Whittlesea Council last night elected its youngest mayor Councillor Emilia Lisa Sterjova at the age of 22 with Councillor Alahna Desiato elected as Deputy Mayor at the age of 26, for the year 2020.
Cr Sterjova is officially the youngest female mayor in Australian history at the age of 22.
Mernda resident Cr Sterjova was first elected as councillor in November 2016 as the youngest councillor in Victoria at the age of 19. She was deputy Mayor from November 2017-18.
Cr Sterjova, who is studying a Bachelor of Laws/International Relations and a Diploma of Indonesian, is passionate about providing support to community groups and hearing the voice of young people.
“I hope to inspire other young people to realise that age is not a barrier,” she said.
“I hope women realise that their gender is an asset, not a disadvantage…I want to inspire, to challenge and to create positive change.”
Cr Sterjova said she was proud to establish the Youth Advisory Committee and over the next 12 months is planning to host a youth forum, to develop sporting facilities in the Mernda area and to embrace technology in council operations as the way of the future.
Deputy Mayor Cr Desiato was first elected to the City of Whittlesea in November 2016. She is an advocate for improving the road network and public transport options, she led the campaign to extend the number 86 tram line.
In her acceptance speech, Cr Sterjova said she was proud of the fact that this was the first time the City of Whittlesea had been led by two women in their 20s.