Cr Mayne

94 former councillors who attempted a return in 2016

September 10, 2022

Here is a list of 94 former councillors who attempted a return to local government at the 2016 council elections and this research was picked up by the Herald Sun. At the bottom we also have 16 examples of family affairs. Send more tips to

Firstly, here are the 27 successful comeback councillors:

Henry Barlow: Wyndham
Steve Beardon: Casey
Harvey Benton: Wangaratta
Henry Bleeck: Macedon Ranges
Kris Bolam: Frankston
David Brand: Port Phillip
Tony Briffa: Hobsons Bay
Kenneth Clarke: Wangaratta
Peter Clarke: Nillumbik
Sam David: Brimbank
Sally Davis: Stonnington
Don Firth: Benalla
Dick Gross: Port Phillip
Margaret Guidice: Brimbank
Tim Heenan: Yarra Ranges
Richard Higgins: Yarra Ranges
Bob Humm: Mitchell
Judy Hindle: Stonnington
Paul Klisaris: Monash
Cuc Lam: Maribyrnong
Chris Meddows-Taylor: Central Goldfields
Kim McAliney: Wyndham
Michael McDonald: Maroondah
Paul McDonald: Maroondah
Frank Martin: Mornington
Gerard Murphy: Central Goldfields
Steve Stephanopoulos: Stonnington
Robin Taylor: Mount Alexander
Mike Zafiropoulos: Manningham


And here are the aspirants:

Alpine Shire: Narda Cain. Fell short given a core group of strongly performing incumbents returned.

Bayside: Stephen Hartney quit part-way through the last term to become a Liberal staffer and now seeks a return. He lost but his girlfiend Sonia got elected. Simon Russell is also attempting a comeback after a four year absence and almost 15 years of service being a former Mayor of Sandringham and Bayside. He's running as a father and daughter team in the same ward with Olivia Russell, but lost.

Benalla: Don Firth. Was a bit negative last time so we tipped against him but he prevailed, elected 4th out of 7.

Bendigo: Wayne Gregson. Fell short.

Boroondara: Geoff Hayes, former councillor from 1996-2004 and Boroondara's first Mayor is standing in Glenferrie Ward, but missed out.

Brimbank: Margaret Giudice, Stuart Miller, Sam David, Troy Atanasovski, Costas Socratous and Sam Muscat. Only Sam David and Margaret Guidice prevailed.

Campaspe: Neil Rabbitolli, attempting a comeback in the Kyabram ward, and Tom Weyrich was previously mayor of Murray Shire in NSW before it was amalgamated. Both were defeated.

Cardinia: Graeme Legge, Ed Chatwin and David Nickell. All missed.

Casey: Steve Beardon, Oates, Lynette Keleher, Shar Balmes and Paul Richardson. Only Steve Beardon got back but former Green Lynette Keleher also polled strongly but just missed.

Central Goldfields: Former mayor Chris Meddows-Taylor is attempting a return and Gerard Murphy is also attempting a switch from Baw Baw. He pulled it off.

Comeback candidates Sue Walton, Sam Afra (ex Casey) and Geraldine Gonsalvez are all running in Maria Sampey's ward and providing preference support. None of them succeeded.

Darebin: former Northcote Councillor Brian Sanaghan is attempting a return in Darebin. Says he was jettisoned 35 years ago for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen. David Redfearn is also a former mayor of Northcote. Joe Cutri, a former Maribyrnong councillor, also ran in Darebin. None were successful.

Frankston: Kris Bolam, a young gun mayor who has completed a couple of degrees and is now seeking a return aged 30. He won.

Glen Eira: Don Dunstan, a City of Caulfield councillor in the 1980s who ran unsuccessfully in the last two elections. Missed again this time.

Golden Plains: Peter Krusic-Golub was a councillor on Bannockburn shire prior to amalgamation. Unlucky to miss.

Hobsons Bay: Tony Briffa, Michael Raffoul and John Hogg, who all acted together in a bloc on the council from 2008-12. John Hogg is also running with his daughter, Diana Grima (nee Hogg), in Wetlands Ward. In the end only Briffa prevailed.

Kingston: Trevor Shewan. Unsuccessful.

Macedon Ranges: Geoff Neil and Henry Bleeck. Henry was 2nd elected in East ward.

Manningham: Ron Kitchingman, Grace La Vella and Mike Zafiropoulos (ex Fitzroy mayor), all of whom contested in 2012 as well. Zafiropoulous the only one to get back being 3rd elected in Koonung ward.

Maribyrnong: John Cumming and Cuc Lam, both went close but only former Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam got back.

Paul McDonald, Neil Rose, Michael McDonald (2008-12), Anne Patch (Croydon pre-merger), Joe Cossari (ex Knox councillor). Only the father and son McDonald team prevailed.

Mildura: Judi Harris. Unsuccessful.

Mitchell Shire: Bob Humm - former mayor who successfully came back.

Monash: Arthur Athanasopoulos (ex Kingston councillor and Mayor) is now running in Monash and Paul Klisaris is attempting a comeback in Mulgrave ward after he failed to be elected as Labor's Aston candidate in the recent Federal election. Peter McCall is running in Mulgrave ward, as well City of Waverley Councillor and previous Monash Ratepayers President Des Olin. Carl Jetter from Melbourne is also running, along with former Monash councillor Greg Male. Athanasopoulos went close but Klisaris was the only one of 6 to get back.

Moonee Valley:
former Green and VLGA President Rose Iser, along with former deputy mayor Miriam Gillis. Both polled okay but missed out.

Moreland: Alice Pryor, Anthony Helou (three time Mayor), Joe Caputo (Former Mayor of Brunswick and Moreland), Mark O'Brien (former Mayor) and Milad El-Halabi. All 5 of them missed.

Mornington: Rex Griffin has moved from Whittlesea to Safety Beach and is having a crack along with David Gibb, Neale Adams and Frank Martin, who was the only one who succeeded.

Mount Alexander:
conservative warrior and former National Party candidate for Bendigo West Cr Robin Taylor is seeking a return to council after resigning back in 2010 following two terms in the early 2000s. Local policeman David Petrusma is also making another run after a single term from 2000 to 2003. Robin Taylor had a win.

Nillumbik: Warwick Leeson and Peter Clarke (ex Melbourne). Peter Clarke defeated MAV director Helen Coleman.

Port Phillip: former mayors Dick Gross and Liz Johnston are attempting a return, along with David Brand. Henry Buch is also running and has an interesting story: elected unopposed in the original Stonnington Council, elected to Glen Eira Council on a countback following the retirement of David Feldman in 2005, and served for six months, but then ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 and 2012 elections in Glen Eira and is now running in Port Phillip. Both Dick Gross and David Brand got up.

South Gippsland: James Forbes did 3 terms pre and post amalgamation and would be a good return, but missed out.

Stonnington: Sally Davis, Judy Hindle (retired not defeated in 2012) and Steve Stefanopoulos all had a crack and were successful.

Surf Coast Shire: Joe Remenyi served from 2008-2012 prior to the Council being subdivided into Wards but was defeated in 2012 and is nominating again for Torquay Ward. Missed.

Swan Hill: Gregg Cook, who previously served on Wellington Shire. Went close to knocking off MAV director Gary Norton but no cigar.

Wangaratta: Julian Fidge. Fail. However, Harvey Benton and Kennett Clarke both made successful comebacks.

Warrnambool: Jennifer Lowe. Missed.

Whitehorse: Mark Lane (defeated in 2012) and Sharon Partridge (served 1 term 2002-2003) but unsuccessful in 2005, 2008 and 2012. Both missed.

Whittlesea: John Fry. Unsuccessful.

Wyndham: Henry Barlow and Kim McAliney both got back.

Yarra Ranges: Tim Heenan and Richard Higgins both got back.

If we have missed any, please email or let us know on Twitter to @maynereport.

Family affairs in this Victorian council election season

Simon Anderson and Carina Turner: married couple both running in East Gippsland but both fell short.

Albert and Yvonne Calvano: Albert is a serving councillor at Southern Grampians and Yvonne is a candidate. Only Albert got back.

Narelle Campbell and Adam Taurian: this husband and wife team are running across two of the seven wards in Nillumbik but both lost.

Catherine and John Cumming: Siblings in Maribyrnong where Catherine is a long serving independent incumbent and brother John a former Labor councillor attempting a comeback. Catherine topped the primaries across all wards but John just missed out.

Karen Egan and Emily Rodwell: this mother and daughter team are running across two of the seven wards in Nillumbik and Karen won comfortably.

John Hogg and Diana Grima (nee Hogg): a father-daughter team running in Hobsons Bay in Wetlands Ward but both missed out as Labor returned no councillors.

Klein family: taking on the Greens in Nillumbik with 4 family members (mum, dad and two kids) contesting 4 of the 7 wards. The gods were smiling on them with 3 drawing top of the ticket, but none were elected and the only incumbent was turfed.

Paul Klisaris and Jami Klisaris: Paul returned as a councillor to Monash and daughter Jami just snuck over the line in Stonnington.

Stephen Mayne and Paula Piccinini: Stephen seeking re-election in Melbourne and better half Paula running in Manningham's Heide ward, where Stephen used to serve. Paula sneaked home but Stephen got beaten.

Trent and Travis McCarthy: Trent is an incumbent Green in Darebin who is certain to be returned and his brother was unsuccessful as an independent running in Knox.

Paul McDonald and Michael McDonald:
both served on Maroondah from 2008-12 and then both returned in 2012. Son Michael is a union official for the CPSU.

Sean and Michael O'Reilly: Sean, 45, was returned as a Labor councillor in Dandenong and his younger brother Michael, 38, got up as a Liberal in Frankston.

Simon and Olivia Russell: after a four year absence and almost 15 years of service at Sandringham and Bayside (including mayor of both), Simon Russell is attempting a return at Bayside, running alongside his daughter Olivia Russell in the same ward. They both lost.

Linette Treasure, a former East Gippsland councillor, is running again alongside her grandson Jackson Roberts. Linette got elected.

Arron and Liam Wood: Arron Wood is an incumbent Melbourne councillor elevated to Deputy Lord Mayor on Team Doyle ticket while brother Liam is a first time candidate in Mildura, where the boys grew up. Liam just missed whilst Arron was returned with a promotion to DLM.

Theo Zographos and Vanessa Weaver: Theo the Oakleigh ward Liberal in Monash has his wife Vanessa Weaver running up against Labor power broker Geoff Lake in Glen Waverley ward. This is the second time a sitting Councillor's wife has run against Cr Lake, with Tom Morrissey's wife Lorraine running in Glen Waverley in 2012. Theo got back but his wife missed.