Outpouring of tributes for Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale

By Anita Sulentic, 4 May 2024
Bishop Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta, Hugh McDermott, State Member for Prospect and Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM at the Parramatta Diocese Day of Migrants and Refugees, September 2023


On Friday 3 May, many were shocked to hear of the sudden passing of the Mayor of Blacktown, Tony Bleasdale OAM on a flight home from China.

Tony was travelling home after a study tour where he led a delegation to Blacktown Council’s sister sisters in South Korea and China.

Blacktown Council is part of the Diocese of Parramatta and is one of Sydney’s biggest council areas with a vibrant and diverse community. Tony was known as a champion for Western Sydney and the many different community groups he represented, especially the maginalised and vulnerable. He was a passionate advocate for First Nations People.

Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale with Aunty Rhonda and Fr Greg Jacobs at the 2022 NAIDOC Week celebrations in Emerton Parish

Many have fondly remembered him, from Premier Chris Minns to Deputy Premier Pru Car, his fellow Councillors and community members. All speak of his big heart and his passion for helping the people of Blacktown, especially his disadvantaged constituents.

“Tony was well loved within the Blacktown community, fiercely advocating for local residents for over 30 years,” said Pru Car.

Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said he wasn’t just a mayor but a “decent, loving person”.

“He was giving and generous and always there for our people,” Husic said.

“Never afraid to speak up, a believer that he had a role to play advancing social justice, delivering better for our community because they deserved better.”

Tony was a councillor since 1996 and was awarded the Order of Australia in 2010 for his charity work and service to the Blacktown community. He was elected Mayor in 2019 and was known as “a visionary leader in transforming the city to better serve a growing population,” according to Blacktown Deputy Mayor Chris Quilkey.

“He was central in negotiating the $2 billion Walker Corporation Blacktown Quarter project, which will provide investment, jobs and growth,” said Mr Quilkey.

A friend of the Diocese, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv remembers him fondly.

“I am deeply sorry for the sudden passing of Mayor Tony Bleasdale. He was very supportive of the Diocese of Parramatta, particularly our community-building endeavours. He and his beloved wife Nina were regular parishioners at Holy Family Parish, Emerton which is well-known for its outreach to the Aboriginal people and the marginalised.”

Bishop Vincent spoke of his support for our shared endeavours of outreach to marginalised communities such as Parramatta Diocese’s Day for Migrants and Refugees, which Tony spoke at in late 2023.

Tony Bleasdale (middle) attends Parramatta Diocese’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees in September 2023.

“As Mayor, he was instrumental to the revitalisation project of the Blacktown City CBD in conjunction with the Walker Corporation. The Diocese of Parramatta has been part of the discussion thanks to his invitation and vision.

“I join his wife Nina and many others in thanking God for his legacy and in praying for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”

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