the role nor aspired towards it. 

Rabble-rouser finds his niche

By Shane Scanlan Cr Stephen Mayne had outgrown the City of Melbourne almost before he got there. With peerless credentials in media, business and politics he has effortlessly grasped the role of capital city councillor and has already left an indelible mark by making the council more publicly accountable. And while there are plenty of

From community activist to councillor

By Shane Scanlan It’s been interesting to watch Jackie Watts’ transition from community activist to councillor. She clearly struggled during her first term, coming in mid-way through to fill a casual vacancy on a count-back of votes.  This period was marred by a bitter personal dispute with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and resulted in Cr

Ken and the art of political independence

By Shane Scanlan Cr Ken Ong is very much his own man. He’s a supremely self-confident and forthright maverick with a big, bass voice and an even bigger presence. Unaligned with any other councillors, the self-made-man does things his own way and would prefer not to care what his colleagues think of him. But reality

If you love it, it’s not a chore

By Shane Scanlan If Cathy Oke was an elite athlete, and not a politician, you’d want her drug-tested. She’s half-way through her second term as a Melbourne city councillor with an impossible work-load, including being a new mum, but shows no sign of burn-out or disinterest. Everyone knows town hall politics is a bruising environment

Richard’s a true believer

For a local councillor, Richard Foster speaks a lot like a politician. Of course all councillors are politicians, but Cr Foster sounds like a “real” politician – the type you see on TV or hear on the radio being charming, but not really answering the questions. This is not such a surprise when you understand

The experimental politician

By Shane Scanlan Councillor Arron Wood has an amazing CV but it remains to be seen whether “politician” will be added to the list. His current term as a City of Melbourne councillor is largely an experiment to determine whether or not he is suited to political life. “I thought I’ll dip my toe in

Melbourne’s hip maestro

By Shane Scanlan Rohan Leppert is very inner Melbourne. The hipster councillor would not look out of place on a fixed-wheel bicycle with brightly-coloured rims and hand-grip-only bars. But he also has intellectual substance and capacity which goes way deeper than his youthful, male-model good looks might suggest. Cr Leppert is one of only a

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