Jim Grivokostopoulos is the first Greek Australian to be elected Mayor of Manningham City Council, while Mary Lalios has been elected Mayor of City of Whittlesea for the third time.
“As the first mayor of Greek heritage in Manningham it’s a significant achievement, as there have only been three councillors of Greek heritage in Manningham’s history,” Cr Grivokostopoulos told Neos Kosmos. “Also this year Cr Sophie Galbaly (nee Gyftopoulos) was elected as our deputy mayor for year 2013-14.”
Cr Grivokostopoulos was elected as a councillor in October 2012, and in little over a year, has worked his way up to mayor.
“Being elected as mayor on Tuesday night was a proud moment in my role as councillor,” he said. “The support from all Manningham City councillors has shown that we are a strong team, moving forward for the whole Manningham community.”
During his time as mayor, Cr Grivokostopoulos said he would “like to see this council move forward as a united leadership team and continue to make Manningham a great place for all families, the elderly, community groups and local business.”
continued on page 4
“I will also continue to strongly advocate for is the Doncaster Rail project which will allow residents of Manningham to have a rail line running through the municipality,” he said.
Mary Lalios has been elected Mayor of City of Whittlesea for the next 12 months. Cr Lalios was first elected in 2005, representing the South East Ward. She has served as Mayor before on two occasions in 2008 and 2009.
“A Mayor’s role is exciting and demanding and I have the passion and the enthusiasm to help achieve the vision the community has set for us in the Community Plan,” she said in a statement.
“There are many challenges our City faces and I am committed to providing strong leadership to help deliver positive outcomes,” she said. “There are a number of critical priorities for Whittlesea such as a need for family violence services, a primary school in Epping North and Mernda South, a Police Station in Mernda and more facility based respite.”
“Whilst the Greek Community will have a part to play, the importance to look after all Communities within Manningham is just as important in my role as Mayor,” said Mr Grivas, who is a member of the Australian Hellenic Cultural Council.
“The ability to interact and have open discussions with all residents and Community groups is essential, which will allow open dialogue for Council but also allow residents to have a voice.”
Mr Grivas added that his family are very proud that he has achieved one of his goals in life, to become Mayor.
“I recall back in 1977 with all our local friends and neighbours from the Clifton Hill area and including my parents, being naturalised as Australian Citizens by the late Theo Sidiropoulos who was Mayor of Collingwood City Council at the time.
“I looked up and distinctly remember that I wanted to become a Mayor. 36 years later my goal came to fruition. As they say good things take time.”