Hayley Edwards is Rockingham’s newest deputy mayor

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
City of Rockingham Mayor Deb Hamblin with the new Deputy Mayor Hayley Edwards.
Camera IconCity of Rockingham Mayor Deb Hamblin with the new Deputy Mayor Hayley Edwards. Credit: Picture: Indigo Lemay-Conway

Girl power will be at the helm of the City of Rockingham for the first time in history, with the deputy mayor position being snapped up by Baldivis councillor Hayley Edwards.

Cr Edwards will work alongside the first woman to ever be elected mayor, Deb Hamblin.

It comes after Cr Hamblin won the popular vote for the top spot last month, with about one-quarter of the ballots in her favour in the six-person race.

Cr Edwards, who beat Rockingham ward Cr Mark Jones seven votes to five, said she was proud to be in the leadership role.

“I’m very honoured, and I feel very privileged. I’ve only been a councillor for two years, and I’ve just had so much support behind me being the first deputy mayor for the Baldivis ward,” Cr Edwards said.

“I’m stoked that we have our first female mayor, for our younger generations of women to see this, all the girl power, it’s just very exciting.”

Cr Edwards said she was nervous giving her speech to the other councillors last Tuesday but hoped her understanding of the importance of teamwork would make her the best person for the job.

“I was really nervous, I’ve always worked in large organisations, and I’ve run my own businesses, so I know how important teamwork is. I know that it takes trust, and you need to build that together, so I really just wanted to get that across to the other councillors that it’s not about the individuals, it’s about working together for the better of the community- that’s what is most important,” she said.

Cr Hamblin said she felt very lucky to have Cr Edwards by her side as the new deputy mayor.

“For me, the most important thing about having Hayley in this position is that I know that she would support me 120 per cent, and I need that in my first term as mayor,” she said.

“It doesn’t mean that we will vote the same way, we both only have one vote, but I know that she would have my back, and that’s the critical part. I really think the two of us together can build a cohesive team. I know we have eight women and four men, but I think that the team is quite diverse, and we can bring them all along.

Both Cr Edwards and Cr Hamblin said they hope seeing two women in leadership positions will inspire others in the community to put their hand up for similar roles.

“There’s been a real cultural change in society really, in that women now know that they can contribute and have the skills and a voice, and that change has been really special,” Cr Hamblin said.

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