Sep 24, 2014

Constituency Statement – Councillor Emanuel Tsardoulias

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (09:30): Two weeks ago I opened the annual Dulwich Hill festival in my electorate of Grayndler. It was not the same. As much as it was a joyous occasion, I was deeply saddened by the absence of my friend the former Marrickville Councillor Emanuel Tsardoulias. This gave the day a solemn undertone for me and for many of Emanuel’s friends and colleagues who were also there.

Emanuel Tsardoulias passed away at the youthful age of 38 on Saturday, 16 August this year. He leaves an enormous legacy as a deputy mayor, councillor, Dulwich Hill ALP branch activist, leader of Grayndler FEC and Canterbury SEC of the Labor Party, executive member of the local government association of New South Wales, SES volunteer, Rotary activist and community member.

Local festivals like the Dulwich Hill festival meant a lot to Emanuel. It was more than just part of his job as a councillor. This is because Emanuel was part of his local community. Our festivals in Dulwich Hill and Marrickville were always abuzz with the enthusiasm of hundreds of people. And enthusiasm is what Emanuel Tsardoulias had in spades.

He was a true champion of the inner west who was passionate about improving the lives of local residents. He was particularly proud and committed to Dulwich Hill, attending both Dulwich Hill Public School and Dulwich high school. He campaigned strongly against the high school’s possible closure more than a decade ago. He was proud of the improvements that he instigated to Jack Shanahan skate park and Arlington Oval. He was one of the instigators of the Dulwich Hill street fair.

A small business man, he was active in the Greek-Australian community and was particularly concerned about providing opportunities for young people in the inner west. Emanuel approached every task with enthusiasm, optimism and commitment. This was reflected in his support and passion for the Labor Party, where he was a loyal comrade and exceptionally hard worker. Election time will not be the same without him.

Emanuel showed enormous courage while dealing with cancer and related illness over recent times. My heart goes out to his beloved wife Zoi and his beautiful 18-month-old twin boys, Stephen and Dimitri, who were his pride and joy. I will never forget his pride at their christening just last year.

His funeral at the Greek Orthodox Parish of St Nicholas saw many hundreds of people come to farewell one of Marrickville’s finest citizens. We will miss his infectious laugh, love of life, friendship and loyalty. At 38 years old, Emanuel had so much more to give, and this is a tragic loss for his family and for the community.

May Emanuel rest in peace.