I am humbled to have been the first Councillor elected in Myrnong Ward for the second consecutive election, and would like to thank the residents of Moonee Valley for having faith in my vision for our city, and for recognising the achievements of my first four years on Council. As a second-term Councillor, I am excited about the positive impact I can have over the coming twelve months.
I live locally in Moonee Ponds, and over the past decade have been heavily involved in a number of different local organisations. Prior to my time on Council, my contribution to the community was recognised with the Spirit Of Moonee Valley Award (Contribution By Youth) and the Moonee Valley Australia Day Award (Young Citizen).
In the professional world I run a number of swim schools, having established my own small business at the age of 21, which has since grown into one of the leading providers of squad training for swimmers in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Over this time, I have enjoyed the trials and tribulations of trying to start and grow your own business, and as such I have thoroughly enjoyed my recent involvement as Council’s Economic Development portfolio holder. Having firsthand experience of how tough running a small business can be, I am committed to ensuring that business owners in Moonee Valley are given as much support as possible.
Over the past decade I have also coached athletes on both Australian Institute of Sport and Victorian Institute of Sport scholarships, have had athletes selected on the Australian Team for the Commonwealth Youth Games, coached swimmers to seven national swimming titles and thirty-three state swimming titles, was selected as a coach in the 'Road To Rio' Paralympic Squad, and excitingly had former swimmers recently represent Australia at both the Rio Olympics and Rio Paralympics.
My tertiary qualification is a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from RMIT University, and I have also worked on a part-time basis for a number of organisations as a media consultant.
In the past four years on Council I have represented Moonee Valley on a number of different committees and advisory groups, and am currently Council’s VLGA representative, the chair of both Moonee Valley’s Young People’s Coalition and LGBTIQ Reference Group, and am also a member of the VLGA’s Inaugural Rainbow Working Group.
I am humbled that the residents of Ascot Vale, Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Travancore have once again chosen me to be their voice on Council, and am also proud to be carrying on a family tradition, being the great-great-grandson of Mr John Parry, Mayor of the Borough of Flemington and Essendon (1881-1882).
What five words best describe you?
What do you hope to achieve in your term as Councillor?
As a Moonee Ponds local I have a thorough understanding of the issues affecting our immediate area.
During my time on Council I have strongly opposed the overdevelopment of our suburbs, and I will continue to make this my major priority. It is crucial that Council applies for the implementation of new Residential Zones, otherwise the damage to our suburban streets, heritage precincts and residential amenity, will be irreversible.
Having owned and operated my own small business in Moonee Valley for over a decade, I also understand the importance of supporting our local businesses, and the crucial role they play in our local economy. Through my four years at the helm of Council’s Economic Development portfolio, I have reset Council's vision when it comes to small and medium enterprises, and am proud to have played a key role in guiding Moonee Valley's Economic Development Policy which aims to attract new investment, create real and sustainable jobs, and improve the delivery of services that underpin a strong and healthy community.
Finally I have remained a strong voice on social issues, and will continue to stand-up for minority groups and those less fortunate. Over the past four years I have championed Thrive, Moonee Valley’s Youth Strategy, have been a key advocate for our Diversity, Access and Equity Policy, and moved Council’s first-ever LGBTIQ Action Plan. While Council's core business is roads, rates and rubbish, we also need to ensure that all members of our municipality are given the same opportunities as others, can access the same services as others, and live in a city that promotes diversity, tolerance and respect.
As your local Councillor I am committed to playing my role in helping shape the future of our great municipality. Representing the suburbs of Ascot Vale, Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Travancore is an honour, and I will continue to advocate for the area and ensure the best possible outcomes for local residents. As Myrnong Ward's only independent Councillor, I will also continue to make decisions based on the best interests of the area and not political alliances, and have already made accountability and transparency in governance a hallmark of my time on council.
What do you think are Moonee Valley's greatest strengths?
While Myrnong Ward faces some tough challenges, it is also the most dynamic area of the municipality. When I first moved to Melbourne, Moonee Valley stood out as the ideal spot to live.
It has great appeal - good public transport access, close to the city but still with that suburban feel, a vibrant multiculturalism that typifies the best of Melbourne, good proximity to several key Melbourne landmarks, and that great history that dates back over a hundred years. Twelve years later I still believe it is a great place to work, and a great place to live, and I'm committed to ensuring it remains the envy of surrounding municipalities.