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Gillian and one of the women who inspires her most, Mim
Image credit :: @MayorAldridge

There are some exceptional people around who are committed to making the world better for people around them. Salisbury Mayor, Gillian Aldridge OAM, is one of these superstars and we were thrilled to catch up with this incredibly inspirational Adelady to find out what makes her tick.

Q :: Tell us a bit about your story…

A :: I’m the Mayor of the City of Salisbury — a position I have held for the last 10 years and one I’m absolutely privileged to fulfil. Representing the community and advocating on their behalf is part of my daily duties.

I also host citizenship and awards ceremonies, assist with policy planning and decision-making, budgeting within council, hosting community events, speaking on behalf of the council at key conferences, business trips and much, much more.

Previous to being elected Mayor, I was the Deputy Mayor for seven years, and before that I was a Ward Councillor. In October, I will have been on Salisbury Council for 30 years — and I have enjoyed every single minute of that experience.

I have also been involved in three businesses in Salisbury, including a psychology of weight loss company, development company, and a gas installation business. Supporting businesses, both small and large, is one of my greatest passions.

They bring jobs, and I want jobs for my people and for them to be job-ready. Everything I have, I have built for myself — and that’s because I believe in myself, to be able to do these things, to be progressive and to be modern in my approach.

Gillian enjoying celebrations at India’s National Day of Independence 
Image credit :: @MayorAldridge

Q :: What’s your daily mantra?

A :: “I am grateful for the life I live, everyone around me and what I do.”

Gratitude is something I practice every single day, and have done for all my life. I’m extremely grateful for all of the people around me, the things I have and the wonderful things I’ve been able to do, and continue to do, every day.

Look at all the winners in the world. They each practise gratitude daily for everything they have. That’s how you become a winner, it all starts with being grateful.

Q :: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

A :: “Never give up”. This is something I have been told repeatedly throughout my life — and it’s something I tell myself whenever times get tough. The road to success, happiness and wellness is never easy, it can be very hard. But if you keep pushing through and never give up, you’ll reach your goals.

Q :: Who is the person that you look up to the most?

A :: There are so many wonderful people in my life, but there are five in my mind who I look up to the most: my friends Sarah, Tash and Toni, a beautiful young girl, named Mim, and my daughter Kerry.

Five young women who are just magnificent, can-do, positive people who I admire. They literally take my breath away and inspire me every day to be better and to do better.

Q :: What’s your favourite place in SA?

A :: Salisbury, of course. This is my home, I’ve lived here for 52 years and could never dream of living anywhere else. It is so beautiful and the people here impress me each and every day. There is so much to offer here: business opportunities, recreation in the form of sports, arts and culture, landscaping and retail experiences.

Everything you need is right here in our backyard. Some of my favourite places to visit are the Sir Douglas Mawson Lake in Mawson Lakes, St Kilda Adventure Playground in St Kilda, the John St retail strip for a coffee, fresh produce and some light shopping, and of course, our Civic Square in Salisbury where all our entertainment happens.

Gillian and news Jessica Braithwaite at the Salisbury Bowling Club 
Image credit :: @MayorAldridge

Q :: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A :: When I was little, I wanted to be a leader. I just wanted to change the world. How? I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to make a difference in some capacity.

Fast forward all these years and here I am, leading one of the most progressive cities in South Australia, making positive change to the lives of my residents and attracting more and more businesses to our region every single day. So, I guess you could say I achieved that dream. How lucky am I?

Q :: We love to celebrate the little wins — what was one of your most celebrated moments?

A :: Receiving an Order of Australia Medal. I still remember the day I received a letter at council and I thought it was a hoax. There was no way this could happen. It wasn’t until I received a second letter and a phone call from Peter Goers OAM saying “you’ve got the gong” did I believe it.

And it was one of the most memorable experience of my life. To say I am grateful would be an absolute understatement. I feel so lucky, privileged and proud of this achievement.

Image credit :: @MayorAldridge

Em Worthington

Em Worthington

Writer and Content Creator for Adelady, her heart starts racing at the sight of a whiteboard or mere mention of a brainstorm.

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