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Mayor, councillors and wards

Knox City Council residents elect 9 councillors to govern the wards in Knox, including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Below are details for the council elected for 2020 until 2024.

About councillors

Councillors work together to set and guide strategic direction and decisions for the Knox community. They work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Council administration to do this.

Every decision councillors make is guided by the needs of the people of Knox.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected by the councillors every year.

Knox wards

The City of Knox has 9 wards. One councillor is elected to represent each ward, every 4 years.

Baird ward – Cr Yvonne Allred

headshot of Councillor Yvonne Allred

Cr Yvonne Allred is elected to represent Baird Ward.

This Cr Allred's first term as a councillor.

Contact details

Cr Allred can be contacted via:

About Cr Allred

Cr Allred has been a resident of the Bayswater area all her life. She and her husband chose to establish their young family in Knox because of:

  • the great education
  • recreation
  • community spirit

Her vision

Cr Allred wants to see Knox become a stronger, more inclusive community, with opportunities for all ages and abilities. She aims to:

  • enhance mobility by advocating for safer local streets
  • seek opportunities for better access to public transport

Cr Allred is also passionate about protecting and enhancing Knox's public open space, nature reserves and parks.

Her vision for Knox is to focus on:

  • the interests of our community
  • enhancing our amenity
  • protecting our leafy suburbs
  • strengthening civic pride

Previous community involvement

Cr Allred has supported various local environmental groups for many years. She supports their education and awareness programs, designed to raise awareness of the importance of local biodiversity. Cr Allred encourages active participation in conserving and enhancing native vegetation across Knox.

With a growing young family, Cr Allred has also been involved in many playgroup and kinder committees in Knox. She enjoys collaborating with other parents for:

  • social connection and fundraising
  • maintenance of childhood facilities and programs
  • policies
  • quality improvement

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

  • Early Years Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Environment Advisory Committee
  • Knox Multicultural Committee
  • ICT Governance Committee
  • CEO Performance Evaluation Committee
  • Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum (External)
  • Eastern Regional Libraries Board Member (ERL Performance Evaluation Panel)
  • Millers Homestead Reference Group (Co-chair)

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelors degree – Environmental Science

Professional experience

  • Was a member of the Knox City Council Biodiversity Team
  • Runs her own business working on private native gardens to support local wildlife
Chandler ward – Cr Jude Dwight

headshot of Councillor Jude Dwight

Cr Jude Dwight is elected to represent Chandler Ward.

This is Cr Dwight's first term as a councillor.

Contact details

Cr Dwight can be contacted via:

About Cr Dwight

Cr Dwight and her family have lived in The Basin for 18 years with her husband and growing family. Their kids have attended local kindergartens and state schools.

The family has been involved in various community sports including:

  • basketball
  • karate
  • little athletics

Her vision

Cr Dwight is firmly independent. She strives for transparency, integrity and a genuine partnership between Council and the community in everything she does.

Cr Dwight is committed to being available and proactive. She aims to provide opportunities for:

  • economic security
  • social cohesion
  • environmental resilience

Previous community involvement

  • Kindergarten committee and parent groups
  • First Friends of Dandenong Creek (FFDC) Committee
  • Knox Gardens for Wildlife
  • Gardens for Wildlife Victoria
  • Knox Environment Society (KES)

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

  • Environment Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Miller’s Homestead Reference Group (Chair)
  • Community Safety, Health & Wellbeing
  • Community Development Fund
  • Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (Chair)
  • Metro Waste Forum

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor's degree – Intercultural Studies
  • Dip Conservation and Land Management
  • Cert IV Training & Assessment

Professional experience

  • Small, family-owned business – electrical
  • Teacher in Conservation and Land Management – Swinburne University
  • Industry experience in Conservation and Land Management
Collier ward – Cr Marcia Timmers-Leitch

headshot of Councillor Marcia Timmers-Leitch

Cr Marcia Timmers-Leitch is elected to represent Collier Ward.

Cr Timmers-Leitch was first elected as a councillor in March 2019 (by-election).

Contact details

Cr Timmers-Leitch can be contacted via:

About Cr Timmers-Leitch

Cr Timmers-Leitch has lived in Wantirna in the heart of the Collier Ward for the past 15 years.

She runs a successful Jim’s Mowing franchise with her husband Geoff. They have 3 school-aged children who attend local schools and 5 chickens that love to eat garden scraps.

Her vision

Cr Timmers-Leitch has spent over 10 years delivering projects as a volunteer for the Knox community. She's also been involved with many local early years facilities and sporting clubs.

As a councillor, she is passionate about:

  • effective waste management
  • sustainability
  • improving community services
  • sporting facilities
  • mental health support services
  • empowering the voices of young people
  • the efficient use of rates

Previous community involvement

  • Kinderlea 3-Year-Old Preschool – President
  • Mariemont Preschool – President / Treasurer / Grants
  • Billoo Park Playgroup – Treasurer / Enrolment Officer
  • Community Development Fund – Community Representative
  • Early Years Advisory Committee – Community Representative

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

Current

  • Arts and Culture Committee (Chair)
  • Youth Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Sports Rec and Leisure Committee
  • Eastern Regional Libraries Board Member
  • Eastern Regional Libraries Audit and Risk Committee (Chair)
  • CEO Performance Review

Previous

  • Knox Multicultural Committee
  • Knox Interfaith Network
  • Public Art Assessment Panel
  • Community Developmental Fund Assessment Panel
  • Knox Hockey Working Group
  • Eastern Regional Group of Councils

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor of Commerce – Monash University
  • AICD Company Board of Directors

Professional experience

  • Small, family-owned business – Jims Mowing
  • 20 years in Corporate Marketing/Project Management
  • Currently works in offshore wind farm development
Dinsdale ward – Cr Sorina Grasso

headshot of Councillor Sorina Grasso

Cr Sorina Grasso is elected to represent Dinsdale Ward.

This is Cr Grasso's first term as a councillor.

Contact details

Cr Grasso can be contacted via:

About Cr Grasso

Cr Grasso lives with her partner and daughter who was raised in Knox. They live in a house with plentiful trees and a beautiful garden that Cr Grasso enjoys immensely.

Her vision

Cr Grasso is passionate about making a difference. In her role as councillor, she will advocate for local jobs, prosperity and the community.

Previous community involvement

  • Volunteered to teach English conversation classes at Orana Community House
  • Volunteer reporter for Ferntree Gully News and Studfield-Wantirna Community News

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

  • Chair of:
    • KMAC
    • Arts & Culture Advisory Committee
    • Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance
  • An alternate on:
    • Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee
    • Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Grad Dip Ed (Secondary)
  • Master of Education
  • Grad Dip Ergonomics Safety & Health

Professional experience

  • Currently works as a professional educator in the tertiary system
Dobson ward – Cr Meagan Baker

meagan baker councillor dobson ward

Cr Meagan Baker is elected to represent Dobson Ward.

This is Cr Baker's first term as a councillor.

Contact details

Cr Baker can be contacted via:

About Cr Baker

Cr Baker lives with her family in Dobson Ward. She's been a Knox resident for over 40 years.

Her vision

Cr Baker attended many Council and community meetings as a Knox resident before she was elected to Council. She participated in many discussions to understand how Council addresses residents' concerns. This experience encouraged her to run for Council herself.

Cr Baker prides herself on taking an active interest in understanding all points of view from Dobson Ward and the Knox community.

Cr Baker aims to:

  • listen to the community
  • support local businesses
  • support local health and well-being programs
  • support local sporting clubs and facilities
  • improve local community services

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

  • Knox Active Aging Committee 2nd year
  • Knox Disability Advisory Committee (Chair) 2nd year
  • CDF grants this year
  • Knox Regional Sports (SBC) last year

Previous community involvement

  • RSL committee
  • Local Primary School Council Committee (including President, Vice President) for 6 years
  • Local Kinder Committee, 2 years (President, Vice President and fundraising team)
  • Team manager for local sporting club
  • International fundraising team

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor's degree – Nursing
  • Post Grad Certificate (Perianaesthesia Nursing)
  • Bachelor's degree – Applied Science (Psychology)
  • Post-Grad Diploma (Advanced Psychology)

Professional experience

  • Employed in healthcare for over 20 years.
Friberg ward – Cr Susan Laukens – current Mayor

headshot of Knox City Council Mayor Susan Laukens

Cr Susan Laukens has been elected to represent Friberg Ward.

This is Cr Laukens' first term as a councillor.

Contact details

Cr Laukens can be contacted via:

About Cr Laukens

Cr Laukens is a registered nurse. She has lived in Knoxfield for over 13 years with her husband and 2 daughters.

Cr Laukens has provided health care for our community for 26 years. She's also been an active volunteer for many years and believes that Knox is one of the best areas in Melbourne.

Her vision

Mayor Laukens's goals and vision for the 4-year term are:

  • that she is a visible councillor not only seen at election time
  • that she is an independent councillor and represents the voice of the community
  • that she is able to represent the diverse views of the Knox community
  • that she applies common sense to decision making

Her motivation

  • To give the community a voice in decision making
  • To be respectful and inclusive of all in our community
  • A genuine desire to listen to the community and represent their view authentically

Previous community involvement

  • Group liaison Riddell Road Playgroup
  • Fundraising Coordinator Templeton Orchard 3 year old kinder
  • Sustainability officer Templeton Orchard 4 year old kinder
  • Treasurer Templeton Orchard 3 year old kinder
  • Member of school council St Luke's Catholic Primary School
  • President Knox Community Gardens Society

Professional background

Education

Completed at RMIT:

  • Graduate certificate – Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing
  • Bachelor's degree – Registered Nursing
Scott ward – Cr Lisa Cooper

Headshot of Cr Lisa Cooper

Cr Lisa Cooper is elected to represent Scott Ward.

Cr Cooper was first elected as a councillor in March 2015 (by-election).

Contact details

Cr Cooper can be contacted via:

About Cr Cooper

Cr Cooper is a single mum raising 2 young children.

She is a long-standing resident and attends a local church. Both her children attend local schools and sporting clubs.

Cr Cooper has a strong moral compass. She values honesty and is passionate about caring for the needs of everyone she meets.

She has a proven record of:

  • local involvement
  • commitment to hard work
  • determination
  • delivering practical results on what is important to our community

Her vision

Cr Cooper understands local issues and can effectively represent our community on Knox City Council.

Her interests include:

  • public health
  • mental health
  • infrastructure development
  • affordable quality services
  • improving sporting and recreational facilities
  • keeping rates as low as possible

Her focus over the past 7 years has been to deliver on her promises and listen to our community.

Committees and appointments on behalf of Council

  • Early Years Advisory Committee
  • Knox Youth Advisory Committee
  • Knox Regional Sports Park Advisory Committee
  • Knox Transfer Station Management Advisory Committee
  • Knox Central Advisory Committee
  • CEO Performance Evaluation Committee
  • Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation Board
  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Sports, Leisure & Recreation Committee

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor's degree – Psychological Science

Professional experience

  • Has a background in financial services
  • Currently works full-time in a senior position in the private sector as a Strategic Partnership Manager
Taylor ward – Cr Darren Pearce

headshot of Councillor Darren Pearce

Cr Darren Pearce is elected to represent Taylor Ward.

Cr Pearce was first elected as a councillor in November 2008.

Contact details

Cr Pearce can be contacted via:

About Cr Pearce

Cr Pearce has lived in the Wellington Park Estate in Rowville since 2002.

His wife Susan is a chartered accountant and an active member of the community.

Cr Pearce has 2 children; a daughter who is at university and a son in high school.

His vision

Cr Pearce is proud to serve his 4th term as the Taylor Ward Councillor and 2 terms as Knox Mayor.

Since first elected, Cr Pearce's goal is to improve the quality of life for Knox residents. He aims to maintain the financial sustainability of Council through managing the budget with care and good governance standards.

Previous community involvement

  • Director of Knox Community Financial Services Ltd (2005-2017). This organisation is a community-based financial services company, holding the franchise rights for the Ferntree Gully & Rowville Community (Bendigo) Banks.

Professional background

Education

  • Bachelor of Economics Monash University
  • Master of Business Administration Macquarie University
  • Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Accounting & Finance Trainer & Assessor Swinburne University of Technology (TAFE)

Professional experience

Cr Pearce has been a trainer and assessor in accounting and finance with Swinburne University of Technology since 2006.

He is also the director of his own boutique investment company.

For 14 years Cr Pearce was also a trainer, mentor and program manager for the Commonwealth Governments New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). In that role, he trained and advised Centrelink recipients to start their own micro-businesses.

Tirhatuan ward – Cr Nicole Seymour - current Deputy Mayor

headshot of Councillor Nicole Seymour

Cr Nicole Seymour was elected to represent Tirhatuan ward.

Cr Seymour was first elected as a councillor in March 2012.

Contact details

Cr Seymour can be contacted via:

How to find your Council ward

To find your council ward, visit the Victorian Electoral Commission website.

View Victorian Electoral Commission interactive ward map

Or you can download the Knox ward map.

Councillor policies

The Mayor and councillors must abide by the:

  • Councillor Code of Conduct
  • Councillor Expenses and Support Policy

View councillor policies

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Or call our Customer Service team on 9298 8000.

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