Councillor profiles - Sandy Vershoor The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide
The City of Adelaide was designed for life, by Colonel William Light, who set out the city, the only planned city in a park, with the wellbeing of its citizens front of mind.
Today we have more than 760 hectares of magnificent parklands surrounding our city - an extraordinary gift to the citizens of Adelaide and the people of South Australia.
We are the capital of South Australia, the beating heart of business, culture, education, food and wine experiences and with the longest open-air mall in the country.
How long have you been on Council?
I successfully ran in the 2015 by-election as an Area Councillor a few months after serving three years as the General Manager for Community and Culture. I served as Deputy Lord Mayor from 2017-18, immediately prior to being elected Lord Mayor in the 2018 election.
The role of Lord Mayor is absolutely a fulltime plus role. When I first became a councillor, I was the executive producer for Windmill Theatre Company, then the Chief Executive Officer of the Adelaide Festival, delivering Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield’s first festival to critical and box office success.
While Deputy Lord Mayor I was the executive producer of the 2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work hours?
I love very long walks, singing in my choir, reading and indulging in the superb food and wine offering we have in the city.
What are they key challenges facing you and your Council?
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our budget, as nearly half our revenue comes from our own commercial operations such as UPark car parks. We have several major city shaping strategic and infrastructure projects to be delivered including the Adelaide Central Market Arcade, 88 O’Connell Street and our new Skate Park!
Tell us about a specific success you have had in Local Government.
We have almost completed the delivery of our 10GIG network, the fastest data network in the world. Our focus for the next 18 months will be post-COVID recovery and the opportunity to reimagine our city.
The City of Adelaide has demonstrated environmental leadership launching the very first sustainable event guidelines in Australia and being the first council in South Australia to procure 100 percent of our electricity needs from renewable sources.
We have been instrumental in creating a dynamic city culture with an enviable calendar of festivals and events, some of the very best food and wine offerings in the country, an explosion of small bars and venues that love being in a UNESCO city of music!
What is the best part about being a Councillor?
I love being connected to the strategic outcomes for our city, and to work in partnership across so many sectors, communities, businesses and industries.
What is the worst part?
Not being able to deliver everything at once … so much opportunity!
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
As a partner in the Adelaide Zero project I hope to achieve functional zero homelessness, ensure our most precious asset the Adelaide Park Lands continue to be central to our wellbeing, and reenergise the City of Adelaide as a creative city, a city of makers.