Sally Betts

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Sally Betts
Mayor of Waverley
In office
30 September 2008 – 22 September 2011
DeputyKerryn Sloan
Miriam Guttman-Jones
Preceded byIngrid Strewe
Succeeded byJohn Wakefield
In office
27 September 2012 – 26 September 2017
DeputyTony Kay
Preceded byJohn Wakefield
Succeeded byJohn Wakefield
Councillor of Waverley Council
for Hunter Ward
Assumed office
September 1995
Personal details
BornSouth Africa
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia (New South Wales Division)

Sally Betts is an Australian Liberal local government politician. First elected as a Councillor for Waverley Council in the eastern suburbs of Sydney in 1995, she was the Mayor of Waverley from 2008–2011 and 2012–2017, and the Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Waverley at the 1988 New South Wales state election.[1][2]

Mayor of Waverley[edit]

Support for SHS funding[edit]

Sally Betts has stated her support for the NSW government's funding of Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) providers, saying "It is hard to criticise the Government for funding such organisations as Wesley Mission, St Vincent’s de Paul, Caretakers Cottage, The Uniting Church, Salvation Army, Ted Noffs, Jewish House and in fact B Miles when these organisations are obviously most capable of dealing with homelessness and indeed delivering specific women’s services in our community." Betts criticised a local council decision that was thought to be turned into a political campaign against then Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton, who had been instrumental in increasing homelessness funding. Ms Betts said "Using the homeless as a political football is repugnant and council would not support any such ploy."[3]

Reference letter incident[edit]

In 2015, Betts received some media attention and some public criticism following her intervention, writing a character reference on behalf of convicted rapist, Luke Lazarus.[4][5][6]

In addition to the reference letter incident, Betts also made headlines for seeking to introduce a school education program at Waverley Action for Youth Services, a local youth centre, intended for girls to minimise “risky behaviour.”[7]


  1. ^ Davies, Anne (18 March 2016). "Sally Betts: the Waverley mayor who rules Sydney's east". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Betts, Sally". The Australian Women's Register. Australian Women's Archives Project. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  3. ^ Richardson, Nick. "Concern building over future of women’s homelessness support." 10 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Convicted rapist Luke Lazarus jailed for at least three years." Sydney Morning Herald. 27 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Waverley Mayor Sally Betts defends writing reference for convicted rapist." The Daily Telegraph. 1 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Turnbull office refuses to back Waverley mayor over reference." The Guardian. 15 April 2015.
  7. ^ Osborne-Crowley, Lucia. "Sally Betts & Luke Lazarus: Why we need to change the narrative around sexual assault". Retrieved 25 January 2017.