This talk is presented by
Basil Zempilas was elected Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in October 2020, the 18th Lord Mayor of Perth and the first following a three-year period without elected leadership.
Basil was the chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors for Australia in 2022. He is currently on the City of Perth Committee, the Western Australia Local Government State Council, the Capital City Planning Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee.
This is the Lord Mayor’s first foray into Local Government and comes after a successful and ongoing broadcasting career in television and radio and as a newspaper columnist with The West Australian.
Basil began his television career at Channel 7 in Perth in 1994 and since 2001 has been the station’s Senior Sports Presenter, a role he continues in today. He also hosted the Triple M Breakfast show on Perth radio until September 2022.
Basil has been a host and commentator at eight Olympics Games for the Seven Network. In 2002 he famously called Stephen Bradbury’s historic gold medal win, Australia’s first in winter Olympic competition.
For over 10 years he was a commentator and host of Seven’s Australia Open tennis coverage and for five years he was Master of Ceremonies at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Between 2012-2019 Basil was a host and commentator on the Seven Network’s AFL coverage.
Away from sport, Basil spent two years commuting from Perth to Sydney from 2018 to co-host Seven’s Weekend Sunrise and in 2019 he anchored and moderated the first Leader’s Debate between Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten.
Since 2010 Basil has been host of Seven Perth’s world renowned 26-hour live television charity fundraiser, Telethon. Since its inception, Telethon has raised more than $500 million for sick children and medical research and in 2022 raised a record $71.4 million dollars.
In 2021 in his role as Lord Mayor, Basil was twice asked to activate the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund, first for the Wooroloo and Hills bushfire and then for the victims of Tropical Cyclone Seroja. The two appeals raised almost $25 million. In 2023, over $12 million was raised for the Kimberley region which was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ellie.
Basil is Perth born and bred, a huge contributor to the community and fiercely proud of his Greek heritage, His family hails from the tiny island of Kastellorizo, Greece which has had official Sister City status with the City of Perth since 1984.
Basil was educated at Hale School and gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Graduate Diploma of Journalism from Murdoch University. In 2019 he was honoured with a Distinguished Alumni Award. He is currently completing the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Directors Course. Basil has been married to Amy since 2009, they have two daughters, Ava and Chloe and a son, Anthony.