The Voice of the Citizen of 2050

Our September formal dinner began with resident Ian Yap performing Claire De Lune by Debussy on piano. A very pleasant surprise to find out Ian played the piano, as he took Mandelbaum through as he put it, “A reflective piece allowing for an introspective journey”. After this journey and a wonderful steak prepared by beloved Chef Adam, Councillor HY William Chan spoke. 

William is a well respected architect and urban planner, with a passion to reshape our future through his countless initiatives and work with the Sydney Lord Mayoral Team. He spoke about his work as a facilitator for the Community’s 2050 Vision as a member of the expert panel to the City of Sydney’s Citizens Jury, and the goals that they found to be the most important for Sydney moving forward. These goals included housing for all, regenerative ecosystems to help fight climate change, and a new model of governance that genuinely engages citizens, among many others. 

William’s attention in considering the perspective of “the citizen of 2050” was inspiring and catalysed a discussion among Mandelbaum residents in how we can help contribute to our future. I was luckily seated not too far from William, and we talked about the lack of engagement of young people in politics, and how Youtubers such as Niko Omilana, who was the largest independent party for the 2021 London Mayoral Election, are doing better at presenting important, urgent issues to our youth than politicians. 

I also learned William’s independent governing team was involved in the building of Sydney Park Skatepark, which is one of my favourite parks in Sydney, and discussed the importance of these community spaces. Our youth today are the decision makers of tomorrow, and developing strong and considerate communities to tackle the inevitable challenges we will face is extremely important. Finally, our evening concluded with a delicious Pavlova, and a buzzing discussion on our cities’ future.


Article by: Remi Petit (Mandelbaum resident)

Photography: Aspen Howarth (Mandelbaum resident)