The Greens Teams

Meet the full team of Greens candidates in the Wollongong Council Election.

Ward 1

Ward1_all.jpeg

L to R: Stephen Young, Mithra Cox, Bronwyn Batten, Martin Cubby

 

Mithra Cox

I am the Greens lead candidate in Ward 1, and also the Greens mayoral candidate. I was first elected as a councillor for Ward 1 in 2017, and I am proud of how much we have been able to achieve since then: more footpaths, more shade trees, and local solutions to climate change. I want to see a vibrant and sustainable city, where everyone feels welcome.


I am a musician and environmental educator with a passion for environment and community. I have nearly 20 years experience managing innovative sustainability projects and working in public administration, including in local government and the NSW Parliament.


I grew up on the south coast, attending Bomaderry High School and Wollongong University. I now live with my family in Corrimal, am a mum of two kids and in my spare time I play soccer.

Interact with Mithra on Facebook

Bronwyn Batten 

For the bulk of my career I have worked in various policy roles for the NSW Government. I am also a qualified secondary teacher and actively volunteer in our community - I teach primary ethics at Thirroul Public School and regularly volunteer at Sandon Point Park Run. Since moving with my family to Thirroul in 2017, I have been a fierce advocate for quality public transport for the Illawarra. In 2017 I established “Illawarra Rail Fail” which campaigns to get more carriages, more services and faster travel times on the South Coast Line.

Our next council will be crucial to establishing local solutions to reduce our emissions and adapt to a harsher climate. I have completed the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s course on climate change adaptation and resilience and am passionate about working towards local solutions for climate change in Wollongong

Interact with Bronwyn on Facebook

Stephen Young

I am retired and live in Thirroul. Solar panels on my roof generate electricity that is stored in a battery and powers both my home and my electric car. I volunteer with SCARF, bushcare, and other environmental activist groups. I love bushwalking, playing tennis, cycling along the coast, and playing LEGO with my grandkids. I want Wollongong Council to continue funding solar panels, supporting electric vehicles, planting trees, making new bike paths, and diverting waste from landfill.

Martin Cubby

I am a full-time union organiser, working with University of Wollongong staff, and live with my young family in Corrimal. I grew up in Sydney and then studied performing arts at the UoW.

I am standing for the Greens because our party has the best economic, social and community-focused policies to tackle inequality and climate change.

Our council, with the right Green leadership must play its part in the transition to clean steel production. We can and must lead the world in the clean jobs revolution.

With more Greens on council we can build on the work of Mithra and Cath and make our great city even better

 

Ward 2

Ward2_all.jpg
L to R: Cath Blakey, Harris Cheung, George Takacs, Elena Martinez

 

Cath Blakey

I have been a councillor for Ward 2 since 2017 and am the Greens lead candidate in Ward 2 in 2020. I had all my education in Wollongong. I have a degree in Environmental Science and have worked in nature conservation, local government, and co-operative business. I live in Coniston with my family and am the mother of a toddler.

I initiated the FOGO scheme, collecting food waste from homes to be made into commercial compost for landscaping and agriculture.

The climate emergency requires local action. We have made a start on having emissions targets, investing in solar panels, switching to energy efficient LED streetlights, and installing public electric vehicle charging stations. We need to cut our reliance on coal fired power.

We need to commit to human scale development that protects Wollongong’s unique beauty and enhances quality of life. We do not want more inappropriate development that removes the visual connection between the escarpment and the ocean.

Our precious coastal lakes and lagoons need greater protection from urban run-off and water pollution.

Interact with Cath on Facebook

Harris Cheung

In 1996, I arrived in Sydney from Hong Kong. After a degree in Arts, I got a job in customer service, and looked forward to a fulfilling life. In my formative years, I had caused my family some anxiety when I got involved in helping students from China to escape after the Tiananmen Square Incident.

It is clear to me that a loving, caring, tolerant and nurturing society is the basis for its people to flourish. A good way to start is to look after the environment and embrace diversity. Those we elect to political office play a major part in achieving this.

Having studied economic theories, I see opportunities for improving economic well-being while we look after the environment and people who are less fortunate. Exercising kindness allows all to flourish.

Wollongong, a place which I have called home for the past 6 years, with its talented people, and resourceful communities, can develop local solutions to become a world class city – clean, vibrant, sustainable, forward-thinking and full of love.

George Takacs

I was a Ward 2 councillor, 2011-2017, and have recently retired from Wollongong University, where I taught physics for over 30 years.  I am currently on the board of two local not for profit organisations, and am passionate about climate action, biodiversity preservation, and active transport. This year is my 25th anniversary as a volunteer bush regenerator.

Elena Martinez

I have worked as an optometrist in Wollongong since 1988, having trained at Melbourne University. I live with my family in Keiraville. Over the years we have made changes to our house and lifestyles to reduce our environmental footprint. This includes solar panels and battery storage which power efficient electric appliances, and an electric bike rather than a car. I propagate native plants, do bush regeneration and teach environmental and bush tucker classes at our local primary school.
As individuals, we can only do so much without political leadership. I have watched our current Greens Councillors, Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey, drive significant changes on Council, like rolling out FOGO, planning better walking and cycling infrastructure and switching our city’s energy plan to 100% renewables. I believe that with more Greens on Council we can build a fairer, more sustainable community.

 

Ward 3

IG-LG2021-Ward3b.jpg
L to R: Adam James, Malika Reese, Jess Whittaker, Jamie Dixon

 

Jess Whittaker

I am a paramedic working out of Dapto and I am the Greens lead candidate in Ward 3.

Being a parent and working in front-line health for 11 years has shown me the importance of a strong community and inspired me to help make a difference. I grew up in Bulli and got a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wollongong. I now live in Port Kembla, where I advocate for environmental issues in our area. I was awarded the Rotary Emergency Services Community Award in 2020.

I have organised beach clean ups and tree planting days, am an active member of the school P&C, regularly volunteer with Our Community Project and with the primary ethics program at Port Kembla Public school.

I am impressed by what the Ward 1 and Ward 2 Greens Councillors achieve on council – with leadership in urban greening, safe footpaths and cycle routes, rolling out FOGO, and local solutions to climate change. Ward 3 would also benefit from a Greens councillor who could represent the interests of the southern part of the local government area.

We have passed a great plan for Lake Illawarra – the next thing to do is get the funding to implement the plan.

Interact with Jess on Facebook

 

Jamie Dixon

I have been fortunate enough to live in the Illawarra since 2003, and over the past 4 years, have campaigned with the Greens at Local State, and Federal elections.

I am active in a local peace forum, as well as the P&C at Dapto Public School, and I run a local bushcare group. All of this has developed from the community connections

My interests include sustainable development, waste management, and affordable housing.

Malika Elizabeth Reese

I came to the Illawarra to study at Wollongong University in 1990 and have lived here ever since. I live in Port Kembla and deeply love the suburb and the community. I think Wollongong is one of the best places on the planet.

I have been an active member of the Wollongong arts community for decades. I am a preschool music teacher, a funeral celebrant, a choir leader, an event organiser, a musician, a writer and a mother.

I have lived in five countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. I have lived in big cities, rural country towns and the suburbs, and experienced many cultures. I welcome diversity.

We need a healthy and thriving city that supports everyone and gives our children a good future.

I would like to see small businesses flourish. I am also particularly interested in helping the vulnerable members of our community so that they feel supported and worthy.

Adam James

I grew up in Shellharbour, attended Smith’s Hill High and moved to Port Kembla in 2009 after some time in Wollongong.

I studied a BInfoTech at the University of Wollongong then an MBA from Charles Sturt University. I am currently a business analyst with experience in health, higher education and local government.

I volunteer as a board member at a local community development organisation and over the past year I have been working with Council and bushcare groups coordinating a grant-funded community tree planting program.

I am passionate about improving everything, particularly amenities in public spaces and the conservation of natural areas. I have young children of my own and I want the next generation to have a bright future. I would love to see a Greens councillor make local government more accessible and relevant to young people in Ward 3.