50th Ipswich mayor sworn in on historic day
HE QUOTED Mahatma Gandhi and Henry Ford after being sworn in as the 50th Ipswich mayor at a time the city hopes could be a turning point in its recent turbulent history.
10.42am on August 31, 2017 was a historic moment in the 157-year life of the city when Andrew Francis Antoniolli was inducted into the pantheon of Ipswich mayors by the council's CEO Jim Lindsay.
When Mr Lindsay said "congratulations Mr Mayor" a packed council chambers broke into lengthy applause.
Cr Antoniolli alerted the audience he would likely get "misty" as he delivered a nine-minute speech.
He proved good to his word in what was clearly an emotional and proud moment for the 46-year-old born and bred Ipswich man in front of his extended family, friends, loyal supporters and fellow councillors and co-workers.
Cr Antoniolli said it was also a day to remember for his second-oldest daughter Alivia who was also promoted to be a senior hairdresser.
"So there are a couple of things to celebrate in the household today," he said.
Cr Antoniolli's wife Karina, the new mayoress, and four other daughters Brooke, Taylah, Sienna and Emason were all on hand to witness the swearing in with Alivia having work commitments.
"It is a bit surreal but extremely humbling to be elected the mayor of the city of Ipswich...because in many respects it is the will of the people that they have chosen somebody to represent them in the years ahead," Cr Antoniolli said.
"So here I stand, your mayor, willing to serve with humility and grace."
Cr Antoniolli said the people had voted for change and that he would deliver.
"I want to assure each and every one of you here today that your message was received loud and clear and that I will repay your faith and trust with good governance, transparency and collaboration," he said.
"We have a big job ahead but I have faith in the team of councillors that you see before you...and I have faith in the incredible staff we have here in council."
All councillors were present for the swearing in apart from Cr Sheila Ireland, who is overseas.
Cr Antoniolli said that "by working together we can restore the trust between council and the community and recapture the pride we all have in our great city".
Cr Antoniolli paid tribute to his late parents and when speaking of his daughters said that "as a father they mean everything to me and in many respects they are the basis of every decision I make".
"We are all a product of parenting and the lessons learned along the way," he said.
He said his parents were incredible role models who had moulded him into the man he is today.
While Ipswich is still struggling with the ramifications of the Paul Pisasale saga and is now in the midst of a jobs crisis, Cr Antoniolli said the future was bright and exciting.
"As Mahatma Gandhi said, the future depends on what we do in the present," he said.
"So there is so much riding on the choices that we make today.
"I will ensure that every person, every business, every community group and every family is provided with the opportunity to make the most of this exciting future.
"The first step is to come together and I believe it is my role to bring Ipswich together and unify us as one city.
"I think the quote from Henry Ford sums it up perfectly that 'coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success'."
Cr Antoniolli, a former policeman, acknowledged Inspector Keith McDonald in the audience as Insp McDonald was his training officer when he joined the Ipswich police station.
"I thank you very much for your friendship over 27 years," he said.
Cr Antoniolli was assisted into the mayoral robes by Cr Kylie Stoneman and Cr David Morrison while former mayor John Nugent hung the mayoral chains around his neck.