By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Sophie Tan is the newest Greater Dandenong councillor after being elected on countback as a replacement for Meng Heang Tak.
During the 8 January countback, Ms Tan received an emphatic 41 per cent of Mr Tak’s votes redistributed from his 2016 election.
Her nearest rivals were former councillor Peter Brown and Huy Tran.
Cr Tan, 35, was proud to be Victoria’s first female Cambodian councillor.
“It is an honour to be a councillor for the City of Greater Dandenong,” Cr Tan said.
“I am particularly proud to be the first female Cambodian councillor in Victoria.
“I am very passionate about not only serving the Cambodian people who live in Greater Dandenong but all residents of this great city.”
She had a long-held ambition to serve as a councillor, with passions for family violence advocacy, community safety and the environment.
Cr Tan was born in Battambang, Cambodia. She moved to Australia in 1995 with her mother and four siblings.
She first lived in Springvale before settling in Keysborough in 2009.
A marketing and commerce graduate, she works at the Commonwealth Bank.
Cr Tan joins mayor Roz Blades and Tim Dark as the councillors for Paperbark Ward.
Her predecessor Mr Tak stood down from the council after winning the seat of Clarinda at the State Election in November 2018.
During the 2016 council election, Cr Tan placed seventh on first preferences with 563 primary votes in Paperbark Ward.
She had been outpolled by unsuccessful candidates Peter Brown (1860), Ramy El-Sukkari (1037), Minh Van Tran (1091) and Huy Tran (634).