DINNER WITH THE MAYOR: About 75 people attended the annual Mayoral Dinner in Cooroy.
DINNER WITH THE MAYOR: About 75 people attended the annual Mayoral Dinner in Cooroy. Alan Lander

Lights, camera, 'pariah', mayor

THE next time you take another look at the 1989 hit suspense movie Dead Calm starring Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill, don't skip the credits.

Instead, take a closer look; with patience, you will find the first assistant director in the crew is a bloke called Tony Wellington.

Still further, have a glance at the credits for the famous 1984 TV mini-series Bodyline about Douglas Jardine and the 1932/33 Ashes Test series starring Hugo Weaving and Gary Sweet, and you will find the same name crop up.

While most federal and state pollies have the usual boring career party apparatchik credentials, local government non-party types are usually far more colourful, varied and interesting - and our mayor is no exception.

Following his Tuesday address to the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce annual Mayor's Dinner, Cr Wellington, who had already taken the photographs used in his slide presentation for the evening's address, broke convention to give a tell-all on his life before politics.

Schooled in Brisbane, he went on to Sydney's Macquarie University to study biology, but "there was too much vivisection”, so he instead majored in media and communications.

Then he entered the film industry and much more in video creation and publishing, including video clips for writer/director Robyn Archer, and a commissioned coffee-table nature photograph album for Noosa Parks Association, along with developing painting talents using watercolours and oils.

"It was a strange road to politics, but along came the threat to (council) amalgamation and I decided to report it photographically,” he said.

"As a result of that I got more political; I ran for (the new) Sunshine Coast Regional Council and became their pariah.”


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