A mayor is a councillor elected by their council to lead the council for a term of one or two years. The term is at the discretion of council. A councillor can be elected mayor for more than one term.
Different mayoral electoral processes are in place for the City of Melbourne.
The City of Melbourne has a directly elected lord mayor and deputy lord mayor who nominate for office jointly under the City of Melbourne Act 2001.
Leader of the council
The mayor presides over council meetings and ensures they're conducted in accordance with local laws, and established conventions and protocols.
He or she promotes high standards of democratic governance, and chairs meetings efficiently and impartially.
If a vote is tied, the mayor has a casting vote.
Enhancer of good governance
The mayor is a symbol of democratic leadership to their community, council and council staff.
The mayor provides guidance to councillors about behavioural expectations. The mayor puts the interests and harmony of the council above his or her own.
Creating political stability within the elected council, and ensuring effective and respectful communication between councillors and the chief executive officer are part of the mayor's role.
Builder of external and media relations
Developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders including other councils, state and federal governments, community and business groups, and the media is part of the mayor's role.
He or she also acts as the council's public spokesperson to communicate its role, decisions and activities, and promote council and community interests.
Promoter of civic and institutional pride
The mayor serves as the council's social, cultural, political and business ambassador by presiding over key civic functions, maintaining a presence within the municipality, and ensuring that the council is appropriately represented at relevant and important occasions.
Formal visitors and delegations to the municipality are welcomed by the mayor. He or she also presides over local citizenship ceremonies; opens exhibitions, events, demonstrations and ceremonies; presents awards; and visits schools and community groups.
Supporter and engager with the community
Promoting community development, defending communities against external threats and displaying public leadership in times of disaster are also part of the mayor's role.
He or she is accessible, visible and approachable.
Facilitator of the governance process
The mayor leads for the whole council, facilitating the participation and inclusion of all councillors, and ensuring effective communication and respectful relationships among councillors.
The mayor puts the interests and harmony of the council above their own, and takes ultimate public responsibility for the council’s performance.