Cockburn councillor balancing motherhood with busy career

Councillor Chamonix Terblanche. Picture: Will Russell   d468399
Councillor Chamonix Terblanche. Picture: Will Russell d468399

COCKBURN councillor Chamonix Terblanche says she hopes to show other mothers considering balancing motherhood with a busy career that it can be done.

Cr Terblanche, who recently left her role as a chief of staff to work in real estate, was elected as a member of Cockburn’s east ward just 10 days after the birth of her second son, Bordeaux, in 2015.

Her newborn accompanied her to council meetings and other duties and she said it would be no different with her third child, due in June.

“It didn’t even cross my mind whether I could do my duties and manage being a mother,” she said. “You just do what you have to do.

“Having them with you reminds you why you do these things. It’s all for the future of these little ones.”

Cr Terblanche said there had been stares but for the most part no issues.

“Hopefully I’ve inspired a lot of people to know they can manage it. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.”

Cockburn’s governance and community services director Don Green said the City had no issue with councillors bringing newborns to meetings.

“Cr Terblanche is an example of how motherhood and professional roles can be effectively managed,” he said.

Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk said she was committed to increasing the number of women with children in the workplace.

“Our elected bodies including local government should look like the community it seeks to represent. If we want more women in elected roles we need to accommodate their family responsibilities,” she said.