Former Cr Zaynoun Melhem

Speech from Mayor Cr Long

Zaynoun, we remember you as a young boy (we understand this was probably both a blessing and a curse for you!), and we watched as you proudly followed in your father’s footsteps.  Having seen how hard you worked for your local residents, representing local views and priorities  – we absolutely know you didn’t take anything for granted.   We have enjoyed standing with you in the Council Chamber and we acknowledge the strong relationships you have established both inside this building and in the communities you served. 

Mayor Cr Angela Long, Former Cr Zaynoun Melhem. 9 March 2021

On behalf of the Greater Dandenong City Council and the Greater Dandenong community, this letter of appreciation under Council Seal is a record or your dedicated contribution as an elected Councillor for Silverleaf Ward from 2016 — 2020.

Greater Dandenong plays an important leadership role in the south east region of Melbourne and is a significant contributor to the economic prosperity of the State of Victoria. As one of Australia’s most multicultural cities, Greater Dandenong boasts a wealth of cultural richness and economic opportunity. Greater Dandenong is a city to be proud of and it is one that you have played a pivotal role in.

For the past four years you acted as a great ambassador for the City, working hard to promote transparency and accountability within Council, encouraging active participation from the community and ensuring your residents were fairly and democratically represented. You have also played a significant role in ensuring new and proposed infrastructure meets the diverse and growing needs of the community.

A number of projects that you held a special interest in were the refurbishment of Rosswood Tennis Club, the introduction of an off-leash dog area for small dogs at Tirhatuan Park, upgrades to Wal J Turner Reserve and the Silverton Cricket Club pavilion and centre wicket, for which your tireless efforts in successfully securing funding for the long awaited upgrades, resulted in the Club presenting you with their ‘Spirit of Silverton’ award.

Another passion and priority of yours since you were first elected has been to ensure that Council invests significantly in ensuring that everyone who lives or visits our city feels safe and that the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour is reduced. You have pushed for safer roads and successfully lobbied for the instalment of ten CCTV cameras at the Brady Road Shops.

In addition you have left an indelible mark on the many committees on which you represented Council including, but not limited to, the Dandenong Interfaith Network, Community Safety Advisory Committee, Multicultural Advisory Committee, Dandenong Show Committee, Disability Advisory Committee, Community Partnership Funding & Grant Advisory and Assessment Panels, Children & Family Partnership and you were one of Council’s Young Leader Ambassadors.

The past twelve months have been a testament to you and your ability to serve your community under any circumstance including a world-wide pandemic. Greater Dandenong, along with all metro councils in Victoria were forced into lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19 and, as a result, Council was faced with challenging and uncertain times. We were forced to make extreme social and economic decisions, putting measures into place to protect and assist residents to ensure the health and wellbeing of the entire community. You took all of this in your stride and met the challenges inherent in elected office in a positive and collegial manner, greatly contributing to a strong and even more resilient community.

Zaynoun, you were born in Dandenong, grew up in Dandenong and followed in your father’s footsteps of representing your community in an official capacity – a position that you honoured and one that your family can be extremely proud of.

On behalf of the community of Greater Dandenong, Council wishes to acknowledge your outstanding contribution towards enriching the quality of life for all who live and visit in Greater Dandenong. We wish you the very best for the future and look forward to your continued contribution to our great city as an active community member.