Here are the current elected Councillors and Executive Members who are Asian/Asian Australian in local state and territory governments. You can click on them to see more about who and what they are about. Please note, “Mayors/President” and “Deputy Mayors/VicePresident” will be bolded.
Elected to Council in September 2016, Cr Singh is Director of SydWest Multicultural Services Blacktown, Chair of the Punjabi Council of Australia, and former Secretary of the United Indians Association.
Shweta (Liberal), is a local mum of two primary-aged kids and works full time in the pharmaceutical industry. Shweta has completed her undergraduate in English Literature and her MBA from University of Technology. As a leader within the pharmaceutical industry Shweta has won multiple innovation awards for lateral thinking and providing solutions to effectively and efficiently manage cross functional teams.
Councillor Han (Liberal) is a local high school teacher with a pharmacist background who has worked and lived in Ryde for over 20 years. He is passionate about improving Ryde into a more vibrant, innovative and sustainable city to serve the fast-growing community. Councillor Han is committed to improving our local village areas to help businesses recover from the pandemic. He is also a strong advocate for sports and recreation.
Clr Charles Song (Labor) is a principal lawyer of Sejong Legal based in West Ryde providing legal services for various types of clients. He also has a bachelor degree in Building and Construction Management (UNSW) and worked as a construction manager in commercial field for several years before he became a lawyer. He was elected to the City of Ryde as a councillor at the 2021 Local Government Election. Clr Song is committed to work closely with the community with his vast experience and expertise in both construction and legal field.
Dr. Sabrin Farooqui is a passionate advocate for human rights, social justice and cultural diversity. She has worked for private and public sectors, in higher education, research and policy. Her aim is to deliver appropriate policies that will improve the lives of local communities by representing their views and needs to the government.
Clr Huang comes from a public policy and administration background. He is a long-term resident of Auburn and is passionate about the environment, local planning, youth, and culturally and linguistically diverse community engagement. Clr Huang continues to be a strong advocate for greater community empowerment, accountability, and transparency at all levels of the Council decision-making process.
Suman has lived in the Cumberland area since 2005 with his family. He was first elected as councillor in 2017 and continues to work towards a diverse, inclusive, and active community. With a degree in accounting, Suman understands the importance of strong economic management and works hard to keep the community’s assets from being sold off. He continues to advocate for local road safety improvements, improved service delivery, local parks and playground upgrades. As a father, Suman has a genuine interest in ensuring that his family and your family grow up in a safe, supportive and caring community.
Councillor Lam’s parents migrated to Australia from Vietnam in the late 1980s and moved to Mount Pritchard in the early 1990s. He attended Mount Pritchard East Public School and completed his Higher School Certificate at St Johns Park High School in 2010. In 2016, Councillor Lam graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor Degree in City Planning. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a Town Planner and Development Manager for local and state government organisations.
Councillor Ly has been living in Fairfield City with his family for more than 20 years and would like to see Fairfield City as a better place to live. He has been involved in many local communities, associations and charities. Councillor Ly has qualifications as an Industrial Art Engineer and is currently working as a Union Organiser. He has served as a Councillor for the past 2 terms and has formerly served as Deputy Mayor.
Cr Ngai was elected to council in 2017. As a Councillor, he currently serves as a member of Ku-ring-gai’s Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee and as an LGNSW appointed board member of StateCover Mutual, a specialised workers health and safety insurer for the local government sector. He previously served as a member of the Sydney North Planning Panel, as vice-president of the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC), as a member of Ku-ring-gai’s Flood Risk Committee and Deputy Mayor. In the community, Cr Ngai serves in both youth and adults’ ministry at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Roseville East, as the secretary at KYDS Youth Development Service in Lindfield, and as the treasurer at East Lindfield Community Preschool. Prior to his time on council he also served as a deacon at a church in East Lindfield and led several Scripture Union mission teams in country NSW.
Cr Cedric Spencer was elected in 2017 and has held positions of Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Cr Spencer is a solicitor and an academic who runs his law firm in Gordon. He lives in Turramurra with his wife and young son. Cr Spencer is passionate about local issues including placing high importance on his availability to the local community to actively advocate on a diverse range of issues. His interest is in delivering services to ratepayers and residents and achieving customer satisfaction in the services that Council provide.
Charishma Kaliyanda was raised in Liverpool after, like many other Liverpool residents, migrating to the area with her family as a young girl. She is a registered Occupational Therapist and currently works for headspace – the national youth mental foundation, to build awareness of and reduce stigma around mental health and well-being so that young people can access the help they need in the community. Charishma has worked with young people across many industries to build skills and capacities in the last 10 years.
Second term councillor, Cr Kanchan Ranadive, has called the Hunter Valley her home for 20 years after making a move from Pune, India, in 2002. According to Kanchan, Maitland and Pune are similar cities: rich in culture and history, yet modern. An engaged member of the local community, Kanchan is involved in local Indian-Australian community groups, the Rutherford Rotary club, and organisations that help get young people and women into work when they need an extra hand.
Councillor Sharma was born in Darwin and has lived here his whole life. He attended school at Wanguri Primary, Dripstone High and Casuarina Secondary College, and worked in his family-owned Nakara Supermarket. Councillor Sharma has previously worked for the Northern Territory Government as a Multicultural Affairs Adviser and as a Business Advisor in the Office of the Chief Minister, during the past 11 years. He has been very involved in supporting local Darwin businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in his role as a Business Advisor.
Councillor Un first moved to Darwin 33 years ago and has since owned a local Laksa shop for 18 years. Her key interests include being community-focused, building relationships and working closely with those in need. She hopes to bring these qualities to Council.
Councillor Jonathan Sri was first elected in 2016, and has previously worked as a mediation facilitator, events organiser, youth worker, law clerk, carer for refugee children, musician, writer and university tutor. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Queensland.Councillor Sri seeks to support residents to build up non-profit local institutions to care for each other and meet our basic needs, rather than giving up power and control to big business and big government. He is actively involved with a wide range of formal and informal community groups and subcultures, and is particularly passionate about standing up for the needs of residents on lower incomes who are oppressed and marginalised by the mainstream political system.
In September 1997 at the age of 10, I migrated to Adelaide with my family from Iran. During my secondary school and university studies, I worked at a café on O’Connell Street in North Adelaide (formerly known as Najjar’s Cafe) for almost six years.
Maintaining the balance of Adelaide’s multicultural community and ensuring that we are recognised internationally as a lifestyle, business and tourism destination are also important objectives for Council to deliver.
I have lived in Adelaide since I was six years old and have made the south-east corner of the Adelaide city centre my home since 2008. A qualified solicitor, my background includes working at the regulatory body in New South Wales which investigates conduct allegations against lawyers, as well as working in private legal practice. I now operate a small business – Chancery Lane Gallery in the city. My experience from within the small business and as a resident has given me a valuable perspective on local government, its interactions, and how it may be improved.
I am a retired Chartered Engineer conversant with the provisions of Local Government legislations and have knowledge in Council administration and operations. Having lived on Kangaroo Island for 16 years, served 1 term as Councilor, I am fully aware of the infrastructure needs and current issues on the Island. My desire is to continue to serve the best interests of the community and have an input in Council’s services and its economic and development policies. I will continue to push for financial prudence, better footpaths for pedestrians with prams and on gophers; safer roads; cleaner towns; safer intersections and completion of the Kingscote STEDS.
Councillor Akram Arifi immigrated to Australia from Afghanistan in 2006 when he was 14 years old. His family settled in Elizabeth East after his father became a permanent resident. When Cr Arifi arrived in Playford, he was surprised by what he saw. He has played in many local clubs in both cricket and soccer, but has excelled at cricket and his most recent season with the Eyre Royals Cricket Club saw him awarded Player of the Year in Para District Division 2 competition. Given passion for sport he decided to pursue a career in the field studying a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management at university.
Councillor Jane Onuzans grew up in a small place called Tambongon, Catanduanes Philippines. She moved to Australia with her husband in the early 80s after completing her studies in a Bachelor of Science – Nursing. Cr Onuzans said she moved to the area and made Playford her home looking for new opportunities.
I arrived in Australia in 1986 with my mum as refugees from Cambodia. We are always thankful to Australia and its people for their generosity toward us. I live in Salisbury Council for the past 18 years and I’m aware of many local issues that affect our area. For nearly two decades I’ve been devoted to community programs and advocating for stronger links in our community. I work to raise awareness of community needs such as housing at local, state and federal levels. I want to use my community service experience to be a voice for you and the local community. I want Council to improve the quality of local footpaths, install better playground equipment to get kids off computers and more activities and services to assist our elderly residents with independent living.
He is a past Vice President of the Tasmanian Division of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He was a Board member of the body which became Primary Health Tasmania, working to help coordinate and connect primary health care services for local communities. He was also a Board member of the Rural Workforce Agency for Tasmania which became Health Recruitment Plus, seeking to recruit and retain medical and health professionals to Tasmania.He was elected to council in 2018.
I want to see Benalla’s growth underpinned by sustainability. Council has a significant role to play in making energy efficient and low waste living affordable for residents. Benalla is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, so it’s really important that our town becomes a leading example for other areas of government to bring down CO2 emissions.
Cr Cade was elected to Council in 2019 and is serving her second term as a Councillor. She has lived in Glen Eira for more than 17 years has three children between the ages of 17 and 26. She ran her own law firm for more than 12 years and now runs a boutique Mediation and Coaching Practice. She is a Lawyer, a Nationally Accredited Mediator, and a Conflict Resolution Specialist. She also works as an Adjunct Lecturer and Mentor at the College of Law and in 2020 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study best practice in Parenting Coordination internationally.
Tucker Ward Councillor Li Zhang is passionate about Glen Eira and is committed to helping make it Victoria’s best place to live, work and visit. She believes local government must listen to all its residents, put the interests of local residents front and centre, and deliver sustainable infrastructure and services that help communities to thrive and prosper.
Our neighbourhood is a great place to live but it’s time for a fresh approach. I want to help get the basics right, including rubbish removal, cleaning graffiti, repairing roads, parks and footpaths, and taking a new approach to services for the youth and seniors. I grew up locally and still live and volunteer in Noble Park. As a secondary school psychologist, I understand how important it is to keep our youth engaged. I was raised on values of fairness, equality and compassion. Residents will always be able to rely on me to listen and act on their concerns.
My vision for Greater Dandenong is to attract new residents and visitors, support local jobs and businesses and make this city a desirable place where everyone can enjoy our rich culture, strengthening our sense of community and local economy. I hope to achieve this by improving infrastructure and local education, preventing littering, increasing public safety, supporting local community groups, raising awareness of all cultures and promoting senior health. I have a renowned passion for the community through decades of philanthropy work and have been running Lim’s Pharmacy in the heart of Springvale Central since 1991.
It’s been a great honour representing our local community on the City of Greater Dandenong Council, where I have lived for over 25 years. I was proud to be elected as the first female Cambodian Councillor in Victoria since 2019- present. In that time I have been a strong and committed advocate for the local community, securing funding for Ross Reserve upgrade, re-development of Noble Park Aquatic Centre Gymnasium, plans for revitalising the Noble Park Activity Centre and reserves. I love our local community and am proud to represent you on the Council. I will keep working hard to make our neighbourhood an even better place.
I resettled in Australia in 1983 after living in Hong Kong as a refugee of the Vietnam Conflict. One of my key goals is to assist the migrant community to integrate with the Australian way of life. I place high priority in developing a harmonious community and addressing the resettlement issues new Australians face. I work to raise the profile of issues facing less privileged members of the community. I strive to improve the quality and safety of public places and parks. A Councillor since 2008, I take great pride in giving something back to Australia to say thank you for the opportunity to live and raise my family here.
I grew up in Pakistan and migrated to Australia in 2004. I lived and worked in Melbourne for five years before moving to Shepparton in 2009 with my husband and two children. By profession I am a certified Project Manager and have work experience of more than 20 years from Pakistan, Malaysia and Australia. I am looking forward to be part of a Council that takes lead in acknowledging and removing barriers and disadvantages experienced by people from various sections of our community such as the indigenous community, ethnic minorities, refugees and new migrants, the elderly, people with disabilities and the LGBTIQA+ community.
Cr Chen values equity, inclusion and positivity as well as the importance of understanding local issues, listening and working together with our community. She stands for cost-effective operations, sustainable planning outcomes, reducing climate impacts and improving public transport. Cr Chen wants to see more civic participation opportunities provided for our young residents to grow and shine. Cr Chen also wants to see proactive traffic management around schools and that our parks and open spaces are protected and improved. Cr Chen believes in an inclusive, safe and sustainable community for all including seniors, youth and young families.
This is Cr Cuc Lam’s third term as a Councillor at the City of Maribyrnong, including a year as Mayor. Cr Lam was first elected in 2000, then again in 2016, serving as Mayor in 2017/2018, before being re-elected in 2020. Cr Lam has received the Refugee Recognition Record Award and Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was instrumental in the implementation of the pop up park in West Footscray. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Wimmera Health Service, the Community advisory Committee for Western Health and a member of GAICD. Cr Lam is a strong advocate for multicultural communities, and she seeks to create safer and cleaner neighbourhoods whilst supporting sporting and community groups and local businesses.
A local resident, the Mayor Cr Anthony Tran is serving his first term on Council having grown up in the area. The son of Vietnamese refugees, Cr Tran credits his parents for instilling in him the importance of community. Cr Tran hopes to improve local infrastructure, promote community safety and seeks to make mental health support accessible to all.
She is passionate about contributing to Melbourne’s re-emergence as a vibrant, thriving city. Her priority is ensuring that Melbourne is Australia’s greatest city to do business in and the destination of choice for families to live and visit.
Jason is co-founder and CEO of Calia. Calia is a restaurant-to-retail brand created in Melbourne specialising in quality products and ingredients. His hospitality and retail group employs hundreds of people across his stores in Melbourne and Asia and for his online store operations. Born and raised in Melbourne, Jason knows all too well the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on Melbourne’s beloved hospitality, retail, international student and tourism industries.
A resident of Docklands for 12 years, Jamal is passionate about ensuring a thriving community that is physically, emotionally, culturally and environmentally safe for everyone. Jamal is also an advocate for representative and evidence based decision-making. Jamal is portfolio lead for Creative Melbourne and deputy portfolio lead for Health, Wellbeing and Belonging.
Philip is a local resident and a long-time worker within the City of Melbourne. With more than 10 years of experience across a variety of sectors, including government, utility, telecommunication, and financial services, Philip is a trusted adviser to many in the community, business, and government sectors.
Kevin has been the City of Melbourne’s appointment to the advisory committees including Enterprise Melbourne Pty Ltd and Business Partner City Network. Having worked extensively in the China market, Kevin has a strong understanding of the cultural and business etiquette of operating successfully in China. Kevin is passionate about working with small business and activating the city to increase visitation.
As your Councillor, I will always do my utmost to deliver outcomes that best serve all residents and ratepayers. My skills, knowledge, and experience will assist me to do so in an accountable and transparent manner. I am particularly passionate about retaining our garden city character. Mount Waverley Ward, as well as many other parts of Monash, are such beautiful, nature-filled places to live, and I will fight to make sure that that remains the case.
Nicky volunteers in the community providing education, support, assistance for residents of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is multilingual and other than English speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hakka. Nicky is very passionate about health, particularly mental health. She has a strong interest in providing in-depth information for the community to reduce stigma and create inclusive communities.
Cr Grigau is a local hands-on business owner with strong ties to the arts & sporting community. After a 20-plus year career in the fashion and consumer retail sector as a product developer, Cr Grigau and his husband decided to move from Melbourne to make a lifestyle change. The choice between the high country and coastal lifestyle was made when a business in Hesse Street, Queenscliff was available.
In 2016, Cr Liu was elected as a Councillor to represent the former Elgar Ward and in 2020, was re-elected as the Councillor for the new Sparks Ward. She was elected Mayor for 2021/22. Cr Liu is also an honorary member of Rotary Club of Mont Albert and Surrey Hills and an honorary advisor to the Melbourne Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce and in 2019 was Chair of Whitehorse Manningham Library Corporation.
Cr Hill has a long record of active involvement in the community. She has been involved in children and youth education, connecting and empowering women, assisting new migrants settling in and integrating into our community bridging the gap between our different cultures, supporting seniors, young mothers and the disadvantaged, starting non-for-profit and charity organisations, and organising community activities including the Point Cook Lunar New Year Festival.
Claudia is a Councillor for the Melba Ward and is excited to achieve the best outcomes for the residents in her ward. Claudia was born and raised in Yarra. Her parents were refugees from Vietnam and called the Richmond public housing estates home.
Long-term resident of Queens Park, Hardeep proudly served in the Australian Army and holds a Masters degree in Engineering from UWA and Leadership Principles Diploma from Harvard Business School. Born in India to an Army Serviceman, Hardeep’s childhood was spent in multiple cities as his family moved with the battalion. From an early age, he was exposed to numerous cultures, languages and traditions. This instilled in him a deep understanding of society and a need to contribute positively for its betterment. He is passionate about improving safety, better facilities in our parks and a greener Canning while keeping the rates as low as possible.
He has been a Cockburn resident (Atwell and Success) for 18 years with his wife and two children. Tarun is a qualified Engineer and has held many senior executive roles as an Engineer and Project Leader delivering large scale projects across diverse teams, including working on the Gorgon LNG Project. Tarun has been able to get a pulse on the needs of our amazing community through sustained volunteering and engaging with a diverse group of residents across Cockburn. He is an active member of the Lions Club of Atwell and was the Diabetes Chairperson in WA South, where he conducted regular Diabetes Awareness programs throughout the State.
Cr. Zilani is available for the community on a full-time basis. He believes the rapidly growing North Ward offers a vibrant, engaged community. His priorities are community safety, action on hoons, encouraging job opportunities, enclosed dog park, footbridge near Lakelands Shopping Centre, and always putting the needs of residents first. He also successfully campaigned for the Lakelands train station, including a hunger strike, which was acknowledged in the Federal Parliament on 21st October 2019.
Rajah and his family have lived in Nedlands for over 30 years. His 3 daughters attended local schools, before graduating from the University of Western Australia. A professional accountant, Rajah comes to the Council with extensive knowledge of the workings of local government in Western Australia, having been the Finance Manager of 3 different local governments for a total of over 15 years. Prior to that he has held management positions in both the public and private sectors, in Australia and overseas. He is committed to keep Nedlands Environmentally and Financially Sustainable – a garden city of safe, friendly, inclusive and caring neighbourhoods, wherein the great diversity of the residents and their needs are recognised. An active Rotarian of many years, Rajah likes to live by the Rotary motto of Service above Self.
As a local member of the community, Cr Singh has a strong desire to build SJ Shire as a modern and state of art living Shire with all the modern technologies available. Cr Singh is a volunteer member for United Sikhs Perth, City of Perth City’s Hero’s team and an active member for Sikh Community in Western Australia.
First elected in 2017 aged 21, Cr D’Souza is the youngest elected member in the City’s history. A Waterford resident, he graduated from Trinity College and was offered a scholarship to Curtin University, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). His selection for the National Student Leadership Forum in Canberra and graduation from the John Curtin Leadership Academy motivated him to stand for Council and make a difference in his community. As an energetic local advocate, Cr D’Souza hopes to bring a fresh and youthful perspective to the Council and foster a sense of consultation and inclusivity amongst all residents in the City.
Andrea was elected to council in October 2021 and her priorities are increasing services for seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups; improving community safety, improving local parks and amenities and advocating for good environmental practices. Besides working full time in the non-profit sector and being a councillor with the City of Stirling, Andrea is a mother to two children and a dog. In her spare time Andrea loves to walk, cycle, dance, cook, read and listen to music.
On Council, I will contribute to the ongoing development and well-being of our community. With a focus on inclusion in decision making, I’ll fight to make this a safe and inclusive place for all. I aim to think beyond myself and lend my voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.