2020 Council Elections
The Victorian local council elections are in progress with all voting conducted by post. Ballot packs were posted to voters between 6-8 October. The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) must receive completed votes by mail or delivered directly to election offices by 6pm, Friday 23 October. City of Boroondara's election office is Ground Floor, Building C1, 192 Burwood Road, Hawthorn (03 8619 14080).
To help Glenferrie Ward voters get to know their candidates, The Glenferrie Times has spoken to the six candidates (page 2-4) who are eager to represent you as councillor for the next four years. Each candidate explained their connection to the ward, motivations, experience, local priorities and vision for the area. Candidates were specifically asked whether, if elected, they would be available on a monthly basis in the Glenferrie Hawthorn precinct for traders and locals to speak with them in person.
For more information about all City of Boroondara candidates and voting visit vec.vic.gov.au.
Luke is running for councillor of Glenferrie to apply his professional expertise to tackle the most urgent needs facing the ward.
Already owning an investment property in the area, Luke moved to Glenferrie last year because “I really like the area, really enjoyed the vibe, and the quality of life”. Luke grew up in Melbourne, attended Monash University and then Melbourne University to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy and Management. He then began his career in the public sector, working in various government departments including the Departments of Health, Veteran Affairs, and Employment. Since moving to Hawthorn after ten years in Canberra, he has been working in project management. Luke describes his professional role as one “where you bring people together to implement changes, and manage public servants and contractors to do that”, useful experience for local government.
Luke has always had an interest in politics, and COVID-19 was what finally pushed him to run as an independent candidate for council. He is “really shocked about the condition of Glenferrie Road”, especially all the vacant shops, and understands that the local community is very worried and uncertain about its future. “It’s really important for council to show some leadership and really bring the community back up,” he said. If elected, Luke would work to establish a post-COVID-19 recovery plan for the area.
Luke is keen on greywater use and infrastructure and he would like to see solar panels on all council buildings, and encourage the local community to become more sustainable. As well as working to improve access to health services, infrastructure, green spaces, safety, and the general cleanliness of Glenferrie Road, Luke believes council needs to be more conscious of the needs of the local community. “It’s about what the community wants, and we need to ask them,” he said. Luke explains he "will support traders and locals to speak with me on a monthly basis."
Luke is confident he can deliver for Glenferrie due to his experience in the public sector: “I know how to manage government contracts and procurement ... and understand the public administration side of things ... you need to monitor what council is doing for the sake of ratepayers in the local community.”
Personally, Luke loves to go out, which makes him a regular patron of Glenferrie’s outdoor parks and night spots. You can also often find him and his wife at Marci, supporting the local business by buying their favourite cakes. For Luke, Glenferrie is “a really positive, diverse place with a really thriving community before COVID-19. I hope it comes back.”
Florence has lived in Boroondara her entire life and though she currently lives in North Balwyn, she feels a “strong connection to the [Glenferrie] ward”. Florence attended Ruyton Girls School, and spent years of education, socialising, and recreation in Glenferrie. In high school, she mentored younger students, served on the school council, and was awarded the Kooyong Student Prize for leadership. Following her interests, particularly in political economics, Florence this year commenced a degree at Melbourne University majoring in economics.
Florence sees Glenferrie as filled with younger people who live, study, shop, and socialise in the area, yet the current councillors are much older. “I want to bring that different perspective on life from a younger viewpoint,” she said. As a medical secretary, Florence interacts with people “from one to 95 years old”. She sees this experience as useful to represent a ward with “such a diverse mix of ages”. Florence confirmed that "Yes!" she will make herself available on a monthly basis in person to speak with locals and traders. If elected as a councillor, she aims to be approachable and listen to the needs of the community to ensure that they are not disillusioned by a lack of council integrity and transparency.
Florence values small businesses, which comes from her parents owning a shop on High Street in Kew. She is passionate about supporting local Glenferrie traders, which she believes are a very important part of our community that we cannot afford to lose.
As an independent candidate, Florence is passionate about the environment at a local level, council presents an opportunity to consider different initiatives to address the issue of climate change and support local businesses and residents in sustainable practices.
During the pandemic, Florence has noticed people rediscovering public spaces and being more active, building on this interest she will look for ways to encourage cycling and walking as a means of transport to reduce car dependency and protect local parks. She opposes over-development and the destruction of heritage homes, which is a major concern to local residents. “We need to look at it from an environmental perspective and also a congestion perspective, because there are more cars on the roads with more apartments.”
Before COVID-19, Glenferrie was “really the envy of a lot of other areas” as such a vibrant, community-centered precinct with “such a great culture”. She sees the Glenferrie community as inclusive and progressive. “I really want to make sure that we continue to improve the area.”
With over forty years working in engineering, architecture, and project management, Wes has extensive experience in overseeing large projects, managing budgets, designing planning schemes, collaborating with various levels of government, and “getting things done”. Much of his career has involved consultation with communities which he believes is invaluable for any level of government - especially local. He worries that the only consultation being conducted by council is studies with predetermined decisions and outcomes. Wes would be “delighted ... to meet monthly with traders and local resident representatives ... preferably in the form of a standing steering committee.”
Wes and his wife currently reside in Camberwell and are looking to move back to Glenferrie Hawthorn where they lived for over a decade. He has “never been forgiven” for leaving their old home on Lyndhurst Crescent.” “I love the area, I’m particularly partial to it, and I know it better than any other area in Boroondara,” said Wes, who still frequents Glenferrie for the gym, to shop, and to socialise.
Wes is passionate about protecting heritage homes and believes “we need to look very closely at the planning scheme … to provide well-designed, well-positioned homes and buildings that fit in well and harmonise with the wonderful, old suburbs we have.”
The release of the council budget was Wes’ main motivation to run for council: “We have a climate crisis and a pandemic, yet we’re still punting along business as usual … [it] inflamed me”. He sees a need for all levels of government to assist the community with “a pathway out of this pandemic crisis”, particularly business owners who will struggle to re-establish themselves. Not only does Wes want to improve the more ‘grubby’ areas of Glenferrie, but for council to consider that the local community is going to be needing different things from our changing shopping centres.
While Wes notes council is making some effort for climate change such as reducing their own building emissions, he believes there needs to be a large program for the community as the primary consumers of energy and producers of emissions. Using Yarra and Melbourne City Councils as examples, Wes aims to commit to a target of 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality, and suggests the resources of the council could be used to bulk-buy energy for residents, resulting in “a much lower cost of energy for the whole community”.
With four children and also grandchildren, Wes understands the importance of our local area’s well-kept parks, cycling and walking trails, and rich restaurant culture, “there’s a wide range of stakeholders with a wide range of interests. You can’t just make sweeping decisions from a council office. Everyone needs to be considered.”
Wes’ candidacy is endorsed by the Greens, who Wes believes he is most closely aligned with on matters of policy. While the Greens have provided Wes with helpful research, information, and resources, he claims that “if I get onto council, I will do what I think is right … I will make my own decisions”
Steve was born in Geelong, attended school at the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind in Burwood, and became one of the first blind people to attend a state high school, Burwood High. He went on to study arts and law at Monash University and later practiced as a solicitor and barrister.
Steve has lived in the Glenferrie ward for fifteen years, and appreciates the area's vibrance and convenience in terms of amenities and services, proximity to the city, and its mixture between ‘lovely parks’ and suburban areas. Steve's major motivation to continue to run for another four years as Glenferrie’s councillor is because “when I was young, the majority of the people who took a chance on a young blind kid were Boroondara residents. So the best way that I can say thank you to that community is by serving that community who supported me”.
Before Steve was elected councillor for Glenferrie in 2012, he worked for the City of Boroondara in accessibility and equality for people with disabilities. Throughout his career, Steve has been appointed to multiple advisory committees in state government, including the transport access committee and the national committee for Blind Citizens Australia.
As councillor, Steve initially focused on holding back inappropriate development and slowing down large commercial development applications with little or no car parking. In recent years, he has been heavily involved with efforts to improve Glenferrie such as the Glenferrie Placemaking Project, and working toward reducing car dependency, traffic, and parking issues in the area. Steve believes the Glenferrie Placemaking Project will significantly pivot the next 5-10 years for the ward. “There’s a big move to declutter Glenferrie Road, reallocate parking, leaving more space for fun and to relax,” said Steve. “I think it’s more exciting now to be in Glenferrie than any other time in the past twenty years.”
These are major projects that “take a while", said Steve. "It’s gotten to a point where it’s finally in motion and now reached implementation, and we need to make sure it actually happens." With the deferral of the Michael Tuck Stand refurbishment due to COVID-19, he wants to ensure these projects are "not abandoned”. Similarly, Steve is disappointed that works in Grace Park have been promised but not delivered by council. Steve believes that “complex” projects that take time are why “particularly in this time of COVID-19, you need a lot of experience to understand how government works”. And while he doesn’t believe council can tackle climate change in itself, Steve believes sustainability comes from issues within council’s power such as reducing car dependency, autonomous transport, and creating smart cities through humanity and technology working together.
Steve tries to "work with the community, I don’t try to tell the community what they want. I believe we co-design the community”. "Definitely yes" he will meet with locals and traders on a monthly basis in the Glenferrie precinct. He values collaboration to “make decisions with people, not about people”, and believes he has a diverse understanding of people due to his "unique and broad" life experiences.
Steve is not endorsed by any major party, believing party politics do not belong in local government because “it should just be about the community".
Growing up, Henry spent his childhood between homes in Hawthorn East, where he now resides, and Kew, Glenferrie being the central point between the two. Henry attended Xavier College, spending his days socialising along the Glenferrie Road shopping precinct as well as playing Auskick at Glenferrie Oval. “I’ve spent most of my important times of my life within Glenferrie.”
After graduating Xavier College with Academic Blues, Henry commenced studying politics at Melbourne University. At the university’s Newman College, Henry dived headfirst into his lifelong passion for theatre. Here, he stage-managed "reasonably big productions, working with lots of people”. Henry is also the President of the Melbourne University Liberal Club and as a candidate is openly affiliated with the Liberal Party, and maintains he does “prescribe to liberal values, and if elected I would conduct myself of the Liberal persuasion”. However, Henry attests that he is known on campus for his positive relationships with members of other political parties, believing strongly in “respect for others”.
Henry believes a lot of his values come from his father, who owns a small business, and mother, who is a nurse. “I’m not doing this to do something for me, but this is me dedicating four years of my life to serving other people,” he said, to become “a much better advocate for the community in the future”.
While he is one of the younger candidates, Henry believes this is a valuable asset to a generally much older council. Henry says he is always hearing that “we need and want more young representation, more young people in politics” and is eager to “do a good job of imparting a bit of my knowledge in a local council environment”.
Worrying that more 'drab' parts bring down the whole area. If elected Henry will work to improve the aesthetic and amenity of Glenferrie. Explaining that when he recently “walked around the area... it became quite obvious a lot of the visual things” he believes he could do as councillor. This includes ‘Glenferrie landmarks’ such as the Michael Tuck Stand and Glenferrie Station, “which has some great shops, like Alley Tunes and Kebabji, and it’s a shame that the walkway is so rundown”. Henry believes that it would not take much to fix these small areas and, by extension, improve the whole precinct.
Henry is concerned about over-development and heritage policy to protect homes in Glenferrie. While Henry believes development is important for “maintaining freshness” and “bringing people in” to the area, he strongly believes that “the look of a community is really important to the profile and lifestyle of that community”. Henry is strongly opposed to an influx of huge apartment blocks and ‘McMansions' which “really denigrates the look of the community”.
In the context of COVID-19, Henry believes that it is crucial to “focus on important issues for residents and businesses. We need to give them the support they need”. For Henry, this goes further than keeping businesses afloat during the pandemic, but providing them with the opportunity and resources to stay open post-COVID-19. This includes working with the state and federal government in a ‘COVID normal’ context, supporting particularly restaurants and cafes with outdoor dining. By pushing to reduce or even eliminate curbside rent for local businesses, Henry believes council has the opportunity to help traders who “need to have the ability to operate in a COVID-normal environment”.
If he became councillor, Henry would be "more than happy" to make himself available in person to speak with locals and traders on a monthly basis.
Lindon is a Glenferrie resident and student. He grew up in Bayswater and after graduating from Emmaus College, Lindon completed an Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice at RMIT. Here, he took on leadership roles on the student representative committee, coordinating large events on campus. Lindon then worked at a large commercial law firm and commenced a Bachelor of Law at Swinburne University, where he is currently running for president of the Swinburne Law Students Association. He has lived in Glenferrie for two years now and also worked in the precinct until this year. He now tutors other students in various subjects, and in his spare time Lindon is a huge film and history buff, animal lover, and enjoys running and mixed martial arts.
Lindon was motivated to run for local council after working for Jim Parke, the incumbent Bellevue ward councillor and former mayor of Boroondara. Jim Parke’s passionate and sincere approach to his council role inspired Lindon to represent his own area. “The more I heard about it and saw more opportunity to make a difference, the more eager I became,” he said. If elected, Lindon hopes to bring issues he believes are important to prominence at council.
This includes the need to support local businesses, who Lindon believes “add a lot of character to the area”. Living so close to Glenferrie Road, Lindon has formed relationships with many local traders and sees the direct impact of COVID-19. If elected, he hopes to set up a new grant scheme to help local businesses to have an easier time getting back up and running. Similarly, he intends to explore the opportunity for grants or rebates for residents who make the transition to renewable energy to improve sustainability in Glenferrie, and potential partnerships with solar energy companies. To approach the issue of climate change, said Lindon, “we need a better approach than just council buildings, and we can save a little bit of money in the process.”
As an independent candidate, Lindon values transparency in local government. If elected he would like to see the continuation of livestreaming council meetings after COVID-19 as well as provide more simple and readily available summaries of council meetings, so that information is more accessible to the local community and they can understand what decisions are being made and why. Furthermore, he hopes to provide a lot more community collaboration than he is currently seeing from council and speak to more residents before decisions are made. “I am happy to dedicate myself to a monthly meeting for traders and locals and I’m quite comfortable meeting with residents or traders every week should a concern of significance arrive” he said. “There’s a big gap between the council and the community which we need to diminish.”
Lindon believes the best thing he can do is to inject a new perspective from a younger point of view on issues impacting the Glenferrie community - especially climate change, which he sees as a huge concern of local youth. From Swinburne students to residents in his apartment building who contribute to the Hawthorn Community Garden, Lindon believes the Glenferrie community is value-driven, community-driven, and kind. He notices that almost everyone he has met who lives here is interested "in what they can be doing to help the community”. As such, he believes that there is a need for council to “move away from governing, and move into working with people”.