Published on 22 March 2023
Meet Your Council – South Coast Ward
Do you live in Seaford, Seaford Rise, Moana, Maslin Beach, Port Willunga, parts of Aldinga, Aldinga Beach or Sellicks Beach?
If so, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga South Coast Ward councillors, Lauren Jew and Paul Yeomans, 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 South Coast is the second ward to feature following our recent interviews with the Southern Vales Ward 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?
LAUREN: I love the environment, local people and the diversity of opportunities in our southern community. To be able to influence decisions and protect and advocate for our region motivated me to become an elected member. I have a background in stakeholder engagement and have worked and lived in the South Coast Ward for more than 15 years. I feel I have a good understanding of the strengths, concerns and aspirations of local people.
PAUL: Since retiring, I found it interesting speaking with residents of my community in Maslin Beach about local concerns that I hadn't previously thought about, and decided it was time to put my hand up. Working for SA Police for more than 40 years was experience I thought may serve me well in my aspiration to serve the local community. I also considered my experience working as a detective for most of my career, particularly the last 13 years in management, (I retired as a detective superintendent) provided me with skills in leadership, fiscal management, governance and decision making—all relevant for elected members.
O NOW: What are your key priorities and things you want to achieve as a councillor?
LAUREN: My greatest priority is to ensure the voices of our local community are represented and that decisions made are always evidence-based and have the interests of the region at the heart of the outcome. I believe my priorities need to be in line with local residents' expectations. I've had many discussions with local people about playgrounds, waste, equitable services and infrastructure, footpaths, planning, the environment and transparency. My areas of interest are inclusion, participation, quality services and facilities, sustainability and innovation.
PAUL: I'd like members of our local community to be more aware of the influence our local council has on their daily lives. When you take a walk around the block or visit your local reserve, most of what you see is influenced by local council. I'm also keen for the community to have their say on relevant projects that are designed to improve their living environment, whether that be new or upgraded footpaths, reserves, community centres or roads. The council has considerable debt, and one of my priorities is helping to identify efficiencies and opportunities to reduce spending.
O NOW: Tell us a bit about yourself, your connection to the region, and your passions outside of work.
LAUREN: When I'm not working or performing my council responsibilities, I'm chasing after my three-year-old. I love travelling, and also discovering new places in our region— there are so many. I've always been drawn to volunteering and working in roles to create a more equitable society. I'm a Fellow of the Governor's Leadership Foundation and have been on a number of boards. I want to utilise my knowledge and skills for the benefit of our area.
PAUL: I've been retired for a couple of years now and have lived in Maslin Beach for more than 20 years. I continue to enjoy swimming, working out in the gym, playing golf and fishing. I think I'm a down-to-earth person, pragmatic, and I look for solutions to problems. I enjoy catching up with friends and visiting wineries, breweries, cafes and restaurants in the region with my partner, Rose. I have three adult children—my eldest is 36, so I'm showing my age—and four grandchildren who are growing up ever so quickly before my eyes.
O NOW: What do you want to hear about from local residents?
LAUREN: I like to think I'm approachable, a connector and responsive. I'm happy for residents, local clubs and groups to contact me on any matter. The more I'm connected with the local community, the better positioned I'll be to fulfil this role.
PAUL: I'm keen to hear the good and the bad. Reflecting on my career, I was always pleased to hear about one of the patrols or investigators doing a good job and I was even more pleased to pass that message on. I'm prepared to advocate on behalf of concerns from the community, particularly if those concerns arise from a public safety perspective or where the use of council resources could be improved. I always adopted an ‘open door policy’ at work and as such, I will always prefer to hear a grievance from a local resident than not hear about it and let the issue potentially fester.