Clr Marghanita Da Cruz – Gulgadya Ward (Leichhardt)
Clr Marghanita da Cruz has been honoured to represent the Gulgadya (Grass Tree) – Leichhardt Ward since September 2017. Gulgadya extends along Parramatta Road, taking in Leichhardt, Haberfield and parts of Annandale, Ashfield and Croydon.
Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville Councils were forcibly amalgamated in May 2016. Amalgamation has been expensive on the bottom line, a functioning council, local and accessible democracy, transparency and community ownership and participation. At the December 2021 poll, the vote was an emphatic 62.5% to return to smaller councils.
Over the past 20 years, Marghanita has championed bushcare, water sensitive urban design, the Annandale Heritage Festival and Eco-Annandale to promote heritage and ecological sustainability in the local community.
On Council, Marghanita has worked with the community and other councillors to deliver positive outcomes for Gulgadya (Leichhardt) residents. Through our campaigning we were able to secure extra compensation to Council for the years of bushcare carried out by volunteers.
As a Councillor, Marghanita has not been shy about putting in requests to Council officers to follow up on requests from the community and shortcomings in the service request systems. Marghanita will not, be deterred as serving residents is her top priority.
During Marghanita’s first term on Council she has worked with the community:
- to invite First Nations people to open Council events and support the annual Yabun Festival on 26 January;
- towards an Indigenous Ranger program;
- to declare a Climate Emergency;
- to establish a partnership with the Asylum Seekers Centre;
- to install a tap in Ferris Lane magic lane in Annandale;
- to name Ted Floyd Way, to honour the late advocate for the environment and pedestrians;
- to install Pedestrian Refuges along Croydon Road;
- to resolve to not send our waste to polluting incinerators;
- to implement angle parking in Charles Street, Leichhardt and squeezing an extra parking place on Booth Street;
- advocating for more sustainable verges;
- advocating against the use of explosives in the WestConnex tunnelling
Marghanita was born in Kenya and migrated to Australia with her family in 1970. Playing netball, softball, cricket, hockey, golf and taking up Yoga in Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Annandale has made Marghanita an advocate for women’s access to sport and recreation. Since joining Council walking has become Marghanita’s main mode of transport and recreation.
Marghanita has lived in Annandale since 1993 and been a bushcare volunteer since 1998.
Marghanita da Cruz holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and has spent over 40 years implementing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in government, public, private and community organisations. In 1997, Marghanita set up Ramin Communications to provide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Services. As the Australian Computer Society representative, Marghanita helped draft the Australian Standard for Corporate Governance of ICT.
Marghanita is also researching and publishing the Anecdotal History of Annandale on the Web and as a series of short walks in paperback and eBook form.
Aims as a councillor
- Improve Walking, Cycling and Public Transport in the Inner West
- Encourage Culture, Arts, Community Sport and Small Business
- Advocate for Ecologically Sustainable Development, Heritage, Biodiversity and affordable inclusive housing.
- Improve Council Services, Community Consultation, Accountability and Transparency
- Respect the De-merger vote calling for the return to smaller more functional councils.
- Improve Livability through better access and welcoming inclusive Community Centres, Libraries, Aquatic Centres and green spaces, looking after our waterways, and harness energy from the sun and wind.
Representation on committees
Previous council term
- Local Traffic Committee (Alternate)
- Eastern Region Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum
- Parramatta River Catchment Group (Alternate)
- Flood Management Advisory Committee (2017-2019)
Previous Council experience (as a community member)
- Community Member of Leichhardt Council Heritage Advisory Committee
- Community Member of Leichhardt Council Climate Change Task Force
- Community Member of Leichhardt Council Cool Communities Project Steering Committee (2000)
- Community Volunteer at Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery (1998-)