Community Love — Meet David Borger
We all have a thing or two to learn from this politician-turned-businessman who has spent his life working to make the Parramatta region a better place.
Fun and impressive fact. In 1999, David Borger became the youngest person to hold the office of Lord Mayor for the Parramatta City Council. He was just 30 at the time, and during his two terms, campaigned fiercely to help community groups provide services to those suffering from homelessness in the area. David’s since in politics for business, and as the Executive Director of Business Western Sydney remains a staunch advocate for the City he grew up in, with a vision to see Parramatta and wider Western Sydney sit among the great cities of the world.
On a career dedicated to Parramatta
“As Councillor, Mayor then MP, I was pleased to get the opportunity to put Western Sydney at the top of the agenda. At a certain stage, however, I felt I could achieve more outside of politics than in politics. In my role at the Business Chamber, we want to put investment into infrastructure and culture to shift the dial in Western Sydney. People in Western Sydney don’t need to be saved but would like to have good jobs available to them — it’s a big passion of mine to create a second Sydney City that the youth feel like they can remain in if that’s what they want. I think also, the government finally realised this is the place that it's at. This is the place where we need to put the investment and the cultural infrastructure and the community infrastructure to make our City work.”
How he’s seen it all change over the years
“It’s taken about 30 years to get here, it hasn’t been an overnight success. A lot of hard work in trying to attract passionate people. Since my youth, it’s gone from being a dusty ring road to what it is now. Parramatta is now a City that's moving very quickly, very ambitiously and very confidently trying to attract investment. You see that in places like Westmead, which is now the largest health innovation precinct in New South Wales. The fact that there are a thousand scientists working on Hawkesbury Road curing cancer in biotech medtech, I mean that's what's amazing about Parramatta and its ability to attract people in the future.”
On the Parramatta of the future
“Parramatta’s been an amazing magnet for talent, for people coming from all over the world and finding their home here. We really need to focus on keeping more of our young people here. In a sense, it’s a city looking forward to the future. In 10 years' time, it’s going to be different to what it is now. City’s never stand still, they change. Some people are scared of that, but I think that’s exciting.”
His favourite time of day in the City
“The early morning’s great when the City’s starting to come alive. I always remember the opening scene of Manhattan [laughs] and imagine myself strolling through my very own downtown with the opening theme song playing in the background.”