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(Waskam) Emelda Davis is the first Black woman elected to serve on the City of Sydney Council in its 180-year history and is a representative on the Clover Moore Independent Team.
Emelda is also a second generation born Australian South Sea Islander (ASSI) – a descendant of our Pacific slave trade to NSW in 1847.
A passionate volunteer, community builder and long-term resident of Pyrmont for over two decades, Emelda has worked effectively across the corporate and grassroots sectors, including as an advisor to State and Federal Government agencies on culturally specific Indigenous knowledge.
In serving the City, Emelda is the Deputy Chair of the Resilient Communities Committee, the Lord Mayor’s delegate on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel, the Lord Mayor’s delegate on the Multicultural Advisory Panel, and the Alternate Chair of the Local Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee.
A dedicated advocate for Australian South Sea Islanders, during Emelda’s first term on Council the Blackbirded South Sea Islanders 175th anniversary was recognised through an annual flag raising as part of a Council resolution ‘to recognise and support Australian South Sea Islanders’, a follow up letter was also sent to 500 councils across Australia to encourage others to follow suit.
As a founder of ASSI - Port Jackson, Emelda’s achievements include 2020-CALD Panel for Women’s Business, Women for Election Australia Ambassador, awarded NSW Parliament Recognition Statement by the Member for Sydney and Legislative Assembly, Mr. Alex Greenwich, NSW Premiers Multicultural Community Settlement Services International - Human Rights Award. Emelda is also the first ASSI person to complete an ASSI oral history thesis ‘Children of the Sugar Slaves; Black and Resilient.’ Recipient of 2017 Rotary Inspirational Woman, Ultimo PS Sydney Inspirational Wall Medal, 2016-NSW Women of the Year (Sydney Local), 2015- NSW Council for Pacific Communities ‘Stronger Communities Award’ and 2022 International Council on Monuments and Sites ‘Caring for Country’ committee award.
Emelda is also an advisor to Politics in Colour, various state ASSI leaders and organisations, continues to work with Vanuatu Government officials and sits on the International Coalition Sites of Conscience Board of Trustees.
An ongoing champion for Climate Justice and Social Housing, Emelda sees her time on Council as a privilege to work with all communities to bring about meaningful change.