Smiling side-by-side official headshots of Thalassa Ward councillors Marion Themeliotis (left) and Geoff Eaton (right).

Published on 07 June 2023

Meet Your Council - Thalassa Ward

Do you live in the Flagstaff Hill, Coromandel Valley, Coromandel East, Aberfoyle Park, Chandlers Hill, Clarendon, Cherry Gardens, Ironbank or Dorset Vale?

If so, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga Thalassa Ward councillors Geoff Eaton and Marion Themeliotis, 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 Thalassa Ward is the sixth to feature, following our recent interviews with Mid CoastKnoxSouth Coast and Southern Vales councillors; and Mayor Moira Were.

Stay tuned for the final Meet Your Council article (Pimpala Ward) soon.

ONKAPARINGA NOW (O NOW): What made you want to become an elected member and what do you bring to the role?

GEOFF: I initially took the opportunity to seek election in 2018 due to the unfortunate negative publicity our council had received some years before, with my focus on public sector governance, debt management, council rates, community safety and resilience, and environmental issues. My election provided an opportunity to extend my interest in public sector management, having worked at all three levels of government, and to continue to serve a community I’ve been part of for over 49 years. I’ve served on the Audit Risk Committee, Finance Working Group, most community/business grants assessment panels, each year’s Australia Day Awards Committee and the Mayor’s Christmas Lights Judging Panel. It’s a pleasure to be able to continue to represent residents not only in our northern areas but across the whole of the city. I have met the many enthusiastic staff who are committed to their role of delivering services to our community.

MARION: We live in the best community in SA and, with you, I want to make it even better. Thalassa has brought me great opportunities, friendships, education, shared values, liveability and a strong sense of safety and community. I have a long-term commitment to our community. Through advocacy and being your voice in the Council chamber, my focus is to best represent you on issues that matter. Local government provides me with the opportunity to utilise my knowledge of what matters in our ward, as well as my strong connection to community, to make a real difference for you.

O NOW: What are your key priorities and things you want to achieve as a councillor?

GEOFF: My priorities include listening to and representing residents, improving services, our environment, community safety and wellbeing, prudent public sector financial management and governance, rate capping, our senior residents, my grandkids and their friends, recreation and sporting facilities, footpaths and economic development.

I enjoy working with our community, ensuring Thalassa Ward is represented. I’m aware of the need for footpaths in various parts of Aberfoyle Park, Flagstaff Hill and Coromandel Valley, areas that were developed 50 years ago and that are still waiting for this infrastructure. My strong interest in community safety/wellbeing continues and I’d like to see more work undertaken to assist residents in the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery phases of emergency incidents from an all-hazards approach, as well as informing residents of the various services provided by the three tiers of government, and road safety. I’m committed to changes in the Development Code to ensure we have a suitable framework to consider community concerns. I would also like to see the state government install a speed/red light camera at Flagstaff Hill Primary School on Black Road to increase the safety of the children.

MARION: Together we’ve achieved great outcomes for Thalassa including upgrading Flagstaff Community Centre and Happy Valley Sports Park; securing funding for our Northern Forum; progressing the Clarendon Recreation Ground Master Plan, upgrading the Paul Murray Recreation Centre; upgrading lighting, pathways and crossings; and saving our Happy Valley BMX track. But, we have more to achieve together including advocating for upgrades/crossing at Main Road, Coromandel Valley; continuing the cat containment discussion to protect local wildlife; expanding Coromandel Community Centre; and advocating for further pathway and reserve upgrades.

O NOW: Tell us a bit about yourself, your connection to the region and your passions outside of work?

GEOFF: I’ve been a resident in the area for 49 years with my wife, Sue, raising our family and now enjoy helping with the grandsons. During my working life, I held senior positions in both the South Australia Police and Australian Federal Police for 44 years, then had my first attempt at retirement in 2011, (which wasn’t successful, even though I helped sail a 40-foot yacht back to Australia from Mexico) because I ended up working in the funeral industry, then for the Department of Environment and Water and Natural Resources, managing their Hazards Management Team, undertook a project for the Rural City of Murray Bridge facilitating a safe community task force, and a further project for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield developing their Community Emergency Management Plan. So now in retirement, I continue to have a sense of purpose as a councillor by representing this community. I call it “positive ageing”. I regularly walk around Aberfoyle Park, Flagstaff Hill and visit the Frank Smith Park and Minkarra dog park with Tessa (our Dalmatian), so please stop for a chat. She’ll do the introduction, often with a big smile and lots of enthusiasm.

MARION: 29 years ago, my parents left the UK to seek better opportunities for their children. They chose to live in the City of Onkaparinga, Flagstaff Hill, attracted by the surroundings, services, and strong sense of community. From my time as a student at Flagstaff Hill Primary School and Aberfoyle Park High School, to becoming a homeowner in Flagstaff Hill, I’ve made a long-term commitment to our community. I’m passionate about working with my community, residents, volunteers, sporting, and service clubs, and associations to achieve the best outcome for our community, and have no fear in raising the issues that matter, making hard decisions, and asking the tough questions.

O NOW: What do you want to hear from local residents?

GEOFF: If residents have concerns regarding service delivery, infrastructure improvements and Council decisions, please contact me. There will be diverse views, but it’s about hearing what people have to say and making informed decisions in all our best interests. I’d also like to hear those good news stories of council’s services, as we do have many enthusiastic staff who need to hear the positive side of their activities.

MARION: Our residents need to have a say on the issues that matter to them for good decision-making to occur. Together we face many challenges ahead with the cost-of-living pressures at the forefront, tough decisions need to be made to ensure the future of our council. As your elected member, to best represent you and be a strong voice in the chamber, I want to hear from you on the key issues. I want to be the go-to for residents—an elected member who is available, listening to, and working with you. Residents need to voice their concerns, raise issues, and have a say in Council’s priorities. I want to hear from you to ensure this Council is on the right track. Tell me where we can do better.