Deputy’s up and ready
DEPUTY MAYOR BOUNCES BACK
Christine Cunningham is jumping at the chance to be a leader after she was voted the City of Canning’s new deputy mayor.
CANNING’S new deputy mayor, Christine Cunningham, can be found on the trampolines at Bounce in Cannington when not at council or Edith Cowan University.
Dr Cunningham was launched into the position after securing five votes from her fellow councillors and said her priority would be to ensure that as a council, they provided good government.
“Good government for me, as clearly outlined in the Kendall Inquiry of 2014, is when we value openness, honesty and accountability for all decisionmaking and performance of all elected members on council,” Dr Cunningham said.
“When I am not (working as) deputy mayor, I am an education academic at ECU.
“I teach and do research on school leadership.
“I am married to a Bolivian man, Roberto; we have a daughter who is 12.
“We are a bilingual EnglishSpanish speaking family.
“Roberto has two sons from a previous relationship and they both have moved here and become Australian citizens. The eldest has a one-year-old, so I am also a step-grandma.”
Dr Cunningham is a trained dancer and in her free time dances, trampolines, and is learning percussion in a band.
Canning Times got to know your new councillors a little better. Here’s what you need to know
GRAHAM BARRY was among the last remaining councillors in 2012 and agreed the council had to be dismissed because there were insufficient numbers to form a quorum.
The St James resident has lived in the area for more than 50 years, been a small business owner and involved with Rotary, and served three terms on council prior to this new term.
He assured residents he was independent, and not affiliated with any political party, commercial or pressure group.
Mr Barry’s campaign flyer, published on his Facebook page, was scathing of the former council and its mayor.
“Seemingly they are led around by the nose by the executive,” his flyer read.
He supports reviews into council operations, and wants to see money spread evenly across the wards.
Grade separations at rail crossings and fairer rates were also among his priorities.
YASO PONNUTHURAI was up against incumbent David Brown and Parry Kahlon, who was supported by some in the Indian community, so saw her victory as quite an achievement.
She admitted she has aspirations to enter State politics and has run the campaigns of other politicians, including Jandakot’s Yaz Mubarakai.
An active WA Labor Party member since 2001, Mrs Ponnuthurai said it most closely aligns with her strong values of socialism gleaned from her grandfather, who was a politician in Sri Lanka until he was assassinated.
A marketing background eventually led her to study a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University and work in high profile jobs.
While door-knocking, she noticed there was little trust for the council, misinformation was circulating and few knew their councillors.
She finds playing and teaching traditional Indian music keeps her grounded.
SARA SABERI has volunteered with SERCUL, Friends of Queens Park Bushland and the Wilson Wetland Action Group, and is keen to see greater protection for the local landscape.
Ms Saberi is a support worker with Multicultural Services Centre in North Perth, where she feels she has the skills to help people, being bilingual.
“I’ve been involved with community groups and that’s where the idea of running for council came from,” she said.
Ms Saberi plans to do her best to stop the bus route proposed through the Civic Gardens area.
Left: Canning Deputy Mayor Christine Cunningham. Right: Councillors Yaso Ponnuthurai and Sara Saberi.