Voice of the people: Zain Laudehr promises inclusive approach to City of Greater Geraldton council

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian

Vowing to represent the under-represented, Zain Laudehr says he’s determined to see a more diverse selection of candidates elected to the City of Greater Geraldton council.

A proud gay Aboriginal man, Mr Laudehr told the Geraldton Guardian he would fight tooth and nail for minority groups if voted in at the October 16 ballot.

“I want to be a voice for the little people,” he said.

Describing himself as an “educator”, Mr Laudehr said he wanted to take the Geraldton community on a “learning journey”.

“If you meet someone’s ignorance with more ignorance, then it only creates sustained ignorance,” he said. “I communicate well, I know how to listen and when to listen, and when to speak up.”

While praising the performance of the current council, Mr Laudehr said it was difficult for non-Aboriginal people truly to understand the issues affecting his mob.

“Until you walk around in our shoes you don’t really know what it’s like,” he said. “My understanding comes from the heart.”

Well known around town as a singer, Mr Laudehr said he wanted to bring a younger perspective to council debates.

“I’m doing this for the community, it’s not for me,” he said.

“I’m not trying to get on to council to put a notch on my belt, it’s because there needs to be another voice.”

Zain Laudehr is an accomplished singer.
Camera IconZain Laudehr is an accomplished singer. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

It is not the first time Mr Laudehr has run for local government. He was elected to the City council in 2009, but resigned three months into the role because he couldn’t take part in local government training.

Mr Laudehr admitted at the time he was too young to fully understand the role of a councillor and was pushed into running the day before nominations closed.

“It was very daunting last time, but this time I’m ready,” he said.

“I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve met with CEOs and mayors, I’ve sat on State boards and done governance training.

“I’m in that scene and I’m not scared of it now.”

Born and raised in Geraldton, Mr Laudehr said he was passionate about community issues such as housing, justice, youth, infrastructure and tourism. The community services worker brings a wide-ranging skill set to the table, with experience in youth services, cultural services and the construction, arts and marine industries.

“My vision for our town is to celebrate what makes us different, educate in areas not well understood, work with community to create tourism plans and policies to enhance our tourism business and promote our area as a major regional tourism hub,” he said.

Seven positions on the City of Greater Geraldton council are up for grabs when the two-yearly local government elections are held next month.

All eligible electors should receive a postal voting package two to three weeks before the poll.

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