'Opportunity' | Councillor Dai Le to bring Fairfeld's issues to the table

Ladies like to Lunch committee members Grace Newcombe, Antoinette Sulfaro and Carla Filipakis (not pictured Isabel Riservato) with Fairfield councillor Dai Le. Picture: Simon Bennett
Ladies like to Lunch committee members Grace Newcombe, Antoinette Sulfaro and Carla Filipakis (not pictured Isabel Riservato) with Fairfield councillor Dai Le. Picture: Simon Bennett

Fairfield councillor Dai Le said she will bring Fairfield's infrastructure needs to the table in her new role as a Local Government NSW (LGNSW) board member.

Ms Le is the only new metropolitan director elected to the 14-member board which is led by councillor Linda Scott, who was returned as president. LGNSW aims to strengthen and protect an effective, democratic system of local government by supporting and advocating on behalf of member councils.

It is believed Ms Le's appointment for a two-year term is the first time Fairfield has had representation on the board in 20 years.

"I was really surprised that I got elected to the board," said Ms Le, who had to campaign to 200 delegates.

"But I actually am really excited; it is an opportunity to actually sit with other directors from across NSW including rural and regional councils and bring some of our local issues to that board level.

"As someone who is passionate about diversity and inclusion at a board level, I thought this was a natural progression for me."

Ms Le, who is one of two independents on the board, said after attending this week's LGNSW conference that a lot of councils are having similar issues in terms of the lack of funding for local infrastructure.

Fairfield councillor Dai Le has been elected to the Local Government NSW Board. Picture: Simon Bennett

Fairfield councillor Dai Le has been elected to the Local Government NSW Board. Picture: Simon Bennett

"Fairfield Council has a lot of infrastructure needs especially when you consider we have 10,000 new refugees. Often you don't know if other people know about that in other areas so it will be a chance to bring up our local issues," she said.

"For me, Fairfield Hospital is a very important piece of infrastructure that I think has been neglected. During my state campaign I fought for funding to increase the electricity capacity load in order for the hospital to have Wi-Fi.

"Fairfield Hospital is a major infrastructure piece for the whole Fairfield LGA and I want to ensure that the hospital is properly resourced to deal with the demand."

Unfortunately, Ms Le knows a thing or two about hospitals.

In 2014 she had just finished a yoga session and as she stretched through the final pose she found a pea-sized lump on her breast.

It was breast cancer. What it wasn't was a death sentence.

It's a message she will share as part of her journey as a breast cancer survivor at this year's sold-out Ladies like to Lunch Pink Ribbon event on October 26 at Mounties.

"The reality is culturally diverse communities don't talk about cancer. We don't share what we've been through," she said.

"When it comes to women and surviving breast cancer, the years of treatment they go through is a process whereby their self esteem gets damaged and mental health gets impacted and they don't reach out to their support network.

"My aim is to get people to talk about their journey; there is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm lucky I still have my breasts, for some women it's more traumatic because they lose their breasts. They feel they lose their lives. It's important to educate the community that cancer doesn't discriminate - it doesn't matter what background you are.

"I was a healthy person and still got it. For women, don't wait till you're 35...constantly get into a habit of checking your breasts."

This is the fifth Ladies like to Lunch Pink Ribbon event with the group raising almost $100,000 to support Council Council NSW's world-class research, prevention, advocacy and support services.

Committee members Carla Filipakis, Grace Newcombe, Antoniette Sulfaro and Isabel Riservato have all been personally affected by cancer and want to raise awareness about the cause in the south-west region.

The group are working with Cancer Council NSW and will deliver a care package to Liverpool Hospital after the event.

  • If you would like to sponsor the Ladies like to Lunch Pink Ribbon event email: ladiesliketolunch@gmail.com