Mayoral duties gave City of Subiaco’s Heather Henderson reason to get out of bed after husband’s passing

Heather Henderson with her dog Tilly. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d474967
Heather Henderson with her dog Tilly. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d474967

SERVING the City of Subiaco as mayor and working at the Centre for Inclusive Schooling gave outgoing Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson reason to get up in the morning after her husband Richard died seven years ago.

Speaking exclusively to Western Suburbs Weekly, Mrs Henderson said Richard, who died after a long battle with cancer, never wanted her to run for mayor.

“I came on council in 1990 and was a councillor for 13 years in the Central ward and then I retired in 2003,” she said.

“I came back and ran for mayor in 2005.

“Richard was very against it but people were knocking on my door and when people stroke your ego like that it’s hard to say no.”

Despite initially being against her running for mayor, Mrs Henderson said Richard was “my strength and best friend”.

“He’s been gone for seven years now… it’s made me more resilient being on my own,” she said.

But Mrs Henderson is not alone; she has had Tilly by her side since rescuing her from the Shenton Park Dogs Refuge Home a year ago.

Being elected Subiaco mayor 12-and-a-half-years ago has been Mrs Henderson’s proudest moment along with receiving Life Membership from the WA Local Government Association in 2015.

Working with the media was the toughest part of her tenure.

“It’s been a tough gig the past four years because there seems to have been a concerted push to highlight the negative about the City and not hone in on the positive,” Mrs Henderson said.

The Jolimont resident said she decided a year ago that she would not contest for another term.

“I think I’ve run my race and it’s time to change,” Mrs Henderson said.

“My mother always said ‘leave while the party’s in full swing’.”

To the next mayor of Subiaco, Mrs Henderson said “build on what we have done and continue to progress all the great things, have a good work life balance and have a sense of humour”.

The next chapter for Mrs Henderson involves holidays in Singapore and New Zealand, gardening and having coffee with friends.