City of Mandurah 2017 local government election candidates

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MORE: City of Mandurah election: Williams wins Mayor

Below are the background profiles of candidates for this local government authority. Candidates running in the election authorised and provided their background profiles to Community Newspaper Group for publication. Candidate contact details are included in each profile.


Name: Mark Brzezinski
Standing for mayor
Phone: 0417994412
Suburb of residence: Silver Sands

Are you a member of a political party? No

About me:
I am 57 retired, available to serve you 24/7 and live 2kms from the Council. Born in Perth to Polish Catholic, concentration camp survivors. Grew up in Mandurah. Worked on high rise buildings so I could attend the Universities of WA and also NSW. Aged 23 became a self employed professional in a very busy innovative practice. Attended to tens of thousands of people with not one single complaint brought against me to the health department during my entire career. Retired at age 43 to enjoy my extended family. Continued studying and doing research in many fields. Currently privileged to assist my parents who are approaching 90 to live a full independent productive life. I am very sympathetic to the needs of our elderly citizens. I have also done undergraduate training and self taught in computer science, electrical, mechanical and lighting engineering as well as being a commercial pilot.

Why I am running for council:
I have no agenda to push other than to uphold the integrity of the Mayor’s office. I have not been a former Councilor so I do not have the baggage associated with deal making to obtain other councilors votes or the pandering to developers, suppliers and other businesses. I am well travelled so I have seen what works in other local government areas and what does not. Over the past 5 years I have studying as many reports as I could find relating to the City of Mandurah and the Councils dealings and have found the standard of work to be very high. There is always room for improvement but overall I am very satisfied with the efforts of the Cities workers and I will aim to continue this long held projection.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • To assist and guide the Councilors to be fair and productive in their decision making process.
  • To promote a more open and inclusive local government.
  • Framework community health, safety and wellbeing.


Name: Marina Vergone
Standing for mayor
Phone: 0417 900 794
Suburb of residence: Halls Head

About me:
I currently serve you as Mayor of the City of Mandurah and ask that you again elect me to continue the great work happening around Mandurah. Qualified CPA, Fellow IPA, Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors, award winning business owner of more than 28 years, wife and mother to three adult sons, that we raised in Mandurah. Mandurah has so many wonderful people, natural assets and waterways that need care and strategic planning to ensure the best future outcomes for all concerned. I believe in good corporate governance and transparency in all matters concerning the City.

  • Reducing unemployment
  • Enabling businesses to start up in Mandurah with less red tape
  • Better health care and aged care facilities
  • More training and education opportunities
  • Stimulating activities for our youth
  • Better public transport, especially in the Dawesville area
  • More CCTV cameras to ensure safety in the CBD
  • Completion of Stage Two Eastern Foreshore activation

Why I am running for council:
Being Mayor is extremely important and a great honour. I have met some amazing people, been to places in Mandurah I had never explored before. Discovered more knowledge about this great City and feel very honoured to have been elected into the role.With everything I have learnt over the past six years on council, I feel that I can offer so much to the community in the way of connecting and helping people.I am proud of the great staff the City has employed and take my hat off to the works and services team who work tirelessly to ensure our parks, roads and verges are kept up to a high standard. I love meeting people and feel fulfilled when I am able to help them, whether it is just signing off legal documents, helping them become an Australian Citizen, opening their new business or any other Civic role.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Creating employment opportunities
  • Mental health/rehabilitation services
  • Safety and crime prevention



Name: Merv Darcy JP
Ward contested: Coastal 

Why I’m running for council:
I can make a difference on Council. I’ve been a Mandurah ratepayer for over 30 years & am actively involved in and have a good knowledge of our local community. I have been an advocate in many forums. My objective is to ensure that Coastal Ward gets a fair share of Council expenditure and that important local initiatives such as an extension of the bus service, more safe pedestrian crossings on the Old Coast Rd, a prompt installation of the shark net, a comprehensive mosquito spraying program and the maintenance of the Cut reserve for conservation and recreation purposes, become Council priorities. It is important that ­Council get on the front foot & lobby for the big-ticket items that we need from state and federal government such as an additional Mandurah Estuary Bridge to cope with the growing traffic. I stand to represent the whole community, not any vested interests.


Name: Candace Di Prinzio
Ward contested: Coastal
Phone: 0439 906 615
Suburb of residence: Falcon

Are you a member of a political party? No

About me:
I am a passionate, energetic Falcon resident, and have called the Coastal Ward and Mandurah my home for the last 30 years.  Being the Chairperson of “Shape Mandurah”, I’ve been proud to lead in bringing monthly food trucks and the ice rink to Mandurah’s City centre, as well as art instillations and community workshops. My passion for activating Mandurah’s spaces and providing residents with a voice is forefront. Being part of “Mandurah’s Young Professionals Group” and for 14 years growing my career within my family’s property agency, I understand firsthand the importance of leadership and bringing people together to combat challenges faced by residents and local businesses. I am someone who can be relied upon, am true to my word and have a strong desire to serve my community. I will be your voice to make the hard decisions, and help shape the broader conversation about the Coastal Ward community.

Why I am running for council:
I’m running as candidate for the Coastal Ward, to stand and represent Mandurah’s South – The people, places and community. Sensible governance, local engagement and involvement is key to ensure a thriving community. I’m passionate about helping local businesses, encouraging community participation and ensuring a safe environment in the Coastal Ward. I want to ensure that those in the Coastal Ward feel heard, and have their ideas and opinions voiced and put forward to extend our increasingly vibrant City centre into the South. Through connecting with residents, and discussing issues and solutions, we can work together to find ways to make action happen from the ground up. I am sincere about wanting to help make life in the Coastal Ward and greater Mandurah even better. This will be my focus, if you elect me as a Councillor within the Coastal Ward of the City of Mandurah for 2017.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Ensuring the Coastal Ward residents have their ideas and opinions heard, and then being their voice within Council meetings to ensure that the matters raised are attended to
  • Working with local businesses to encourage growth and prosperity
  • Activating areas which are currently underutilised and encouraging events, community workshops and projects – eg permanent volleyball set up at Falcon Beach, community events and family friendly festivals with activities and food vendors within public spaces

Name: Stella Kassiotes
Ward contested: Coastal
Phone: 0411470506
Suburb of residence: Wannanup

Are you a member of any political party? No

About Me:
I am originally from Innisfail, FNQ. I travelled and worked around the world at the age of 20, living and working in London, Cyprus, Santorini, Caribbean, New York,South Africa.  After 11yrs I returned to Australia and moved to WA. I opened my own restaurant in Mossman Park with a business partner. I am divorced and have one daughter. I love what I do and am hard working and creative.

Why I am running for Council:
I am enthusiastic and passionate about this community and want to make a difference. I want to make changes and help others. I have a longer range vision for the community and want our children to want to live here. We have such a huge domestic violence and drug problem we have to change for a happier community.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Building a stronger Community as the outer Mandurah  growing at rapid pace, so lobbying for a much needed high school which has been on the drawing board for about 10years.
  • I would like to see youth engagement and mentored with work ethic and the tools to be equipped to obtain work in our region, build confidence In our youths.
  • Improve,Support our Natural Water Resources and Marine life.


Name: Todd Jenkins
Ward contested: East
Phone: 0433430647
Suburb of residence: Dudley Park

Are you a member of any political party: No

About me:
Being a resident of Mandurah since 1989 I have had the privilege to participate in local sports, playing and coaching at South Mandurah Falcons to becoming the President at the Mandurah City Soccer Club. Competitive Sport has always been a major passion in my life where I have met and worked with some amazing people. I have owned and operated businesses here in Mandurah, and I currently Own and operate Lockdown Security Solutions. We have always employed and trained young people from the peel Region. My competitive nature has seen our Family business grow to one of the more successful Security Companies in the South West. Family is extremely important to me and having four children and two grandchildren has highlighted the importance a strong Mandurah is. My wife Sylvia and I have loved bringing our Children up in Mandurah, and we want our children to have the same opportunities.

Why I am running for council:
Community is very important to me. I understand that when our community needs guidance and real-life business experience you need to stand up. Mandurah has given myself and my family many opportunities over the years and I feel our council lacks business experience and understanding of what the real social issues are. Working in Security every day and I know our City needs direction and help socially and economically. I believe our City needs experienced people in council who understand the financial pressures on families and retirees. We all need reassurance that safety and security are in good experienced hands. Our City is under financial stress, and now more than ever we need council representatives who are responsible with spending and understand how to reduce costs without increasing rates. Please remember our City is a $500 million business. Cost blow outs mean rate increases.  Safety, Security, Employment and Strong Action.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Security and Safety
  • Ensure Financial Accountability
  • Introduce strategies to help Small Businesses employ and train our youth.

Name: Lynn Rodgers
Ward contested:   East
Phone: 0428 394 526
Suburb of residence: Halls Head

Are you a member of a political party? No

About me:
I have lived in Mandurah for the past 22 years with my 3 children and have served as a councillor in the East Ward for 16 of those years. I am a very family orientated person and spend much of my free time with my family. I have always had a passion to help others and this led me to create a community agency that would help those in need throughout the region called WestAus Crisis & Welfare Services. My office is centrally located at Lotteries House and this has given me a great opportunity to stay connected with a large section of the local community. I enjoy walks on my local beach and enjoy travelling both locally and overseas. I have a strong sense of fairness and treat everyone as I like to be treated. This trait follows through in my work ethics and my councillor ethics.

Why I am running for council:
Mandurah is made up of a varied cross-section of peoples, ages and cultures. As a councillor it is important that all people in the East Ward and the greater Mandurah area have a voice at a local government level to ensure their concerns, hopes and fears are heard. I have always and will continue to make myself available to listen to resident’s needs and concerns. It is all too easy for people or groups to fall through the cracks, be that pensioners, youth or culturally diverse groups. I will ensure that all people in the area are afforded an equal opportunity to have their voice heard. As a fast growing Regional City, it is equally important that we provide employment opportunities for all current and future job seekers. I will continue to lobby all levels of government for the provision of more job opportunities whilst protecting our sensitive local environment.

My top three priorities if elected

  • Education and employment opportunities
  • Protection of our local environment and waterways
  • Crime Prevention/Law and Order


Name:  Karen Whiting
Ward contested: Coastal
Phone:  0431 711 077
Suburb of residence: Erskine

Are you a member of a political party?  No

About me:
Since moving to Mandurah with my husband and children, and working as a mortgage broker with Liberty Network Services, I have had the privilege of coming into contact with many diverse and concerned community members. I am passionate about helping to improve support for local businesses, employment opportunities for our youth, improving support for young families and specifically in creating further education opportunities here in the region. I live in the beautiful area of Erskine and work throughout the region. As Mandurah faces many challenges in the years ahead I look forward to the opportunity to represent the families in my area through listening and acting upon the concerns of the community. I am a member of the FBAA and have a certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking. I am also a proud member of the Peel CC1, Perth CC1 and the Red Cross Peel Unit.

Why I am running for council:
As a mum and a mortgage broker I have a strong sense of community and I believe that my skills will allow me to engage with the community on a broad basis. Everyone has the opportunity to have a say in the way that their council is run and I will want to bring more transparency by calling on all elected councillors and the elected Mayor to engage more with the community through regular updates. I encourage decisions made through council to become more in tune with community needs, and I welcome more collaboration with local community leaders, Peel Development Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, State and Federal government. We are a diverse community facing huge challenges and even more opportunities and we have an obligation to combine the resources to give a strong direction to this incredible city. We can build on the past and create a better future.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Transparency for all council members
  • Facilities and employment opportunities for youth.
  • More incentives and opportunities for small businesses



Name: Paul Fitzpatrick
Ward contested: North
Phone: 0418880999

About me:
As Chairman of the Peel Development Commission, I was committed to economic growth and development of the region. Now, I would like to represent the people of Mandurah as your Councillor. I have over 30 years of public and private experience in domestic and international business and seek your support to make Mandurah a better place for its community.

I am standing for:

  • Getting our share of Royalties for Regions
  • Maintaining family and community values
  • Strong leadership and equality
  • Economic growth and employment
  • Cutting red tape and keeping rates your low
  • Safety and security for stronger communities
  • A train station for our northern residents
  • Caring for our elderly and fostering diversity

My family are pioneers of the Peel region since 1893 and I have a passion and commitment to make our city a better place for its community.



Name: Paul Cobb
Ward contested: Town
Phone: 0452194420
Suburb of residence:Halls Head

Are you a member of a political party? Yes, Liberal

About me:
Married for twenty years, a Dad for nineteen. As a teacher I’ve been honoured to have the opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives. I love my family and my community. Mandurah has great potential as a place to live, work in and visit. But we need the public services and careful economic management to make it happen. Improving the train service to Perth, reducing the both commute time and the service will make Mandurah more accessible for workers, tourists and new residents. I will champion improved transport links with both State and Federal governments. I’d also look to redevelop western foreshore – giving families from Perth more reason to visit Mandurah – thinking big to benefit our community. I want to see ‘more bang for your buck’- residents deserve a fair deal. Our rates and taxes must be spent wisely to achieve the best possible services and amenities for our community.

My top three priorities if elected: 

  • · Development of the City’s amenities – boosting tourism and community
  • · Development of our transport links with Perth – boosting jobs and housing market
  • · Financial accountability – a fair deal for rate payers


Name:  Jane Field
Ward contested:  Town
Phone: 0417 837 729
Suburb of residence:  Mandurah

Are you a member of any political party:  No

About Me:
My name is Jane Field and I have lived in Mandurah for the past 24 years. I’m the owner of Small Friends Playschool and have developed an early childhood programme where families feel supported and respected, and their children have fun. This gives me a deep understanding of small business and Mandurah’s early year’s intervention focus. I’ve lived and worked in various countries with different cultures which gives me a wider understanding of our diverse community. I have been very active as a volunteer in our city and now look forward to representing you again on council. My volunteer work for our community:
– Junior sports coaching
– Schools P&C
– Environmental steering committee (Dawesville cut and Seascapes)
– Formation committee of the Mandurah island challenge
– Rotary
– Chair of the relay for life
– Facilitating camps for young adults with special needs

Why I am running for council:
My passions are:
– Families, Early Years and Youth
– Community Development
– Sports in Mandurah’s Natural Environment
– Arts & Music
– Coastal and Environmental Care
– Parks and Recreation
– Employment and Training
I will continue to bring enthusiasm and community knowledge into town ward.
I believe all stages of life matter within our community and the council should reflect the diversity.
I ask for your support so I can help Mandurah grow in a sustainable way accommodating all generation’s needs. With my passion, knowledge and enthusiasm, I can make a difference to your council.
My top three priorities if elected:

  • – Preserving our unique environment
  • Sustaining Mandurah’s growth and not losing families sense of belonging along the way
  • Listening to the concerns of Town ward

Name: Delys Gebert
Ward contested: Town
Phone: 0409 953 599

About me: My name is Delys Gebert and I have been your neighbour since I was 7 years old, initially in Mandurah then in Dwellingup for my school years before returning to Mandurah. I love living in Mandurah with its natural beauty and its sense of community. Being a City Councillor is an opportunity to participate in creating an even better Mandurah.  I come from a very honest non-political community based perspective and believe I have well developed skills to be an effective Councillor.  I have a commitment to Mandurah and have lived in Peel region since I was 7 years old.  I want to be a part of our community’s progress into the future.
• More than 25 years of business experience including
running my own business since 1996.
• Manager of the Peel Chamber of Commerce & Industry
• Community service, Business training and development
• Community service Native Title with Pilbara traditional
• District Manager and Regional Manager with Census

My Commitment:
• Creation of new jobs through supporting the City to assist
existing businesses to diversify and the establishment of
businesses in emerging new industries.
• Supporting activities to assist in making a secure and
safer community.
• Strong management of our environment, in particular
our pristine waterways, and development and planning
for the future.
• Management of funds for a balanced budget allowing for
rates to be contained and allowing ratepayers to receive
the service they need at an affordable cost.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Creation of new job through supporting initiatives for existing business to diversify and the establishment of emerging new industries.
  • Supporting activities to assist in making a secure and safer community.
  • Managing council expenditure so the cost to rate payers is affordable.


Name: Don Pember

About me:
I have lived in Mandurah since 1988 with two daughters and four grandsons. Original General Manager of the Mandurah Health Service and CEO of Coolibah Total Caring. Current Chair of the Mandurah Hospital Community Board of Advice and Deputy Chair of The Makers.  Awarded the Global Over 50s Housing health care award – “The Most Outstanding Individual Contributor to Seniors Housing in the World in 2016”. Every Council decision and expenditure item will be scrutinized so ratepayers receive value for money. Accountability and Transparency. I support a strong and viable small business sector with jobs for all. I am alarmed at the lack of Community Safety and will work with our community for solutions. I will only support rate increases to a maximum of CPI. I will personally insist the City support redevelopment of the Peel Health Campus – Hospital. More beds for the area. Better Emergency Department for our children.

  • Why I am running for council:
    I am  concerned at the negative perceptions about Mandurah and want to makeMandurah a safe and secure City. I want to work with the Chamber of Commerce to create more and new types of jobs for all. We must plan to ensure Mandurah is at the forefront of Technological change, if we fail to address this issue our talented individuals will exodus Mandurah. Mandurah Hospital has been neglected by all Governments since 2006. We need more beds and a bigger and better Emergency Department.  Designed for 30,000 throughputs now has 44,000 annually. There is nothing proposed for any development for the next six years. Mandurah needs to position itself as the tourist destination for visitors.My three priorities if elected:
  • We need to create unique experiences, make our CBD and waterways vibrant. There needs to be memorable dining experiences and outstanding service.
  • No rate increases above CPI
  • More transparent and accountable decision making

Name: Colin Purslowe
Ward contested: Town
Phone: 0400 991 938
Suburb of residence: Halls Head

About me:
I’m married to Chris and have 4 adult children; we have lived in Mandurah for the past 12 years. I  was the Managing Director of the Purslowe Group of Funeral Companies until the 1995 sale . I remained there for 10 years as the State GM of Invocare, Australia’s largest provider of Funeral Care. I became involved in the Marine Industry before becoming an area Mandurah for Chipper Funerals in Mandurah. I recently retired after 8 years in that role and over 40 years as a Funeral Director. Over the years I’ve developed an astute business ethic and have deep understanding and empathy with people. I’ve always maintained an active interest and involvement in our community, joining Rotary in 1981  (President of 3 Clubs including the Rotary Club of Mandurah). I’m a Director of Peel Thunder Football Club  and a former Director of The Peel chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Why I’m running for council:
Our City faces massive changes, most will be positive, stemming from urban spread and lifestyle choices. We need experienced Councillors to make our City the best it can be. I’ve that necessary experience, having a lifelong business and community background. I understand that Mandurah faces two main challenges: the local economy and permanent jobs. Both are reliant on sustainable local business, which would be well served with less red tape and regulation. The City has issues around traffic flow, public transport and parking; it’s time for discussion about the feasibility of a multi – story car park. I would recommend a cap on rates that would not exceed CPI. I appreciate the value of maintaining the quality of our waterways, for without a vibrant and healthy waterway, Mandurah is just another City. I’ve the drive, time and necessary personal attributes to be an effective and reliable representative for the City.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • The local economy and permanent jobs.
  • Rates cap to CPI
  • Feasibility study to build a Crematorium in Mandurah.


Name: Kerry Ridley
Ward contested: Town
Phone: 0430 283 581
Suburb of residence: Halls Head

Are you a member of a political party? No

About me:
Hi I’m Kerry Ridley, and happy to call Mandurah my home after settling here a few years ago. I enjoy living in the Peel Region with its relaxed sense of community and accessibility. My background is administration in real estate and WA state government ministerial offices.  I spend my downtime making the most of what the locality has to offer with walks along the pet friendly foreshore and beaches with Bella, my Cavalier King Charles. Inviting family and friends to Mandurah’s many festivals and foreshore events is a great way for me to keep in touch.  Returning to Mandurah has motivated me to embrace the outdoors with camping trips to the regional national park and exploring the local  waterways for fishing and boat cruises.  I have passion, commitment and backing of family and friends to be a hard working member of council with a new perspective and fresh ideas.

Why I’m running for council:
I have been motivated to nominate for council to make a difference. As a member of community I would like to be involved and give back by refreshing and recharging the council and its community engagement. I feel I have a lot to offer having lived in various towns throughout WA and overseas by witnessing and living their ideas. Society has changed with growing divide between the youth and the elderly and I am passionate about bringing them closer together in mutual understanding through community events and programs. Let’s keep Mandurah a vibrant city with a unique balance of history and future by working together as a community to make this happen. Share my vison by voting me as your representative for the Town Ward on the Mandurah council.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • implement fenced public dog areas with separate sections for larger and smaller dogs, obstacle courses and park benches for owners to sit and relax, while their dog socialises with other dogs of the same size.
  • water taxis and/or ferries to better utilise Mandurah’s waterways in an environmentally sustainable manner to ease road congestion
  • educational and extracurricular activities as early as pre-teen to ensure the young generation feel valued and have opportunity to get a good head start in life to positively contribute to society.

Name: Dave Schumacher
Ward contested: Town
Phone: 0412 480 722
Suburb of residence: 12 Pinnace Court Halls Head

Are you a member of a political party? No

About me:
Dave, a Mandurah resident for 26 years, is well known for his years of dedication to the people of Mandurah serving as a Town Ward City Councillor for the past 8 years, and also for his tireless and committed charity work in the areas of Mental Health, Suicide, Homelessness and Domestic Violence. Dave was nominated for Australian of the Year 2016 in recognition of his on-going contribution to the Mandurah Community. Dave has held positions on 16 Council and 17 Community Boards and Committees, as part of his own personal commitment to our community. Since December 2008 Dave has helped raise well in excess of $350,000 for local families and local charities that help people in need in our community. Experience in life, business and community has been Dave’s university, from being a cancer carer to a single father, from serving in the Army to holding senior company management positions, he has vast experience on many levels

Why I am running for council:
After first being elected in 2009 as a City Councillor for the Town Ward I was re-elected in 2013 because of my passion and commitment to the people, our environment, to business and the community as a whole. After 8 years my absolute passion for what I do has not changed and I still have much work to do that is first and foremost why I am re-standing. Over the years I have personally witnessed more and more political influence come into our Mandurah City Council… there is absolutely no place for any political influence within any local Government and I personally will continue to stand up to ensure that this influence stops. Quite simply, I love what I do, I am passionate about all facets of our community and I will continue to be a strong voice representing the people.

My top three priorities if elected:

  • Dave is committed to continuing his fight to bring a full University Campus to Mandurah and the Peel Region, as a University will attract industry and business to our region and will ensure that we build a self-sustainable and stable local economy through providing jobs.
  • A 100% commitment to continue his on-going 3 year battle to bring far better Mental Health Services to Mandurah and the Peel Region.
  • To continue to be a “Real”  voice of the people, and continue to support the people of our city.