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Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore is a former Councillor on Marrickville Council (in Sydney’s inner west) and was Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney Council in 2022/23. She was elected as a Greens Councillor to the City of Sydney Council in 2021.
Councillor Ellsmore is a founding member and Chair of the City of Sydney’s Housing for All Working Group, and Deputy Chair of the City’s Housing for All Committee.
During her time as a City of Sydney Councillor, Councillor Ellsmore has helped stop the sell-off of public housing, secured free community space hire for community groups, increased developer contributions for affordable housing, campaigned against anti-protest laws and police intimidation, pushed the city to ban fossil fuel advertising, exposed special deals made to benefit the Star Casino, organised for the first Trans and Gender Diverse Swim Day in the city (the first of many), protected public parks and made it easier to reclaim the streets for community street parties.
The City of Sydney has set ambitious targets to increase affordable housing, to achieve net zero emissions and to achieve zero waste, by 2030. However, Sydney is already one of the most expensive cities in the world, and Australians are responsible for some of the highest carbon emissions per capita of anywhere in the world. The challenge is immense.
Every level of government – including local councils - is responsible for taking urgent action to address the lack of affordable housing. Councils also have an essential role in protecting, and ensuring equal access, to our natural environment and public spaces. Councillor Ellsmore is committed to making Sydney an inclusive place for the whole community, not just the rich, and to supporting the community to lead change both inside and outside of Council.
Prior to joining Council, Councillor Ellsmore worked as a community campaigner, native title lawyer, researcher, union organiser, union delegate and senior policy manager for the NSW Government. She has coordinated major independent reviews of government programs on cultural heritage, environmental laws, community legal centre funding, unemployment services, homelessness and domestic violence. She is a volunteer karate teacher at Jin Sei Ryu Karate Do (Darlington) and a founding member of the Redfern, Eveleigh, Darlington, Waterloo Watch (REDWatch) residents’ action group. Most recently Councillor Ellsmore worked as a Policy Coordinator for the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney and Australia’s Mental Health Think Tank. She lives in the inner city with her partner and two dogs.