Published on 10 May 2023
Meet Your Council - Knox Ward
Do you live in Morphett Vale or Old Reynella?
If so, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga Knox Ward councillors, Heidi Greaves and Colt Stafford, who are ready to listen and advocate on your behalf on the local issues important to you.
Onkaparinga Now has launched a series of articles to help you to better get to know your new elected members, and Knox is third ward to feature, following our recent interviews with South Coast and Southern Vales councillors, and Mayor Moira Were.
Stay tuned for more Meet Your Council articles soon as we delve into the rest of City of Onkaparinga wards’ elected members.
ONKAPARINGA NOW (O NOW): What made you want to become an elected member and what do you bring to the role?
HEIDI: I’ve had the privilege of being an elected member for Knox Ward for 16 years. Back when I first started in 2002, my motivation was to be a part of decisions that would affect my children, who were both in school at the time. Now both are grown up and living and working in Onkaparinga, and I still love taking a leadership role in our community.
COLT: Aside from making my parents proud, I think what interested me most about becoming an elected member was that it gave me a great opportunity to learn about my local community and a chance to positively shape the future of these suburbs I’ve grown up in. What I bring to the role is probably not extensive qualifications or experience, but I embrace that as someone who wants to learn. I bring to the role a more youth-centric perspective, a willingness to learn and engage, and a genuine want to ensure that people are heard and represented.
O NOW: What are your key priorities and things you want to achieve as a councillor?
HEIDI: I’d love to say, to keep our rates as low as possible, and I think we’ve achieved this over several years. But as we’ve grown as a Council, and as the demand for services and infrastructure has changed, my priority is more about ensuring we’re able to continue meeting the needs of our residents in a financially sustainable and responsible manner, making decisions that benefit the community.
COLT: As a younger person, I’d like to see the council engage the youth more in shaping Onkaparinga’s future, as well as finding ways to promote opportunities to the youth. I’d also like to help improve the communication between council and community to ensure people understand and feel included in the process behind decision making. Furthermore, I’d hope the council could help alleviate the ongoing cost of living struggles in some way, despite its difficulty. As I learn the balance between being ambitious and pragmatic, I hope at the very least people will enjoy living in Onkaparinga more before my term ends.
O NOW: Tell us a bit about yourself, your connection to the region, and your passions outside of work.
HEIDI: I’ve lived in Onkaparinga since the 1980s when my parents first purchased land and built in Huntfield Heights. My kids have both gone to school in Onkaparinga, I’m a member of my local CFS brigade, attend a great community church in Morphett Vale, and am part-owner in a small business in the region. I love being a part of this great community and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. The former Mayor Rosenberg used to say Onkaparinga is the centre of the universe; and I completely agree—there’s nothing like it!
COLT: I’d like to think I’m a fairly average teenager, though maybe a bit funnier. My connection to the region is that I’ve spent my entire life here in Onkaparinga, growing up in Morphett Vale. This area is home for me, and I’ve got little reason to leave it outside of going to study at Flinders University. As for my passions, I like videogames, D&D, playing guitar and learning about history. I’m a bit of a nerd, but I also try to maintain a balance by going out, getting stronger at the gym, and otherwise keeping myself busy.
O NOW: What do you want to hear about from local residents?
HEIDI: As a councillor, we are the interface between residents and Council. I get the most satisfaction from helping residents navigate any issues they’re experiencing living in our community. So, I’d love to hear from residents with any questions—if there’s anything they’re curious about or need help with, anything to do with Council. If I can assist I will, and if I don’t know the answer, I will try to find out for them.
COLT: I’m still learning what it means to be a councillor, so while I learn, you can send all your difficult issues to Cr Greaves. All joking aside, my message to the residents is that I believe local government should be an expression of the will of the local community, and that I’m in this position to serve you. Whether it’s issues, questions, invites or ideas, I want to hear it all, and serve to the best of my ability. To anyone reading this interview, I encourage you to shoot me an email so that we can improve our city together.