Deputy’s up and ready


Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jaime Shurmer d476074 d475570

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.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Left: Can­ning Deputy Mayor Chris­tine Cun­ning­ham. Right: Coun­cil­lors Yaso Ponnuthurai and Sara Saberi.

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