Samantha migrated to Australia after leaving Sri Lanka with her family due to war. Samantha has served as a Local Government Councillor on Moreland Council since 2012 and was elected Mayor in 2015. She was re-elected to Council in 2016 and is currently the Deputy Mayor. During her term, she has held the portfolios of social development, reconciliation, multiculturalism, youth and urban planning. She has served as the chair of Council’s interfaith network, human rights committee, disability advisory committee and reconciliation advisory committee. Along with her role on Council, Samantha is a social worker with experience in the fields of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health, international development and settlement services for newly arrived migrants. She currently works as a program manager at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre – the largest non-government funded agency providing support to people seeking asylum in Australia. Samantha completed a PhD in youth sociology that explored how young people create a sense of global citizenship in relation to their identity, belonging and participation in communities. She is passionate about creating inclusive communities that welcome new migrants and provide opportunities for connection and participation.