Councillor Jonathan Sri is a writer, musician and community worker who was elected in March 2016 as Brisbane's first ever Greens city councillor, representing the Gabba Ward.
Jonno campaigned on a bold platform focussed on making our city more sustainable, equitable and democratic, and addressing the negative impacts of gentrification and speculative property investment. He is firmly opposed to unsustainable, profit-oriented over-development, and believes that residents should have more say over how their city changes and evolves.
Jonathan was successfully re-elected in March 2020, and is prioritising local issues such as housing affordability and economic justice, improving public transport, creating more walkable pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods, greening our city, greater support for the arts and community events, and greater transparency and democratic accountability in local government.
Jonathan supports the Greens’ core values of ecological sustainability, grassroots participatory democracy, social justice, and peace & non-violence.
"My primary goal as an elected representative is to help reshape our local governance systems to be less centralised and less hierarchical. As much as possible, decisions should be made at the neighbourhood level, rather than top down from City Hall."
- Jonathan Sri, 2016
The Gabba Ward
The Gabba Ward is one of Brisbane City Council's 26 local electorates. It covers the suburbs of West End, Highgate Hill, South Brisbane, Dutton Park, Kangaroo Point, half of Woolloongabba and the western end of the East Brisbane. After the 2020 council election, the boundaries of the Gabba Ward were redrawn, and the suburb of East Brisbane and the Buranda side of Woolloongabba have shifted into the Coorparoo Ward (new ward boundaries shown via this link).
Demographically, the Gabba Ward is one of the youngest and most culturally diverse parts of Brisbane, with very high proportions of non-citizen migrant workers and international students (many of whom pay taxes and rates, yet are not entitled to vote). The Gabba Ward is also one of the fastest growing parts of South-East Queensland, and has experienced a wave of rapid high-density development which has led to overcrowded schools and a shortfall of public green space, community facilities and public transport services.
Jonno was born in Brissie and grew up in West Chermside. During his university years, Jonno moved to Indooroopilly/Taringa and then into sharehouses in Highgate Hill and West End, working part-time as a tutor, a law clerk and a musician.
Prior to becoming a city councillor, Jonno has also worked as a poet, a writer, a policy researcher, a band manager and events organiser, a private tutor for university and high school students, and in various youth worker roles (both in Brisbane and northeast Arnhem Land).
Jonathan graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication and in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies). He also completed a Graduate Certificate in Writing, Editing and Publishing.
About Our Office
The Gabba Ward office is located at the corner of Annerley Rd and Crown St in Woolloongabba, on the occupied territory of the Jagera, Yugara, Yugarapul and Turrbal Peoples. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and this always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We strive to remain cognizant of this tension throughout all that we do.
Rather than becoming yet another office of buck-passing bureaucrats, we aim to foster a culture of positivity and kindness and to help all those who ask; even if it is outside our official capacity and areas of responsibility. Our goal is always to empower people to take care of their own issues so that they are better able to help themselves – and others – in the future. In order to help those most in need of assistance, and to support the push for broader structural changes, we sometimes have to make the call to spend less time and attention on minor, non-urgent requests, but we do our best to clearly explain this to the person requesting help so they don’t feel dismissed or devalued.
Our ultimate goal is to render (colonial) government impotent and make our office redundant by empowering communities to govern themselves. This requires a twofold approach: We will directly confront and challenge oppressive structures and systems while simultaneously engaging in alter-politics where we collectively embody the utopian future we are striving for, in the hopes of creating the conditions to make different worlds possible.
We endeavour to support, value and validate each other, to focus on self and collective care, and to foster positive social change in our local community.