AINA News
First Assyrian Elected to Local Government in Victoria, Australia

Joseph Haweil.
(AINA) -- Joseph Haweil, a prominent member of the Assyrian-Australian community, has become the first Australian of Assyrian ancestry to be elected to public office in the State of Victoria.

Mr Haweil successfully ran for a seat on Hume City Council, one of Australia's fastest-growing and most culturally-diverse communities, which is home to almost 200,000 residents.

Under the full preferential system of voting, Mr Haweil received 2495 first preference votes and following the distribution of preferences, reached the required quota of 7013 votes before being duly elected.

Hume City spans a total area of 504 square kilometers and is just 15 kilometers from the center of Melbourne. Its residents come from more than 160 different countries and speak approximately 140 languages with two of every give residents speaking a language other than English.

The State of Victoria, Australia's second-largest, is home to more than 15,000 Assyrians, the majority of whom live in Hume City. Australia has three tiers of government, Local, State and Federal.

The municipal election was contested by 7 persons of Assyrian ancestry running in two Wards, with Mr Haweil receiving the highest primary vote of all Assyrian candidates and being the Australian-Assyrian elected to the 11-member City Council. He is also one of the youngest persons ever to have been elected to the Council since its inception.

The electoral victory marks a turning point in the political life of Victoria's Assyrian community. Despite being the fastest growing ethnic group in Hume City, the Assyrian community has never been previously represented at any elected governmental level.

As a Councillor, Mr Haweil will serve a four-year term.


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