Meet the candidates of subcontinent background running in the Victorian Council Elections
Local council elections will be held for 78 of Victoria’s councils this October. Individuals are elected to represent your local municipality, and the number of councillors for each municipality is determined by the Minister for Local Government. Each municipality in Victoria must have a council consisting of between 5 and 12 councillors. These councillors are elected from various ‘wards’ to ensure proportional demographic and geographic representation for each council area. For most municipalities, once the required number of councillors has been elected, these councillors decide among themselves which one of them will act as mayor.
With a record number of candidates from subcontinental background running for office this election, we gave the opportunity to all candidates to tell us what they hope to achieve if elected as representatives of the people.
These are the candidates from Councils K-W, to view candidates from Councils A-G click HERE
View a list of all candidates HERE
We asked the candidates:
Why did you get involved in politics?
Why did you choose your party affiliation/to run as an independent?
What are you fighting for? What is your vision for the local area?
NAVDEEP NAGPAL, Knox City Council, Friberg Ward
I have decided to get involved in politics to work directly with the local community and to ensure that their voice is heard in both major and minor decisions made by the council. I want to make sure that politics remains a medium to serve the needs of the community and a more open, honest, democratic and consultative approach is implemented. This approach will then be pivotal to leading to more engaged and culturally diverse communities.
I am a local resident of the area and I have no political party affiliations. I am running as an independent candidate. Living locally, I hope that I understand the concerns and needs of the local community and I am excited and optimistic that the local community would support someone who would rather work directly with them and represent them without any political baggage.
My main aim is to engage with the local community and address their concerns. I intend to work towards ensuring the local community is culturally diverse, is engaged and feels optimistic that their concerns are being raised, represented and attempts are being made to address them. I want to encourage more local activities for all age groups so that everyone can benefit from a positive and close-knit local community. Having been impacted inappropriate and indiscriminate development myself, I am also very enthusiastic about supporting appropriate yet effective development.
HYMA VULPALA, Knox City Council, Tirhatuan Ward
The Indian community is the second biggest community in the City of Knox. I would like to represent and be the voice of our community and embrace the diversity. I have been a resident of Knox for the past 15 years and have a strong views on how we can improve the standards for our community. I believe that I can make a positive contribution to the Tirhatuan Ward by driving change from within as a Council member. I am running as an independent.
I am passionate about our local community and the diversity it has, and believe we can harness this to improve our overall community wellbeing.
I want to address community concerns and support the many and varied local projects.
I will bring accountability and diversity to the Knox Council through my dedicated focus on:
*Commitment to improve aged care and disability services
*Providing opportunities to youth and migrants
*Exploring the provision of sporting facilities for the community groups (Particularly women)
*Encouraging diversity and equality for all community groups
*Ensuring council rates and levies are kept at appropriate levels to support local businesses and residents
*Supporting the establishment of Rowville rail transport
*Improving communication between residents and the Knox Council
Your vote will allow me to help improve community facilities within the City of Knox.
GURPREET ‘GARY’ VERMA, Melton City Council, Cambridge Ward
I have lived in the local area for well over a decade, with my children attending our local schools. I work as an IT professional with strong experience in management – an area of importance for delivering high-quality services for local residents in our area. I am passionate about our local community and I am contesting this election to make Melton City a better place to live, work and raise a family. We need to have strong, proactive, inclusive and responsive leadership, a local voice who will listen and act on fresh ideas, and who understands the real challenges and issues faced by the local community.
Although I am member of the ALP, I am contesting this election as an independent and not endorsed by any party as I believe local council elections should be all about local communities and local issues should be addressed at a grassroots level. I am and I will always put communities and residents first. I believe local council elections are about fixing and addressing issues faced by residents and should not be about any politics.
I am committed to keeping rates low and reforming how rates are calculated to stop unfair increases. If elected, I will strongly advocate to simplify the process of obtaining a building and planning permit, while ensuring development is in line with sustainability. I want to:
*Improve car parking, traffic management and public transport
*Advocate and fight for 24/7 Police Station at Caroline Springs and more police patrols; I will setup a taskforce for community safety;
*Double the hard rubbish collection;
*Improve aged care and disability services;
I will stand against the Ravenhall tip expansion and will fight for the community’s interests within Council and with the State Government.
I will always put residents first. I am involved in many social projects tackling homelessness through various local charity organisations. I am also a White Ribbon Advocate in helping combat domestic violence.
New Vision. New Direction. VOTE 1 VERMA, Gary.
JYOTI GHOSH, Monash City Council, Mulgrave Ward
Our Council is not functioning well; there is a need for change. I am a civil engineer and have served several Victorian councils for 24 years at a professional level. I have a passion to serve the community. I have lived in Wheelers Hill / Glen Waverley for 22 years and am very well connected to the community. I possess a very strong strategic focus with abundant innovative ideas and well-developed communication skills to present your issues. I believe that I have the right blend of skills and experience to be a councillor. I deserve a fair go by the residents of Mulgrave Ward.
Party affiliation is not required to run for the 2016 Victorian Local Government elections. Running as an independent candidate will give me more freedom and leverage to forcefully present the issues of my electorate. Extensive experience in local government gives me better insight into the inefficiencies of council – I can bring about change and I can answer any queries the residents may have.
My plan for Mulgrave Ward:
*Protect the environment and retain our neighbourhood character by restricting over-development
*Influence planning policies to meet changing demands
*Stop rate increase while services are improved
*Encourage use of sustainable alternate transport modes to make travel easy
*Improve roads and rubbish services by managing infrastructure responsibly
*Focus on community health, aging population and youth issues
*Fight for undergrounding power line in Waverley Park
*Manage finances responsibly
RAJU SHAKYA, Moreland City Council, North-West Ward
I have been involved with community work within Victoria’s Nepali Community for over a decade now. The reason for me to get involved in local politics is to take my passion for community work into the broader community and be the voice of emerging communities like ours. It’s important for someone to highlight the issues of importance emerging communities face and seek effective solutions, in addition to being the voice for better community.
I am running as an independent candidate because for me community is my party. I do not want to be dictated by party politics and party bureaucracy. All I care about is doing good for the community.
The City of Moreland is a melting pot of diverse communities and I would like to see it as a vibrant and thriving community with flourishing arts, culture, music and festivals. We must work hard to develop it into a caring community where everyone can feel they belong.
The City of Moreland also has its own problems. Public transport, safety, parks, gardens and recreational areas, environmental issues, special support for low income earners and senior citizens, responsible approach to housing developments demand our attention. I intend to work with a hands on approach, listening closely to what matters to the community, to ensure that the community’s views and feedback are included in the council’s work and planning.
NILDHARA GADANI, Whitehorse City Council, Morack Ward
I have always had a strong and genuine interest in contributing positively to society. I firmly believe to affect any change in society, active participation within the political system is necessary. A training program for encouraging women in local government further strengthened my resolve to represent my community.
I chose to run as an independent candidate as I want to be a true representative of my community. Being a new entrant to the political system, I want to first serve my community rather than a political party.
My vision for the local area includes:
*Standing against inappropriate housing developments that attempt to destroy the character of the neighbourhood
*Protecting and enhancing open spaces and lobbying the state government to return parcels of land
*Placing a high priority on improving waste management, youth and disability services, local footpaths and street lighting, maternal and child health services, traffic management and community safety
*Championing White Ribbon programs so that measures can be implemented against domestic violence in Whitehorse, and appointing a permanent Gender Equality Officer position in Council
*Ensuring that Council is actively engaging our young people through arts, culture and sporting activities.
DILNAZ BILLIMORIA, Whitehorse City Council, Riversdale Ward
Local government is about our local neighbourhoods, local community and every day local issues that impact our lives, our lifestyles and our livelihoods. Governance should be transparent, accessible and socially inclusive of all demographics. Local Council IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS, IT IS ABOUT PEOPLE at the grassroots level, a fact that all would do well to remember. I am a catalyst for change.
I am fortunate to have been awarded the Australia Day 2016 Community Achievement Awards by Whitehorse and Manningham Councils, Chisholm Volunteer Award 2015 and recent VMC Meritorious Service Award 2016 in recognition of my significant contribution.
I am an Independent candidate. I have been involved in the Whitehorse community for 16 years as a dedicated volunteer, with the best interests of our people at heart. With projects across youth, young families, women, senior citizens, migrants, CALD communities, sustainability and the environment, I believe in Many Communities – 1 Voice! I know I can be that voice representing our Riversdale Ward residents by being an honest Independent Councillor without the interference of party politics.
My Bachelor in Commerce and Masters in Management Studies, coupled with my career in banking and finance, enables me to bring my experience and expertise to Council budgets, business and operations. To ensure our rates are used wisely and for all members of Whitehorse fairly.
My passionate goals are: Action, Business, Community and Diversity. To prevent over-development, provide accessible parking, protect our leafy green areas, and promote community groups in vibrant, diverse Whitehorse. I will develop sustainable and proactive healthy communities.
I am the strong, honest, articulate voice to protect us, our homes and our lifestyles.
SATNAM ‘SAM’ SINGH, Wyndham City Council, Chaffey Ward
As we live in Australia, where we respect democracy at every level without knowing anyone’s region, religion, norms or beliefs, I believe I have the different skills to have our voice heard at different levels. This isn’t possible without joining politics. You have to start at some point. My family and friends and I came to the decision that I am capable of joining politics.
There is no political party I have joined yet, but in saying that it doesn’t mean I didn’t help any party. People from different parties came to us asking for support or help and we tried our best to help them reach their destination.
But to be an independent is my one and only choice. I am very practical by nature and easy going, I have a can and will do attitude. I love to work in any team.
As my campaign slogan describes really well on my car stickers, pamphlets and corflutes, I am ‘AMPLIFYING YOUR VOICE’.
I have similar concerns to other people who have been asking for a long time for changes to:
Safety, infrastructure, more parking at stations, Tarneit west station, better education, more schools etc.
These are all the rights of every Australian to demand we update with the new technology of the times.
If I get elected I make the pledge that I will take these issues to the upper level by working with all communities. Last but not least, I will not let your expectations down.
Please cast your vote for SINGH Satnam #1.
DIPENDRASINH (BAPU) GOHIL, Wyndham City Council, Chaffey Ward
My experience as a professional and volunteer in the community sector has always inspired and motivated me to do something more valuable for my own local community. I have worked in the community sector for the past nine years, and have always stepped forward to help people who faced issues like psychological disturbance, economic disadvantage, substance abuse, homelessness and many more.
Working as a volunteer in different organisations for the past ten years, I wanted to do more work with my local community, but as a volunteer and by profession you have some limitations. I wanted a platform to do some more community work and this is the reason I involved myself in politics.
I chose to run as independent because I want to work for my local community and I want to listen to my local community’s issues. As an Independent I can work, listen and move forward with my local communities, but if I am candidate of a political party then I have to listen my political party first and then my local community. I don’t want to work that way, and this is the reason I choose to run as an independent candidate.
My prime focus will be to deal with issues facing the local community like safety, solutions to release congestion on our roads, make provisions for employment and business, increase discounts for senior citizens, and also to increase the number of community centres/event centres at affordable rates. Wyndham City Council’s population is booming and attracting lots of people from different backgrounds. There is a very significant chance for increasing local business and creating more local jobs. We need some better infrastructure here to fulfil all residents’ basic requirements.
RISHI PRABHAKAR, Wyndham City Council, Chaffey Ward
I did not get into the Wyndham Council elections for politics, but to genuinely make a difference in the area. There are many issues voiced by residents that are not being honestly aired by some of the current councillors. I also strongly feel that Indian-Australians need to be represented on the council as they add diversity to the board. Hence, I decided to step into the arena and become a voice for a better change.
I feel that running independently provides more freedom to address resident issues rather than being burdened with a party affiliation. Being unaffiliated has provided me the opportunity to openly campaign and stand for what is right. The public support I have gathered due to my non-affiliation with a political party has also been overwhelming.
First and foremost, I stand for honesty and integrity. I have played a key role in advocating for the safety and security of Wyndham residents. I, along with other community members, have formed the Neighbourhood Watch Tarneit and the Safer Wyndham Group. I have formed the Tarneit Open Spaces group to maintain and sustain cleaner open spaces for everyone to enjoy. I envision Wyndham as a crime free, multicultural community, underpinned by sustainable growth, a strong sense of community, plentiful job opportunities and a flourishing business region. I believe that action is better than words and my actions are open for everyone in the community to witness, scrutinise and verify.
I look forward to the support of the Wyndham community.
MONICA RAIZADA, Wyndham Council, Harrison Ward
I have been serving the community for many years through various forums and associations (Vice President of Australia India Society of Victoria and Chair Person of Domestic Violence Team from 2011-2013, Founding Member of Jagriti – a social awakening Inc, Chair Person of Family Wellbeing at Ramon Helps Inc, member of The Country Women Association and President of Women of Wyndham), dedicating the majority of my time to the community for last five years mainly helping family violence victims. After getting involved at grassroots levels now I wish to step up and become part of local governance and policy making.
In spite of having a very cordial relationship with politicians from both the sides, I decided to stand as an independent to not to be influenced by party politics or guidelines. I want to be a true advocate for the local residents to raise their burning concerns without bias, and be their voice to raise their genuine issues in the council. I want to be their friend in need for getting things done. Also, upon being elected, in council I want to be impartial and provide issue-based support rather than being influenced by the ideologies of respective parties.
Passionate about making Wyndham safe, truly multicultural, violence free and the best place to live in, I am fighting for:
*Matching infrastructure for growing population.
*More schools and child care centres
*More community hubs engaging youth in positive activities
*More police, PSO and neighbourhood watch and women’s refuges
*Supporting local small businesses generating local employment
*Easing pressure on traffic flow to remove congestion on key roads and better parking facilities.
*Curb family violence aiming for zero causality
*Women empowerment, equality, and inclusive culture, promoting harmonious multicultural community with respectful relations and peaceful coexistence.
To view candidates from Councils A-G click HERE