Melbourne mayor recognised as world’s best

By Staff Writer

An international poll aimed at raising the profile of mayors worldwide has voted Melbourne’s Lord Mayor John So as the world’s best mayor for 2006.

More than 103,000 people from around the world voted on 677 mayors as part of World Mayor, an internet-based project organised by City Mayors, an international organisation working to promote local government.

Mr So said in a statement that he was delighted to be elected World Mayor 2006.

“The honour belongs to the amazing people of this wonderful city and the hard working team at the City of Melbourne,” he said.

Born in southern China and moved to Melbourne when he was 17 years old, Mr So completed school and university in the city before embarking on a teaching and business career.

After entering politics as a councillor at the City of Melbourne in 1991, he was elected as Melbourne’s first popularly elected Mayor in 2001 and was re-elected for a second term in November 2004.

The only Australian mayor to be short listed for the award, Mr So said Melbourne is a great place to live.

“Melbourne is a passionate, diverse and sophisticated city with a precious indigenous tradition,” he said.

In July 2001, Mr So became the first directly-elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne, defeating several high-profile candidates, including Australian Democrats founder, Don Chipp.

He will be presented with the World Mayor award early in 2007.

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