Progressive independent and councillor for Nicholls Ward, Misha Coleman has been elected Mayor of Yarra City Council for 2019/20.
Cr Coleman was elected in front of a full house at a special meeting of Council at Richmond Town Hall last night.
In her first speech as Mayor, Cr Coleman said some of her top priorities for her mayoral term include tackling homelessness, taking bold action on climate change, and supporting Yarra’s most vulnerable community members.
“Reducing homelessness in our community will be a key focus for me. We have some big opportunities in the coming year to enable more social and affordable housing,” said Cr Coleman.
“Improving the quality of life of our communities who live in public housing is another priority. About 10% of Yarra residents live in public housing high rises or walk ups and there are huge maintenance and upgrades needed. I want to work collaboratively with the relevant State Government authorities to improve both the social and the physical conditions in our public housing communities.”
“I also look forward to Yarra taking a leading role in responding to the climate emergency. This is the greatest challenge of our time, and our community expects us to take bold action. We were one of the first councils in the world to declare a climate emergency, and with our forthcoming Climate Action Plan, we’re going to start putting those words into action.”
Cr Coleman said in the coming year she’ll also be advocating for more bike and walking infrastructure. We’ll also be celebrating the centenary year of Australia’s first female councillor, Richmond’s Mary Rogers, and the 2000 female councillors in Victoria who followed in her footsteps, in a year which has seen the highest number of female Mayors ever elected.
“I’m honoured and humbled to have been elected Mayor of this wonderful city and I’m committed to working with all of my fellow councillors to leave a positive legacy for our residents,” she said.
Cr Coleman takes over from out-going Mayor, Cr Danae Bosler. Cr Bosler will continue to serve for the coming year as a councillor for the Langridge ward.
Cr Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei, a member of the Australian Labor Party, was elected as Deputy Mayor.
About Cr Misha Coleman
Cr Coleman was first elected to Yarra Council as a representative of Melba ward in October 2012.
She was then re-elected to Council for a second term in October 2016 as a representative of the Nicholls ward. She served as Yarra’s first Deputy Mayor in 2017/18 and again in 2018/19.
Cr Coleman joined Yarra Council following a long career in international community development, which included 3 years at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, 3 years as the CEO of an overseas aid organisation headquartered in Collingwood, and 4 years as the Executive Officer of a refugee and asylum seeker organisation based in Fitzroy.
She is now working in global health as the inaugural Executive Director of the Global Health Alliance Australia, based at the University of Melbourne, where she and her organisation are focussing on the health impacts of climate change.
She has a supportive husband and two fabulous teenage children.