On Tuesday 10th January Councillor Jordan Lane was elected as the new City of Ryde Mayor. At 27 years of age, he is the youngest Mayor in Ryde’s history. He was elected to the position by his fellow Councillors at Tuesday night’s council meeting, taking over from Rydes longest-serving Mayor Jerome Laxale. We asked him a few questions to learn a bit more about him.
Where did you grow up? (birth, schools etc)
I was born at Denistone House, Ryde Hospital and lived the first year of my life in a small unit at Top Ryde. My family then moved to Melrose Park where I lived until I moved out of home with my partner. We now live in Meadowbank.
I started Kindergarten at Melrose Park PS, before moving to Meadowbank PS in year 2. My family briefly left Sydney when I was 9, so I spent 6 months aa a school in Queensland, before moving back to Sydney and completing years 5 and 6 at Ermington PS. I then did all my high school at Marist College Eastwood, becoming school captain in my final year.
What do you do for a day job?
I work in the disability sector for a company called Hireup. I am their Campaign and Advocacy Manager, and my role is to represent the interests of our clients and support workers right across Australia. This involves working with State and Federal Government to push for better regulation and NDIS reforms that support some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.
What made you want to become a Mayor?
When I was first elected to Council in 2017, I quickly learned how much capacity there is to improve people’s lives through local government. Being Mayor represented an opportunity to turbocharge these efforts, and really lead from the front.
What do you think will be your favourite part of the job?
I believe Ryde is the best community in the world and having the opportunity to meet even more of our wonderful people will be very rewarding.
And least favourite?
Trying to balance the new commitments with work and family. I know it will be tough but I’m passionate about local issues and am confident it will be worth it.
How do you like to spend your weekend?
I’m a keen cyclist, so generally start the weekend with a long ride with my local cycling club. There are usually one or two community events to attend, then I try and keep the rest of the time to spend with family. On Sunday’s, my partner, sisters, grandparents and I often try and find a new local café to have breakfast. If anyone has a good recommendation, we’d love to hear them!
What is your favourite hidden gem in Ryde?
There are two – I love the Mortlake Ferry (some might know it as the Putney Punt), as well as the little picnic spots by the water at Banjo Patterson Reserve. Would strongly recommend going there with the kids, on a date, or with friends.
What is the most satisfying thing you’ve ever done in your role as Councillor before becoming Mayor?
The most satisfying thing was getting sanitary bins installed in all City of Ryde amenities buildings. We have made progress as a society with gender equality, but there is so much more to be done – this was an important and practical step that I was proud to initiate at a grassroots level. I was also really proud to deliver the itemised rate receipt, which shows our ratepayers exactly where their hard-earned money is spent.
What kind of working relationship do you have with (please provide detail):
Victor Dominello (State)
Anthony Roberts (State)
John Alexander (Federal)
My relationship with our local state and federal members of parliament is very strong. I’ve worked closely with Minister’s Dominello and Roberts on the delivery of infrastructure upgrades, grant funding and through general advocacy in the local community on issues like saving Macquarie Ice Rink and building Meadowbank Skate Park. As for Mr Alexander, my relationship goes back even further. Not many people know this, but I actually took a day off school to attend his maiden speech in Canberra, way back in 2010! Needless to say, we’ve had a great working relationship ever since.
What are your goals as Mayor for the first 12 months?
My team and I have some immediate term goals to ensure Council gets the basics right. This starts with a new platform for residents to report problem potholes, broken footpaths and damaged curb and guttering. It involves investing in improved sustainability and amenity with the rollout of new footpaths, street trees, and duplication of the annual chemical cleanout day, and finally a focus on delivering new open spaces to accommodate the needs of our burgeoning dog owner population, particularly after COVID. My team and I are always open to other ideas, so if you have any other initiatives you would like us to advocate for, please get in touch.
What are your goals as Mayor for the remainder of your term?
The main priorities are to fix our broken planning laws and invest for the future so we can pay down Council’s forthcoming debt and put downward pressure on rates. This involves reforming our planning processes, to ensure developers invest in the communities where they stand to profit and ensuring an ongoing review and reform schedule, so our laws are never out of date. We also need to cut back on any wasteful spending, and redivert these funds into sensible investments that will help secure positive returns for our ratepayers.
What are you most looking forward to in the role as Mayor?
Having the opportunity to work even more closely with our wonderful community. I’m also looking forward to working with all Councillors, regardless of their political party, to ensure the best outcomes for Ryde – especially after such a tough couple of years. I intend to be available to all residents, any time, and am genuinely excited for the journey ahead.