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Mayor and Councillors

Mayor and Councillors

The City of Whittlesea is divided into 3 wards - North, South East and South West. Whittlesea Council has 11 councillors, who have been elected as representatives of the 3 wards.

Find your ward

About the Mayor and Councillors

Councillors are local residents and know their communities well.

Anyone can be a Councillor as long as they are over 18 and eligible to vote in State and Federal Government elections.

Councillors are not paid a salary but receive an annual allowance to help cover expenses in fulfilling their role on Council.

Councillors generally carry out their Council duties on top of their full-time job in the workforce and/or home commitments. They take on this responsibility because they want to play a part in local government and feel strongly about issues in their community.

The main duties of elected Councillors are:

  • to make decisions about the running of the community and the Council
  • to listen to the problems and ideas of local people and take those ideas to the rest of Council

The Mayor, who is the leader of the Council, is in charge of the Council meetings and represents Council at formal functions.

Find out about becoming a councillor.

Current Mayor and Councillors

north ward Contact Details
Cr Ricky Kirkham (Mayor)

Cr Ricky Kirkham (Mayor)

E: mayor@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 9217 2170 (Mayor's office)

Ricky Kirkham has been a Councillor with the City of Whittlesea since October 2012. In November 2014 at the age of 25, he was elected as the youngest Mayor of the City of Whittlesea and in November 2016 was again elected as Mayor. In his professional career, Cr Kirkham was an advisor with the Department of Defence and has previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force with active service in the Middle East. During this second term with the City of Whittlesea, Cr Kirkham has committed to lobby the State and Federal Governments for increased funding for much-needed road infrastructure, recreational facilities and services for young people. He is committed to community safety and crime prevention initiatives. Born and raised in the City of Whittlesea, Cr Kirkham also sits on the City of Whittlesea Audit and Risk Committee and the Emergency Management Planning Committee.

Cr John Butler

Cr John Butler

E: john.butler@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0437 421 115

Cr John Butler was first elected to the position of City of Whittlesea Councillor in November 2016. A passionate member of the Doreen community for the last four years, Cr Butler would like to see more roads, better public transport and improved local job opportunities. He is involved in a number of community organisations, including the Doreen Country Fire Authority and Returned Services League. Now retired, Cr Butler spent 39 years in the Australian Regular Army, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Cr Butler sits on Council’s Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee and Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee.

Cr Emilia Lisa Sterjova

Cr Emilia Lisa Sterjova

E: emilia.sterjova@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0429 226 133

Cr Emilia Lisa Sterjova was first elected as a City of Whittlesea Councillor in November 2016 and is our youngest ever councillor. As a Mernda resident Cr Sterjova is a passionate local advocate for improving key transport and road infrastructure within the municipality. She is also passionate about improving youth services and providing greater support to local community groups and clubs. Cr Sterjova sits on Council’s Arts Cultural and Sporting Grants Program for Young People Committee and is a delegate for Whittlesea Youth Commitment and is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations and a Diploma in Indonesian.

south east ward Contact Details
Cr Norm Kelly (Deputy Mayor)

Cr Norm Kelly (Deputy Mayor)

E: norm.kelly@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0409 355 665

Cr Norm Kelly has been a City of Whittlesea Councillor for nine years and is serving his third term as Deputy Mayor. A Bundoora resident for 35 years, Cr Kelly is committed to the community and passionate about the value local sporting clubs and venues can offer in keeping youth of the streets. Cr Kelly has worked as a Union Official for the Plumbing Trades Employees Union for the past 16 years and currently sits on the boards of the YMCA and the CEPUTEC Unions training school as well as being involved in a number of other committees and organisations. Cr Kelly sits on Council’s Reconciliation Group.

Cr Sam Alessi

Cr Sam Alessi

E: sam.alessi@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0417 392 578

A City of Whittlesea Councillor for over twenty years, Cr Sam Alessi has served three terms as Mayor of the City of Whittlesea, nine years as a Municipal Association of Victoria Board member including four years as Vice President and a short term as Interim President. He has also served terms as an Australian Local Government Association Board member, member of the Australian Packaging Covenant, five terms as Chair of the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Board and Chair and member of various other local boards and committees. Cr Alessi has extensive experience with waste and resource recovery within the local government context. He is Council’s representative on the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum where he has served two terms as Forum Chair, worked actively to establish the Forum's Strategies and Policy Advisory Group and is its current Chair. In May 2017 Sam received a four year Ministerial appointment to the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group Board of Directors. Cr Alessi is passionate about advocating for and providing improved services for young people, the aged and families as well as being a strong advocate for responsible gambling and gambling reform. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from La Trobe University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computing from Deakin University.

Cr Alahna Desiato

Cr Alahna Desiato

E: alahna.desiato@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0428 726 939

Cr Alahna Desiato was first elected to the position of City of Whittlesea Councillor in November 2016. Having lived in Mill Park all her life, Cr Desiato is a keen advocate for improving the road network and public transport options for residents. She launched the campaign to extend the 86 Tram line from McKimmies Road in Bundoora to Bush and Lakes Boulevards and onto Plenty Road in South Morang and continues to support the campaign as Council’s representative on the Friends of South Morang committee. Cr Desiato sits on the Yarra Plenty Regional Library board as well as the Council’s Arts Cultural and Sporting Grants Program for Young People Committee.

Cr Mary Lalios

Cr Mary Lalios

E: mary.lalios@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0400 132 117

Cr Mary Lalios has been a City of Whittlesea Councillor since 2005 and has served as Mayor three times, including during the 2009 Victorian bushfires. In March 2017, Cr Lalios was elected as the first female President of the Municipal Association of Victoria. On a national level, her strong representation continues through the Australian Local Government Association board. Cr Lalios believes it is an honour and privilege to serve on a local, state and national level. A lifelong resident, Cr Lalios is a strong voice and fights for what our community needs. Current priorities include better local roads; addressing the congestion, community safety, CCTV cameras, more public transport; upgrading parks and greening our streets with more trees. She is passionate about supporting and helping those less fortunate. A strong disability advocate, she has been part of successful campaigns to attract more respite facilities to the City of Whittlesea. As Mayor in 2014, Cr Lalios led the successful community campaign to extend the train line to Mernda. Cr Lalios is an Accountant (FCPA) and is a graduate of AICD course. Committees that Cr Lalios sits on include: Yarra Plenty Regional Library; Meadowglen International Athletics Stadium; Riverside Community Activity Centre; Whittlesea Disability Network.

south west ward Contact Details
Cr Lawrie Cox

Cr Lawrie Cox

E: lawrie.cox@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0419 379 180

Prior to the 2016 election Cr Lawrie Cox was the youngest serving councillor having been elected to the Shire of Whittlesea from 1979 to 1986, including being Shire President from 1982 to 1983. He has chaired several large organisations including the Victorian Trades Hall Council and has been a director of an Industry superannuation fund for over 20 years. Cr Cox is passionate about the community, infrastructure and providing sporting opportunities for young people and sits on Council’s Westgarthtown Pioneer Precinct Advisory Committee.

Cr Stevan Kozmevski

Cr Stevan Kozmevski

E: stevan.kozmevski@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0417 390 854

Cr Stevan Kozmevski has been a City of Whittlesea Councillor since 1997 and has served twice as Mayor during this time. A proud Thomastown resident since 1968, Cr Kozmevski is passionate about making infrastructure improvements and the important role Council plays in advocating for residents.

Cr Caz Monteleone

Cr Caz Monteleone

E: caz.monteleone@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0437 601 113

Cr Caz Monteleone was first elected as a City of Whittlesea Councillor in November 2016. He has lived in the City of Whittlesea for over 40 years and lives in Epping. As a passionate advocate for improving community infrastructure and jobs growth, Cr Monteleone would like to see greater transparency and accountability for Council. Professionally, Cr Monteleone is a successful small business owner having run an electrical contracting firm, dairy manufacturing, hospitality and aviation related businesses. Cr Monteleone sits on Council’s Arts Cultural and Sporting Grants Program for Young People Committee and supports other community events including the Whittlesea Agricultural Show, Hawkstowe Jazz Festival and the Whittlesea & Plenty Valley Tourism Association.

Cr Kris Pavlidis

Cr Kris Pavlidis

E: kris.pavlidis@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
M: 0407 689 032

Cr Kris Pavlidis is honoured to have the privilege to serve the City of Whittlesea as an elected Councillor now in her 4th Term, and was the first female Mayor of Greek background to serve the municipality. A proud resident for more than 40 years, Cr Pavlidis is a passionate community activist and advocate for social justice and has actively pursued Reconciliation, cultural diversity and gender equity portfolios. She is a strong advocate for increased infrastructure that our community expects and deserves and would like to see improved planning of roads & neighbourhoods . Cr Pavlidis sits on several committees including Whittlesea Community Futures and Council’s Arts Cultural and Sporting Grants Program for Young People Committee, and is a Director with the Ethnic Communities Council Victoria and Pronia Family Support. Cr Pavlidis holds post graduate Degrees in Behavioural Sciences & Management.

Mayor election

The 11 Councillors vote annually to elect 1 Councillor as the Mayor for a 1-year term at a Special Council Meeting.

You can find out more about how Whittlesea Council is governed and how the Mayor is elected in our Procedural Matters Local Law.

This local law regulates:

  • how the Council Common Seal can be used
  • procedures for Ordinary Council Meetings, Special Meetings, Advisory Committee Meetings, and Special Committees Meetings
  • the process for electing the Mayor and Chairpersons.

Code of Conduct

Council adopted the Councillors Code of Conduct on 14 February 2017.

Councillor Resource Policy

The Councillor Resources and Facilities Policy guides how resources and facilities will be made available for the use of the Mayor and Councillors to assist them to perform their Council business related duties.

The below documents provide clear guidelines on the level of resources and facilities to be made available.