7 September 2023

Wagga's new deputy mayor looks to inspire future generations

| Jarryd Rowley
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Cr Amelia Parkins has been elected unopposed as the new deputy mayor of Wagga Wagga City Council.

Cr Amelia Parkins has been elected unopposed as the new deputy mayor of Wagga Wagga City Council. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Wagga Wagga’s new deputy mayor Amelia Parkins says she is looking forward to taking on the challenges of the leadership position.

Ms Parkins, who was elected unopposed during Monday night’s (4 September) ordinary council meeting, has taken over the role from Cr Jenny McKinnon who served as deputy from December 2021.

Cr Dallas Tout will continue as Wagga Wagga City Council mayor after he too was unopposed.

READ ALSO Tout retains the mayoral chain while Parkins steps up as deputy following WWCC election

Ms Parkins said the support and encouragement from other councillors led to her putting her name up for election and she was encouraging council to look at its processes surrounding plans for the future.

“I’ve been pushing for a vision for the future since the beginning of this term,” she said.

“I really want the council to look at things strategically, fundamentally and practically when making decisions to make sure we are appealing to the greater community.”

Ms Parkins said the professional working relationships between each of the councillors had led to a tidy handover of positions and she was thankful for Cr McKinnon’s support and guidance.

“Jenny has been really supportive, I’ve been able to bounce off her and ask her questions which has been really valuable,” she said.

Ms McKinnon said she believed it was important to have a diverse group of leaders with different experiences to ensure different voices were being heard.

“Normally positions like these (deputy mayor) are filled by older men,” she said.

“It’s really important that councillors are representative of the people in the council, there has been a lot of support for me to take up the position which makes it possible for people like me.

“I would really like to be a role model for future generations, for young women who have an interest in what’s happening in the community and would like to have an opportunity to make a change.”

READ ALSO NSW teachers to receive $10,000 pay increase in historic deal

The freshly appointed deputy mayor said she had set her sights on the CBD masterplan as well as the local housing strategy as something she could positively contribute to with her experience in architecture and urban design.

“I’m very interested in the built environment, urban design, architecture, heritage, and the impact that the environment has on the people that use it,” she said.

“I think that’s one of the areas of expertise that I have that probably no-one else on the council has, that’s why having diverse representation on council is really important.”

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