Councillor Gay Smallwood-Smith moved to Australia from England in 1952.
Her family lived in various locations across South Australia, before settling at the Roseworthy Agricultural College where her father secured a position.
They were destined for the southern hemisphere to improve her health and wellbeing due to a medical condition found at a young age.
“When I was about three and half, I had what was called a septic mastoid behind my left ear, which required a large operation and time in hospital,” Cr Smallwood-Smith said. “Specialists advised my parents that a warmer climate would be best for my condition.”
Cr Smallwood-Smith made Playford her home when she was 18, where she now resides with her husband within Playford Alive.
“It was amazing how quickly it grew and when we moved into our home in Playford Alive, there was myself and the next door neighbour,” she said. “Now it’s just amazing how many people have moved in and how many houses are being built. “You look at Munno Para West and Angle Vale with the new estates there, it is just absolutely amazing the growth in this area.”
Cr Smallwood-Smith said she loved her community and wouldn’t move anywhere else.
“My children were born here, they all live here and I just think it is a great place to live,” she said. “I have enjoyed working with the community from a volunteer at my daughter’s schools to the Munno Para Community Development Board.”
During her time on the development board, she was encouraged to run for Council where she was successful in becoming a Councillor for the Munno Para Council in 1983.
Cr Smallwood-Smith spent 14 years on Council, before the Munno Para and Elizabeth councils merged to form the City of Playford.
In 2006, she was re-elected back onto the City of Playford Council for Ward 2 and has now served the community for 29 years in Local Government.
“I just can’t give up,” she said. “I am very much a people person, I love my community, I love being able to do things for the community and by being on Council and Rotary, as well as a JP I can do that.”
Along with her role on Council, a Rotarian of 20 years and a Justice of the Peace (JP) of 27 years, Cr Smallwood-Smith has also had many other rewarding roles in the community.
She spent four years as the Director of the Lyell McEwin Hospital Board and the inaugural President of the Munno Para Health Centre.
Cr Smallwood-Smith also worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Education Department at a local high school and various other roles including a local supermarket, rugby club and Adelaide radio stations where she conducted ratings research.
Cr Smallwood-Smith said the future of Playford was very exciting with many wonderful opportunities for Playford residents.
“We have some fabulous parks, the improvements to Fremont Park are wonderful, and once we get the CBD up and running – that is going to be such a boom,” she said. “Encouraging business to the area that look to employ local people and encouraging people to join in on community activities.