I’m proud and excited to be here for you

THIS year promises to be exciting for many reasons – allow me to explain why.
The 20-year Revitalisation Project of central Dandenong is now 10 years in and the transformation is astonishing.
We have our new Civic Centre and library, new Government Services Building, the Dandenong Market redevelopment, Drum Theatre and Lonsdale Street upgrades and we enjoyed significant business, cultural and residential growth.
The preparation for the all-new Springvale library and civic centre continues.
While we can do some smaller works early, the main works are planned to commence in 2017.
This year the Springvale Asian Gateway Project will be completed; food and culture will be celebrated at Dandenong Market as part of the World Food Fare and about 80,000 locals and visitors will celebrate Lunar New Year in Springvale.
We will be advocating for the removal of train level crossings, new bus routes for Keysborough South, the closure of the Lyndhurst Landfill site, gambling reform and additional financial support for our manufacturing sector.
On a personal note, my election as mayor of Greater Dandenong is both an honour and a privilege.
As a year 10 student I was elected Student Body President and learnt very quickly that the best way to be effective was to listen to and represent my fellow students.
In my early 20s I watched with interest as Bob Hawke and Paul Keating dominated the Australian political landscape.
I was in awe of the way both men confidently advocated on behalf of the community and knew then it was something I wanted to aspire to do.
At the age of 21, I joined the Labor Party and became actively involved.
I stood as a candidate in the 1997 Glen Eira council elections, narrowly losing by two votes.
The loss was devastating but gave me the additional drive and determination I needed for the next time.
In 2012, I was elected as a councillor in the City of Greater Dandenong council elections.
As a councillor I’ve learnt about decision making and consultative processes.
Being a councillor has given me a chance to develop my public speaking skills, social skills with people I don’t know and has given me knowledge of the area I live in.
As mayor I am particularly keen to promote community pride as well as supporting ideas that will further develop Greater Dandenong as a city which is a vibrant, connected and caring place for people to live and work in.
I am proud to call Greater Dandenong home and love where I live.
I’m open to your feedback and ideas – feel free to send me an email on soreilly@cgd.vic.gov.au.