Cr Stuart James is a first-time Councillor for the 2016-2020 term, elected to represent the Oakleigh Ward. In his first year serving on Council, he was elected Deputy Mayor of Monash. At a special meeting of Council on November 11, 2019, he was elected Mayor for the 2019/2020 term.
Stuart’s main priorities over this term of Council are:
* Increasing Community engagement with Council and working hard to ensure that Council run events and services are communicated to as many Monash residents as possible
* Developing comprehensive short and long term strategies for the Huntingdale Shopping Precinct
* Opposing inappropriate development and maintaining the character of our suburbs
* Increasing and extending Council services for parents with young children
* Working hard with the State Government to ensure that the space beneath the impending elevated rail is returned to the Community, and consulting with residents to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of resultant facilities
* Increasing investment in sporting facilities, community groups and creating more relevant use of open spaces.
Stuart is a proud local resident and believes that Monash is the perfect place to raise his young family. He believes that community consultation and working closely with residents are the best ways to ensure that Monash remains the place of choice to work, live and play. He encourages people to get in touch should they have any ideas, suggestions or concerns.
Stuart’s grandfather was the youngest of 14 children and came to Australia alone on a boat at the age of 15. Initially he worked as an apprentice in shoe manufacturing and, after enduring unemployment during the Great Depression, spent the remainder of his working life with the Melbourne Tramways Board.
His grandmother left school at 14 and worked in sandwich shops. Lifelong residents of working class Preston, they dedicated and spent their entire lives working hard to provide a better opportunity for their children. Despite limited access to quality education, Stuart’s father won State Government scholarships in years eight and ten at secondary school and a Commonwealth scholarship to University, enabling him to achieve his full potential in the corporate world.
Stuart’s values and beliefs have been shaped by this family history. He has a deep sense of family commitment and hard work and has a great admiration and respect for those who have come from less fortunate backgrounds. He understands that what makes and sustains Australia as a great country is that it provides equal opportunity to all residents, regardless of their economic, political, or religious status.
Stuart completed his VCE at Carey Baptist Grammar and has a Bachelor of Information Management from Monash University. He has has worked in the IT Industry for almost 20 years, focusing on corporate infrastructure networks, and works for a leading Australian owned company.
Those who know him well would describe Stuart as a mad keen sports fanatic. He is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club, the Melbourne Football Club, the Melbourne Racing Club and the Melbourne Storm. Stuart is currently the President of both the Eastern Districts Pool League and South Eastern Districts Pool League. He is the co-founder of the Village Green Pool Club in Notting Hill and has served as its President, Vice President and is currently Secretary. He is a former Chairman of a Body Corporate and still sits as a member on the current board.
Stuart is also very passionate about the Arts, particularly the theatre. He spent many years running lighting desks in theatrical productions and also studied theatre during his IT Degree. Stuart still attends a variety of different Senior School Musicals, local theatre productions, and often attends various MTC productions throughout the calendar year.
Stuart is a member of the following Committees and Boards:
* Eastern Innovation Business Centre – Board Member
* Community Grants Evaluation Panel
* Monash Awards
* Monash Gallery of Art Management – Board Member
* Monash Oakleigh Activity Centre Steering
* Eastern Transport Coalition (Chair)
* Public Transport Users Association Committee
* Metropolitan Transport Forum Executive
* MAV Transport & Infrastructure Committee