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Mother, businesswoman and Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide: Meet Mary Couros

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For the first time in more than 20 years, two women have leadership roles in the City of Adelaide and one of them is of Greek background, from Kalamata and Mani. 

On December 1st, North Adelaide Councillor Mary Couros commenced her role as Deputy Lord Mayor (DLM) and together with Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor, are ready to support the community and businesses as they recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What to others would seem like an unsurmountable obstacle, to Couros is business as usual and all this, while juggling motherhood and managing the family’s businesses.

In between council meetings and before she leaves the city for some family time in Port Elliot, The Greek Herald sat down for a chat with the City of Adelaide’s newly elected Deputy Lord Mayor. 

City of Adelaide Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Couros with Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor

Ms Couros, you were recently elected as the Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide. How does this make you feel?

I am honoured to be elected to have this opportunity. I feel privileged to be in this position to work alongside the Lord Mayor.

You’ve been chosen to help the Lord Mayor support the community and businesses in an especially hard period, as Adelaide is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. What are some of your priorities?

The priority is to ensure that we navigate our city through this crisis and to support our community in the city and North Adelaide, through a recovery phase and be adaptable to still be active and vibrant under COVID conditions. 

To be a sustainable city and recognised worldwide economically and culturally, policy frameworks need to be enforced to work collaborative with State and Federal governments to share a vision for growth as a Capital City. 

This is an excellent opportunity to have these conversations and set up the framework. 

The Lord Mayor has been working on this and I look forward to being a part of it and supporting her towards a greater vision for the City of Adelaide.

Are there any specific plans for Adelaide’s multicultural communities?

Before COVID hit, I had a motion successfully passed to investigate a Multicultural Hub within the city. My aim is to have a central location where migrants and people of different cultures can meet and work share in a supportive environment.

The Multicultural Hub has been working very well in Melbourne and I believe it gives migrants the opportunity to connect more with the city.

Unfortunately, COVID has delayed any further investigation but I hope to move forward on this very soon.

What does a day in the life of the Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide look like?

Very hectic, as I have many roles with running a Real Estate business, family restaurants run by my partner and I together with four kids and my council duties. 

My day starts at 6am and I try to fit in some exercise before juggling my day, which at times ends very late, but I am used to it as I always have run businesses and I don’t know any different.

 Where do you find the time for everything?

Time is an issue some days and there is not enough in the day, but it comes down to good communication with colleagues, knowing how to prioritise, discipline and a very supportive family.

In a recent interview you said that ‘no matter your gender, age or your upbringing, if you have a passion and are prepared to work hard anything is possible’. Talk to us about your upbringing and the values you carry with you?

My father was very strict and was all about work ethic. I grew up in the city and worked at my parents Snack Bar in the school holidays. Our family duties came first and then we were allowed to have our own recreational activities. 

Growing up, I would often be a translator for my parents and I had to mediate through two cultures, Greek and Australian. My parents came to a foreign country with no language, money and no education. 

They have instilled in me the passion to work hard and to achieve all that you can, even when all the odds are stacked against you.

What is something that people don’t know about Adelaide?

Adelaide is a city that is filled with amazing talent in every industry and if international or interstate companies want to set up a business here, they would be surprised to find all the skilled and talented people that are here and how easy it would be to set up the business, along with Adelaide’s easy lifestyle.

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