In Focus – 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 you answered yes, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga Thalassa Ward councillors, Marion Themeliotis and Geoff Eaton, who are ready to listen and advocate on your behalf on the local issues important to you.
Onkaparinga Now is shining a spotlight on Council’s elected members, as the halfway mark of their four-year term approaches, for a new series of articles called In Focus, and Marion and Geoff are first cab off the rank.
Dive in below to learn more about who they are and what they’re passionate about, and don’t hesitate to reach out them using the contact details below.
ONKAPARINGA NOW (O NOW): Why did you want to become an elected member?
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.
GEOFF: I took the opportunity to seek election due to the negative publicity our council received some years ago, and I focused on public sector governance, debt management, council rates and community safety and resilience. My election provided an opportunity to extend my interest in public sector management, but from a different perspective (having worked at all three levels of government), and to continue to serve a community I’ve been a member of for over 45 years. It’s a pleasure for an old bloke to work with the young and professional Councillor Themeliotis, to represent our community. Some people may call it positive ageing.
O NOW: What local issues are you most passionate about?
MARION: Together we’ve achieved some great outcomes for Thalassa including upgrading Flagstaff Community Centre, tennis courts, cricket nets and play facilities; securing funding for our Northern Forum; approving the Clarendon Recreation Ground Master Plan and zoning; upgrading the Hill Recreation Centre; upgrading lighting, pathways and crossings; and providing funding for Minton Farm.
But, we have more to achieve together including advocating for upgrades/crossing at Main Road, Coromandel Valley; new changeroom facilities for Happy Valley Sports Park; continuing the cat containment discussion to protect local wildlife; future expansion of Coromandel Community Centre; upgrading Hill Recreation Centre; upgrading Clarendon Netball Club courts; progressing the Clarendon Master Plan; advocating for undercover greens at Happy Valley Bowling Club and for further pathway and reserve upgrades in Thalassa; and completing internal upgrades to Flagstaff Community Centre.
GEOFF: Some of the things I’m most passionate about are representing my community, interacting and working with a broad range of residents and people, and building their resilience so we can better deal with natural disasters and emergency events. I have a strong interest in community safety/wellbeing, economic development and ensuring Thalassa Ward is represented. I’m passionate about the upgrade of Main Road, Coromandel Valley and Cherry Gardens, particularly from Black Road to Cherry Gardens Road. This state government road is in need for a major upgrade considering it’s shared by articulated vehicles, bicycles, and passenger vehicles, with numerous bends and poor road edging. We’ve been successful in having wombat crossings funded for Park Avenue, Aberfoyle Park (completed) and Ridgeway Drive, Flagstaff Hill (scheduled for June), but I’d like to see the state government install a speed/red light camera at Flagstaff Primary School on Black Road to increase the safety of the children.
O NOW: What do you want to hear about from local residents?
MARION: Our residents need to have say on the issues that matter to them for good decision-making to occur. 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.
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 our best interests. I regularly walk around the streets with Tessa (my new Dalmatian pup), so please stop for a chat. She’ll do the introduction with a smile and lots of enthusiasm. I’d also like to hear about the good news stories of council’s services.
O NOW: What’s the best thing about the Onkaparinga region?
MARION: Our council area is unique in being the only region that boasts vast rural landscapes, beautiful coastlines, productive vineyards, townships, cultural heritage, and strong community connections. We’re resilient and have come together through the many challenges faced in the past 24 months. Our residents, community groups, sporting clubs, volunteers, family-owned businesses and service groups are the best thing about our region. It’s their contribution that makes Onkaparinga the best community in SA.
GEOFF: Our diversity. We have 31 kilometres of magic coastline offering swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, diving, surfing and windsurfing experiences. Two-thirds of our region is rural, with some of the best wineries, craft beer breweries, bakeries and restaurants in Australia. What about our historical townships of Clarendon, old Noarlunga and Willunga; and the lovely rural communities of Cherry Gardens, Kangarilla, McLaren Flat and Blewitt Springs to enjoy after travelling through Coromandel Valley on your journey? If you like the great outdoors, go walking or bike riding along our many trails, or camping, climbing and hiking in the Onkaparinga River National Park. Put the kayak on the roof of your car and go for paddle in the Onkaparinga estuary, remembering—by the end of this year—you can do the same at the Happy Valley Reservoir. Don’t forget our five golf courses. If out with the children/grandkids, then please drop into Jubilee Park for some fun times. Does the Barossa Valley or Yorke Peninsula have that diversity? So, go south, go local and most importantly enjoy. It’s all so close to home!