Melbourne has had its first female Lord Mayor elected in more than 30 years. Sally Capp, the former executive director of the Property Council of Victoria, is no stranger to taking on male dominated roles, having been the first woman to hold the office of Victorian Agent-General in London. The new Lord Mayor was also the first woman to serve on the board of the Collingwood Football Club.
The mother of two stood for the role as an independent candidate, taking leave without pay from the Property Council of Australia. “I will not be accepting campaign donations from property developers. I want to ensure that I can represent all Melburnians,” she said in a statement. “I made a very deliberate choice to run as an independent. I will start day one in the job without obligation to any political party or lobby group. My only obligation is to good outcomes for Melbourne and Melburnians.”
Ms Capp captured 53 per cent of the total ballot, after preferences. “I campaigned on a promise to be a Lord Mayor for all of Melbourne, not specific interest groups and I intend to keep that promise,” Ms Capp said. “I said all through this campaign that I stood for purpose and people, not politics – that is the reason I put my hand up.”
The soon-to-be sworn in Lord Mayor has a focus on contributing to the community, currently sitting on the board of the the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. “I have for some time felt a calling to give back to the city that has given me so much, and I’m now relishing the prospect of being able to do just that.”
Ms Capp reported feeling “humbled and grateful to have received the support of Melburnians, who have elected me as the next Lord Mayor of our wonderful city. It’s a serious job which requires passion and commitment. I intend to use all my skill and experience to deliver for the city.”