Preeya Ieli – Lami
Preeya has worked in local government for 15 years and is currently the CEO of Lami Town Council. She is an advocate for local governments work in helping to improve the living conditions in the squatter settlements.
‘Involvement in local government creates a platform for women in society to be recognised as equal partners in decision making.’
My greatest inspiration is my dad. He is a Justice of the Peace (JP) and from a young age I was inspired by his commitment and dedication in assisting the people of the community.
Joining local government
Seeing the dedication of my father gave me the urge to join the local government.
I work eight hour days, five days a week. I also commit five hours each month to attend council meetings. I have adjusted well to the work commitment with the support of my husband. I am able to manage ongoing official duties with the encouragement and support of my husband. He has been a tower of strength throughout my career.
Working in a male dominated arena, my biggest achievement is gaining recognition as a woman holding a leadership role. I am also very proud to be able to provide efficient and effective service delivery to citizens with limited resources.
Local government provides employees with the opportunity to address and resolve peoples’ problems. I also learn about the economy and the effects of decisions made at a national and international level on the lives of individuals. I also better understand the mind set and norms of communities, their habits and living standards. In essence it enables me to better understand people.
I like to think I have been able to assist in improving the relationship between the national government and local government and continue to seek support for issues of common concern like roads, water, drainage and squatter settlements. I would also like to see improvements in the living conditions in the settlements including a clean and constant water supply.
Words of Advice
I encourage all women who would like to join local government to apply. Participation in local government is the very first step in enabling women to voice the concerns of women in the community and bring about changes to enhance and encourage recognition of women in leadership roles.