Whittlesea councillor Mary Lalios has become the first woman to be elected president of the Municipal Association of Victoria.
Cr Lalios was elected in the association’s president and board elections on March 3.
She will serve as president for two years.
The group’s president is a elected by members of the association’s state council.
Cr Lalios has previously served as the association’s deputy president and has been a councillor for 12 years, including three terms as mayor.
She has also been an Australian Local Government Association Board member.
Cr Lalios said she would bring a strong and passionate voice to the role.
“I plan to visit every municipality to genuinely engage with councils, so that we have one clear voice,” she said.
“With the Local Government Act and the MAV Act being reviewed concurrently, and with rate-capping and cost-shifting squeezing us hard, I will use my leadership experience to fight for our needs.”
Whittlesea mayor Ricky Kirkham said Cr Lalios’ appointment was timely, given that March 8 was International Women’s Day.
“This is fantastic new for Cr Lalios and for the City of Whittlesea,” he said.
“Cr Lalios will be a strong voice advocating for local government particularly for councils on the urban fringe, like the City of Whittlesea, who face unique challenges with rapid population growth and the need for more government spending on roads and transport.”