Lord Mayoral candidate doesn’t want to be ‘Lord’ Mayor

Lord Mayoral candidate Kate Treloar wants to scrap what she says is a “male-entrenched” and “over-the-top” title of “Lord Mayor” in preference for a more gender-neutral appellation.

Oct 17, 2018, updated Oct 17, 2018
Kate Treloar at her Central Market bookshop. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Kate Treloar at her Central Market bookshop. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Treloar, who is in the running to become Adelaide’s third female Lord Mayor after Jane Lomax-Smith and Wendy Chapman, said she would prefer to be simply called “Mayor” if elected to the council.

The Central Market Pop-Up Bookshop owner has noticeably left out the word “Lord” on her social media platforms and campaign materials, telling InDaily she “couldn’t come to adding the word Lord in front of the title Mayor”.

“I don’t like the word Lord – it definitely does feel a bit over-the-top,” Treloar said.

“It’s complicated because the term Lord is an honour bestowed by the Queen, so I obviously respect that.

“But, it’s a bit dated and I think it should be updated for female Lord Mayors, which we do have a good chance of electing in this coming election.”

Treloar said while a change of title was not one of her top priorities she believed it to be worthy of an “important conversation”.

She recognised that some candidates would prefer to maintain tradition, but said council needed to look at “moving towards the 21st Century”.

“It’s definitely not a non-issue because it is important to discuss the relevance of these male-entrenched terms as we move to the next term of council,” Treloar said.

“What are they going to do is someone is elected to council and says they don’t want this title? It’s not like they can just fire somebody because that’s what they want.

“I hope we get a female in and we can test it out and have these conversations because it is an important issue.”

Under the Local Government Act, elected mayors to the City of Adelaide are “entitled to the rank and title of Lord Mayor”.

City council standing orders further stipulate the Lord Mayor’s appellations of “The Right Honourable” and “Our Right Trusty and Truly Beloved” as originally bestowed by King George V in 1919.

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The City of Adelaide Act sets in stone the title of Lord Mayor, stating the council must constitute “the Lord Mayor and other members”.

InDaily understands the State Government would need to pass legislation to formally change the title of Lord Mayor.

But Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll has blanketed such change, telling InDaily in a statement “the State Government will not entertain the notion of changing the Lord Mayor title”.

Fellow Lord Mayoral candidate and current Deputy Lord Mayor, Sandy Verschoor, said while it would be “lovely” to have a more gender-neutral title for Lord Mayor she would be comfortable carrying the title.

“Every other suburban council has a Mayor and the Adelaide City Council has a Lord Mayor because it is a capital city,” she said.

“I have had a lot of chats with many friends and they’ve been saying to me that we will be having a Lady Mayoress if I become elected and I’ve just been saying, no, I will be Lord Mayor.

“I’ve been a chair and a chairman, an actor and an actress, a business person and a board member, which thankfully is a gender-neutral term, but I think the title is Lord Mayor and it should be kept as Lord Mayor.

“This is a title that has been in place for 175 years and if any change is to be made it should be done with a whole lot of people in discussion.”

The title “Lady Mayoress” is currently granted to Lord Mayor Martin Haese’s wife Genevieve Theseira-Haese.

According to council standing orders, the Lord Mayor is entitled to appoint a person to hold the title of either “Lady Mayoress of Adelaide” or “Official Partner of the Lord Mayor” for their term in office.

The orders stipulate there is no requirement that such person be the spouse or partner of the Lord Mayor.

Treloar said, if elected, her partner Nick would prefer to be referred to as “partner of the Mayor”.

Verschoor said her partner Greg “will just be known as Greg”.

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