By Chris Thomson | posted on July 27, 2018
KATANNING shire councillor Alep Mydie, who has gained national prominence building bridges of understanding across the Great Southern and beyond, has stepped
down after 15 unbroken years as a public official.
Mr Mydie, who handed in his resignation on July 10, said that on that day his wife was holidaying in Bunbury and he was sitting in his lounge room alone when it dawned upon him he’d achieved all he wanted to on the council.
“I texted my daughter and said: ‘Tell Mum I have resigned from the Shire Council’, and she texted me back and said: ‘Mum’s happy. Thank you very much!’” he told The Weekender.
“The situation at the moment is I cannot juggle my hours any more, I cannot budget the hours of my life because there’s so many workshops and meetings and seminars.
“Fifteen years of public service is a long time; you juggle along the way, as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather and as Imam of the mosque.”
Mr Mydie, who migrated from Christmas Island in 1974, said he was most proud of his efforts to “integrate” Muslim and non-Muslim peoples toward making Katanning a much more tolerant Shire.
“My father, two years before he died, told me you can’t change the world, you can’t change anything from outside the fence,” he said.
“You need to be inside the paddock, and I tried and it worked.”
Asked if he intended in some way to stay involved in politics, the mild-mannered Imam – who has occasionally critiqued statements by disciples of Pauline Hanson – quipped he was waiting for a call from One Nation.
“At the moment I will have a quiet moment to myself and concentrate on making the best beef rendang in Australia,” the 60-year-old West Coast Eagles fan added, more
seriously, from his cafe in Clive Street.
Mr Mydie said he could not have become, or stayed, a Shire councillor if relying on the votes of Muslim people alone.
“I’m very, very proud to live in Katanning and be part of the town, and what Katanning has given us is my main focus, not what I have given them.
“As John F. Kennedy said: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but instead what you can do for your country’.
“And what the community here has given me is a chance, and I’m very grateful.”