More dates

Candid Conversation with People of Colour Candidates NSW

This event has passed Get tickets

Event description

Candid Conversations with People of Colour Candidates -
NSW Local Government

Influenced by the rise of cultural diversity in US, UK and New Zealand politics, Australia is experiencing its own watershed moment with unprecedented numbers of Indigenous and Culturally & Linguistically Diverse people running for office. 

In 2020, Victoria's Local Government election saw 8 African candidates and dozens of multicultural candidates register to contest local government seats.  In early 2021, an astonishing 15 Aboriginal candidates nominated in Western Australia's state election with two Labor candidates winning a seat in both houses.  And for the imminent NSW Local Government Election on 4 December 2021, we've seen unprecedented  numbers of culturally diverse people  nominate as local government candidates.

Join us for this thrilling Candid Conversation, where we talk to four culturally diverse local government candidates from NSW, including: Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Barbara Keeley who is running in the North Ward of Randwick Council; Aboriginal Elder, Lewis Burns nominated for the East Ward of Dubbo Regional Council; South Sea Islander, First Nations and Caribbean woman Emelda Davis contesting at City of Sydney; and Sri Lankan Australian Greens Party candidate Sujan Selventhiran for the Wentworthville Ward of Cumberland City Council.


Aunty Barbara Keeley - Independent (Randwick City Council)

“I have been a community advocate and an Aboriginal Elder for many years lobbying governments and organisations to give Indigenous people equal rights and opportunities,” says Aunty Barbara. “My core beliefs are ‘Equity, social justice and a fair go for all. I am a strong believer in decreasing our carbon footprint through programs such as subsidised solar panels for schools and residents and more funds invested in cycleways to decrease the use of cars.”

As a member of the Stolen Generation, at the age of three, Aunty Barbara and four of her siblings were forcibly removed from their mother’s home in La Perouse. If elected,  she’ll press the council to create a promised Stolen Generation memorial at La Perouse.

Lewis Burns - Independent (Dubbo Regional Council)

Well-respected Tubba-Gah Wiradjuri man Lewis Burns is the grandson of Arthur Clifford Burns, one of the founding members of the Aboriginal Progressives Foundation, whose footsteps he is following.  Lewis says "Having Indigenous people in the room when decisions are being made is not only important for getting Indigenous perspectives on matters that impact the community, it's also about the basic functionality of council."

Lewis has been involved in facilitating the Dubbo-Minokamo sister city
relationship since November 1998 when he accompanied former mayor Tony
McGrane and other delegates from Dubbo, CSU & Western Plains Zoo on his first trip to Japan. Since then, he has taught Aboriginal culture to Japanese exchange students and taught Japanese art students studying at TAFE Dubbo.  Lewis says "My involvement with the city movement has and continues to be one of the great honours of my life."

Waskam Emelda Davis - Independent (City of Sydney)

Ms (Waskam) Emelda Davis is a passionate resident of Pyrmont with strong links to the local community, as well as a strong advocate for cultural diversity and greater inclusion for her Indigenous, Pacific and Australian South Sea Islander communities. She is proud of her diverse ancestry as second-generation Australian South Sea Islander of First Nations and Caribbean descent.

Emelda has worked for federal, state, community and grassroots organisations where she has exhibited diverse expertise in community development, education, training, media, and marketing.  As chairwoman of the Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson) (ASSIPJ) since 2009, under Emelda’s leadership, ASSIPJ have revived the focus on ‘the call for recognition’ for the descendants of Australia’s Blackbirding trade through the coordination of seven ‘Wantok’ national workshops between 2012-2015, and the development of the National Australian South Sea Islander Association constitution adopted at Tweed Heads New South Wales (NSW 2015).

Sujan Selventhiran - Greens Party (Cumberland City Council)

Candidate for Cumberland Council – Wentworthville Ward - Sujan Selven is a community worker and human rights advocate, and a member of the Tamil community. He's running to ensure that Cumberland Council is ethical and listens to the voices of residents, protects green spaces and promotes sustainable development.  Sujan aims to ensure that local council is accountable to the community. 

Previously, a Greens’ state candidate for the state seat of Prospect, Sujan has lived in the Cumberland Council area for over 18 years and believes in an ethical, open and inclusive local government. He also believes that the next Cumberland Council needs a Green voice and says, "We need to build community spaces for organisations and community events, support clean energy initiatives in our local area and create affordable housing initiatives."

Candid Conversations with People of Colour Candidates -
NSW Local Government

Date:  Thursday 2 December 2021

Time: 7.00-8.00pm AEDT

Venue: Zoom (emailed 2 hours before event)


Co-hosted by Indian Australian and community development practitioner Tito Scohel of Southern Communities Council and Torres Strait Islander woman Kat Henaway, founder of Politics in Colour. 

This initiative is proudly supported by Allies in Colour in its commitment to diversity in politics.

For future events including Australia’s diverse candidates and parliamentarians, connect to our Facebook Page @politicscolour.

If you'd like to support our work, please consider a donation as you register for your ticket.

Any inquiries, please click the Contact Organiser button below.

Powered by

Tickets for good, not greed Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to charity

Refund policy

No refunds