Council Election 2024

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About Us

Introducing the Independent candidates standing alongside Laura Cowell for election in E Ward!

Our team are dedicated and passionate community members who are deeply committed to promoting a thriving and inclusive environment within our community. Leading our efforts in E Ward is Laura Cowell with Emma Jeffery as Candidate 2 and Matt Brady as Candidate 3.

We believe that sports play a crucial role in community health and unity. Our team is dedicated to enhancing local sports facilities and fields, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate and enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

Our vision for the community extends beyond sports. We are committed to improving local facilities, focusing on a regular maintenance program, stormwater drainage upgrades,  supporting community initiatives, and creating spaces where families and individuals can thrive. From parks and recreational centres to community halls and libraries, we are focused on developing infrastructure that meets the diverse needs of our residents.

The Laura Cowell Team prides itself on its diverse and inclusive nature. We are committed to representing all voices within the community, ensuring that everyone has a say in the decisions that affect their lives. Our leadership is reflective of the community’s rich diversity, and we are dedicated to fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

Our team members bring a wealth of experience and passion to their roles. With a history of active involvement and successful initiatives, Laura Cowell, Emma Jeffery & Matt Brady have demonstrated their dedication to community service. Their track record speaks volumes about their ability to drive positive change and their unwavering commitment to the well-being of our community.

Volunteers & the Community!

We recognise the vital role that local community groups play in promoting a strong, connected, and resilient community. Our team is committed to supporting these groups, providing them with the resources and recognition they need to continue their valuable work. We believe in the power of community and are dedicated to nurturing the organisations that contribute to our collective strength.

Volunteers are the backbone of any thriving community. We understand the importance of volunteerism and are committed to empowering and supporting the volunteers who contribute to community development and well-being. Our team will ensure that volunteers are appreciated, recognised, and provided with the resources they need to make a difference.

We are committed to working closely with non-profit organisations to address community needs, from social services to cultural initiatives. By fostering strong partnerships with these organisations, we aim to create a supportive network that enhances the quality of life for all residents.

Community events are a vital part of our social fabric, bringing people together and celebrating our shared identity. Our team plans to enhance and support these events, ensuring they are inclusive, well-funded, and reflective of the community’s diverse interests. We believe in the power of events to unite us and strengthen our community bonds.

Transparency and accountability are at the core of our governance. We are committed to ensuring that community groups and residents are well-informed and involved in decision-making processes. Our team will maintain open lines of communication, providing regular updates and seeking input from the community to guide our actions.

Lead Candidate

Laura Cowell

Rooted in a people-centric approach, Laura is a dynamic leader driven by purpose and a commitment to making a difference. An award-winning  CEO, and community advocate, she has a proven track record of achieving exceptional business results and fostering high-performance teams. Laura’s leadership journey is driven by a purpose to give back and make a significant impact. As CEO of Tender Loving Care and President of the Sutherland Shire Football Association, she strives to promote inclusive growth and community engagement. Outside of professional pursuits, Laura is deeply involved in her local community, advocating for causes she believes in and providing steadfast support. She holds multiple positions across various boards and committees including Director of Fibrous Dysplasia/McCune Albright Syndrome Australia. She is also the host of a radio show called ‘Amplify with Laura Cowell’. As a testament to her commitment to service, she has been honoured as Local Woman of the Year in 2022 and 2024. Elected to the Sutherland Shire Council in 2021, she is dedicated to ensuring the community remains connected and safe, enabling residents of all ages to lead an active lifestyle.  From local community issues to global challenges, the scope of her focus spans wide


  • Community Development, Sports & Fitness, Mental Health & Well-being
  • Disability Advocacy, Family & Community Engagement & Volunteering

Community links current:

  • Current E Ward Councillor
  • Chair Sports & Active Communities Sub-Committee
  • President Sutherland Shire Football Association 
  • One Meal Volunteer Team Leader

Highlights on Council:

There are so many achievements in the two and half years Laura served the Community at Council to read all the achievements you can go to Laura’s Facebook page or head to Council website here.

Below are some of the highlights:

  • $43 Million allocated over the next 4 years towards sporting facilities, lighting, irrigation and drainage.  
  • Adoption of first dedicated Sports Strategy.
  • Adoption of Leisure Centre Strategy.
  • 100% success on the floor of Council with my Motions.
  • Many parks were refurbished or replaced. 
  • Recognition of Countless service men & women, plus volunteers. 
  • Customer Experience Project. 
  • Defibrillator reporting program in the Sutherland Shire
  • Attended 100’s of Community & Council functions 
  • Councillor Request transparency and review. 
  • Launch of a Grants Finder tool. 
  • Countless Policy reviews. 
  • Opening of The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre. 
  • Resurfacing of the Ridge Athletics Track. 
  • Recognition of Mountain Biking as a Sport. 
  • Proactive Tree Maintenance at Sports Fields. 
  • Delivery Plans & Operational Plans

There is still so much more to be achieved. Which is why Laura is giving you the choice to elect her again. 

It takes a Majority vote of Councillors (in favour) to achieve positive outcomes. I am proud to have worked with Labor & Liberal to achieve great results for our Community. 

Candidate 2

Emma Jeffery

Emma rolls up her sleeves every day. Over the past decade she has been an achiever in the local community as an Illawong resident, a parent (with two energetic children, in preschool and primary), a schoolteacher, a disability supporter, a small business operator and volunteer.  She now wants to focus her energies on actively listening to her fellow residents, acting on her shared vision and getting things done to build a united, intergenerational community.


To achieve this, Emma draws on a wealth of diverse professional experience having worked in not-for-profit, education, disability care, small business, advertising, television and corporations. By actively listening with kindness and empowering volunteers she has witnessed first-hand the impact this has in our community. She would be honoured to be a Councillor with a positive, active impact at the forefront of our inclusive, intergenerational community.


Emma believes everyone can play a part in the modern-day interactive village.  She values inclusiveness and kindness.   Her participative leadership style focuses upon consultation, transparency and clear communication.   She has a genuine passion to connect with and support people to equip them to thrive.  Emma is driven by a seriousness of purpose, but (if she’s being honest) can find humour in the daily challenges that come her way.


  • Running, for both physical and mental health.
  • Music and dancing (very amateur capacity ie. while cooking dinner)
  • Family
  • Intergenerational connections (her Great Grand Father was a pioneer aviator.  Her Grandmother is a trailblazing feminist and creator of Neighbours)
  • Volunteering
  • My 9 Year old’s cardboard masterpieces.
  • My 5 Year old’s Unicorn.

Community links current:

  • School volunteering
  • Girl Guides Menai Support Group
  • Menai Hawks – parent, occasional coach and unofficial volunteer
  • Menai Baptist Church
  • Panania Free Rangers – supports local farmers, the community as well as a disability juice and food making program.
  • Parkrun including running and volunteering
  • Student Learning Support Officer – Gymea Bay PS
  • Primary Teacher  – Various schools including Broderick Gillawarna (SSP school in Revesby), Tharawal PS, Bonnet Bay PS, Inaburra Junior School, Heathcote East PS and other schools outside the Shire.

Candidate 3

Matt Brady

Matt Brady has been a pillar of the Sutherland Shire community for over 30 years, residing in Bonnet Bay with his wife, Linda, and their three children, Tim, Justin, and Cara. His long-standing commitment to local football and volunteer work has significantly impacted the community.

Beyond his contributions to football, Matt has a broad professional background. He has worked as a Manager for both international and domestic companies, bringing a wealth of experience in leadership, strategic planning, and operations management. He currently works in a senior position at Green by Nature. This professional expertise has undoubtedly contributed to his effective administration and development of local football clubs and associations. 

Matt firmly believes in the principles of transparency and inclusivity. He advocates for open communication and accountability in all his roles, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. Matt’s commitment to inclusivity was evident in his work with the Sutherland Titans Football Club, where he fostered an environment that welcomed players with special needs, ensuring they had the support and opportunities to thrive. His leadership style is characterised by an inclusive approach that encourages diverse perspectives. 

Matt is a dedicated parent and active volunteer. He has lived in Bonnet Bay for over 30 years, deeply integrating himself into the fabric of the community. His efforts in grassroots football, from player development to maintaining grounds, highlight his hands-on approach and passion for the sport.

Matt Brady’s extensive contributions to local football, his engagement with the community, his professional experience, and his commitment to improving the sport and supporting families in the Shire make him a respected and valued community member


  • Sport for physical and mental health.
  • Family 

Community links current:

  • SSFA 
  • Bonnet Bay FC

Contact Laura Cowell