Published on 15 May 2023
Meet Your Council - Mid Coast Ward
Do you live in Reynella, Lonsdale, O’Sullivan Beach, Christie Downs, Christies Beach, Noarlunga Centre, Port Noarlunga, Noarlunga Downs, Seaford Meadows or Port Noarlunga South?
If so, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga Mid Coast Ward councillors, Gretel Wilkes and Dan Platten, 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 Mid Coast is the fourth ward to feature, following our recent interviews with Knox, 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?
GRETEL: I became an elected member because I thought I’d be a fantastic go-between for residents, council projects, all requests, and council staff. Thankfully, I have found my empathetic, open, and caring personality is well-suited to the role. I bring compassion, commitment, quick wit, and a level-headed approach that has already produced several results for the Mid Coast Ward. I understand problems can’t be fixed overnight, but if we build relationships and have respectful and honest discussion, problems can be resolved. If you have community-based problems, questions, or issues, I encourage you to make contact and see if I can help!
DAN: After nearly five years as a local business owner in Port Noarlunga and listening to the concerns of the local community, I decided it was time to put my hat in the ring and try to represent the constituents of the Mid Coast. I’ve always lived in the Mid Coast and want to see this area flourish. With a background in science, I hope to bring logical, evidence-based ideas to the chamber.
O NOW: What are your key priorities and things you want to achieve as a councillor?
GRETEL: The key priorities I’d like to achieve as councillor is driven by my constituents’ requests. I have no personal agenda apart from listening and responding to my community. I strive to listen to every voice, not just the loudest, and I enjoy being approached to help. I’m a respectful, hardworking, compassionate individual who isn’t scared to action concerns and implementing change to help our community thrive. So far, I’ve noticed the community is calling for functional, vibrant neighbourhoods, and I aim to use my empathetic and logical mannerisms to make this happen. In short, my priority is to be approachable for the public. I don’t have a personal agenda of projects, but my aspiration in this role is to be a responsive, open-minded, and strong advocate for my community.
DAN: I come with a passion for the Christies Creek catchment area, but generally for the greater environmental impact we’re having, from cat containment, to a higher focus on greening spaces with native plants to encourage biodiversity. I’m pleasantly surprised with what the City of Onkaparinga is currently undertaking in this area and hope to push for more impact in local communities.
I also want to build a stronger community. If the past few years have taught me anything, it's that a strong, vibrant community builds success. I wouldn't be where I am today without the beautiful connections I’ve been able to make through a good coffee. I want to help support the great work of community groups and charities. I’m constantly full of admiration of the people in our community that dedicate their lives to helping others and trying to make the City of Onkaparinga a better place.
O NOW: Tell us a bit about yourself, your connection to the region, and your passions outside of work.
GRETEL: My passion is spending time with my family and friends that live in and around the beautiful City of Onkaparinga. I love going to the beach, swimming, running, and exploring our beautiful array of local shops and precincts. I have an amazing partner and three children, who I believe keep this role relevant. My close circle consists of all ages, and I truly love spending time chatting and mingling with anyone and everyone! I’m a realist that knows I can’t change the world, but I am a hard worker who will never stop asking questions. I feel blessed to live in this beautiful part of the planet and acknowledge the responsibility that local councillors have to the community, culture, and people. The connection to the region is one that has developed from my early teens, and I am passionate about leaving this region in a healthy state for our children’s, children.
DAN: Currently my beautiful wife and children lay hold to most of my free time, which I enjoy immensely. The way a four-year-old looks at the world is something we could all take something away from. I’m an avid gardener, woodworker, bushwalker and chief kangaroo spotter among a growing list of hobbies and activities I’ll never have enough time to master. I’ve always lived in the Mid Coast, having been brought up in Hackham, then Reynella, and now having my own home in Noarlunga Downs and small business in Port Noarlunga.
O NOW: What do you want to hear about from local residents?
GRETEL: Everything—there’s no problem too big or small, and if it’s not a local government issue, I’m more than happy to point residents in the right direction! I know I wouldn’t be here without the locals’ support, and my platform coming into Council, which certainly hasn’t changed, is that I’ll help wherever I can. I often post on my social pages monthly Council meeting updates, community events, council incentives, motions passed, and about local restaurants, cafes, and hangouts. Please feel free to follow along on my Facebook page and Instagram, or contact me via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.
DAN: I’m here to be your advocate and try to get the best outcomes I can for our community. We’re not always going to get it right... but by golly we are going to try! If you have any concerns, questions or enquiries, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll endeavour to assist where possible. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates.