Greek Australian media personality Basil Zempilas was elected as the new Lord Mayor of Perth on Saturday.
“Perth has given my family wonderful opportunity and it has given me a wonderful opportunity and it’s the same opportunity that Perth can provide all of its citizens,” Zempilas said during his victory speech.
“Now the job for us is to get busy and to do our very, very best for ratepayers, for residents, for visitors and for those who choose to spend time in the City of Perth,” he continued.
The new Mayor and councillors will be sworn-in at a ceremony at Government House on Monday afternoon, attended by WA Governor Kim Beazley and City of Perth chief executive Michelle Reynolds.
The Greek Australian campaigned on a range of policies including a push for more police in the city centre, more CCTV cameras, improved city lighting, reducing the level of homelessness and the reinstatement of funding for an Aboriginal outreach program.
Zempilas noted the three months of the election campaign had been one of the best experiences of his life. “I am ready and I am richer for the experience,” he said.
The 49-year-old will continue his work commitments with 7NEWS but will relieve himself from his 6PR breakfast show hosting role.
“Perth has always been the city I call home and now it’s time to put my energy and experience to work for the place I love, to reboot Perth’s heart. I want people to be proud of Perth and I want our city to be the best it can be – for the businesses – big and small, for families, residents, shoppers, my kids and their kids! For all West Australians.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan congratulated Zempilas on his successful election: “It’s been an exciting day for him, but also an exciting day for the City of Perth. It went through a long period of difficult times, and I’m pleased the election process has come and we have a new council, new councillors and a new Lord Mayor. Basil’s an exciting person, he’s a bright person, and I’m sure he will do a good job.”
In 2018, Zempilas was named Kastellorizian of the Year. At the time, President of the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria, Nik Spartels described the Perth media personality as a worthy recipient: “Basil Zempilas more than meets the three main criteria of the award – he is of Kastellorizian descent with both set of grandparents and his mother born on the island of Kastellorizo; he has demonstrated excellence in his field of endeavour and has made an outstanding contribution to the wider community, and is an inspirational role model for Kastellorizians. In addition, Basil is very proud of his heritage and he and his extended family are widely respected by the Kastellorizian, Greek, and Australian community.”
In 2009, Zempilas married Amy Graham in Kastellorizo. Together they have two daughters and a son.