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SSC Newspaper : August 2012
august 2012 18 Strathfield Scene life Name Hope Brett-Bowen OccupatiON Law yer pOlitical party Labor How long Have you served? 4 years. wHy did you become a councillor? I wanted to help people and help preserve local heritage. I also have a keen interest in planning legislation. wHat’s tHe best tHing you’ve done in your time on council? Preside over a citizenship ceremony. To see all the proud new Australians made me realise what an amazing place we live in. I’m also happy to have encouraged Council to provide an asbestos policy and give a presentation on safety. I also helped to introduce a program showcasing local artistic talent. But I could not have done anything without the amazing help of Council staff. wHat’s tHe worst tHing you’ve Had to do? Reading the message of Cr Eswaran’s passing. He was a good councillor, a great team mate and a fantastic community leader. The only thing that equals that is coming to meetings on the day of my Grandfather’s funeral and then, later that year, a meeting on the day of my Nanna’s funeral. wHat lessons do you take away from your time on tHe council? Confidence and communication are key. wHy are you retiring? I need time to focus on my career and to have a family. wHat advice would you give to potential new councillors? Be humble. We are there to serve the community, not be ser ved by it. if tHere was one tHing you could cHange about being in local government, wHat would it be? I would like to be able to dedicate more time to it. Being a councillor is a full-time job but you need to juggle your own full-time work as well. Name Helen McLucas OccupatiON Community Engagement Officer pOlitical party Strathfield First, a residents’ party. How long Have you served? 2 years. wHy did you become a councillor? My passion is people and the community. I knew I could make a difference as a community-focused councillor. I work in the community engagement field and I have always been active in the local community. Prior to nominating for Council I headed up a neighbourhood campaign against a large overdevelopment near my home. I thought that, if I can do this at the neighbourhood level, I could do it at a whole-of-community level so I nominated for Council. tHe best tHing you’ve done? Helped residents. As a resident, just having a councillor listen to your story helps. In the majority of instances I have been able to help people and ease their stress and concern. Sometimes you won’t be able to get the resolution people want, but you make it easier by being there for them. tHe worst tHing you’ve Had to do? The worst issue I have dealt with is the damage to Camden Lodge. A beautiful heritage home with magnificent gardens has been extensively damaged. I have worked with the residents to save Camden Lodge and I will continue to do so. Another sad issue is neighbourhood disputes. It is really sad and stressful for everyone involved. Each dispute is unique and has different factors at play so councillors move on We speak with our outgoing councillors about their experiences serving the Strathfield community.