CR BEN TAYLORMAYOR
Councillor Ben Taylor is the 14th Mayor of the City of Ballarat. He was re-elected to serve South Ward residents in October 2016 having previously represented South Ward in the 2008-2012 term of Council.
Cr Taylor holds an Advanced Diploma of Business Management from the University of Ballarat and works as Business Development Manager at Ballarat’s Samsung Business Centre.
As a Councillor, Ben Taylor takes an ‘open to business’ approach with activation of the Ballarat CBD a priority, a place where the business, retail and hospitality sectors thrive, creating a stimulating destination for residents and visitors.
Cr Taylor is focused on streamlining the planning process in an effort to encourage business and jobs growth; but ensuring Council’s approach to growth is strategic, planned and well managed.
With a strong commitment to the South Ward, Cr Taylor works toward community building in areas like Sebastopol and Ballarat East, to strengthen and increase community involvement and engagement.
Ben, his wife and their four children live near Buninyong in the historic heart of the South Ward. He is active as a coach and player with the Wildcats Basketball Club.
Justine Linley has an impressive and extensive background in organisational leadership in state and local government, and the education sector. Ms Linley is an expert in regional planning and economic development, and has a leadership style that will foster continued innovation in Ballarat and the wider region. Prior to joining the City of Ballarat, Ms Linley was the CEO of Northern Grampians Shire Council. Ms Linley is also President of LGPro, the peak body for Local Government professionals in Victoria.
CR MARGARET O'ROURKEMAYOR | RCV CHAIR
Cr Margaret O’Rourke is an accomplished business woman and company director with extensive leadership experience. Cr O’Rourke was elected to Council for a record third term on a platform of developing a strong and prosperous future for Greater Bendigo that encourages industry and job development. She looks forward to focusing on improving the retail sector and developing a strategy to drive growth, and believes this work will position Greater Bendigo as a key art and retail destination in regional Australia. Cr O’Rourke is a strong advocate for regional and rural Victoria. Cr O’Rourke is also looking forward to working closely with our rural communities and ensuring both rural and urban residents are better connected to new technology.
Craig Niemann has over 30 years’ experience working in local government. He has been the Chief Executive Officer at Greater Bendigo City Council since December 2007 and was Director, Organisation Support prior to that. He previously served as CEO of the Shire of Loddon. Craig has excellent knowledge of the Central Victoria area and a tremendous understanding of community issues and processes. He plays a key role in facilitating and encouraging the self-reliance of local communities, with a strong focus on community engagement and improving services.
CR STEPHANIE ASHERMAYOR
Stephanie Asher has been the Mayor of Greater Geelong since October 2019, having been elected as a councillor in October 2017. A long-time resident of Ocean Grove, she is passionate about representing the community on the Bellarine Peninsula, and committed to working with her fellow councillors to progress Greater Geelong as a thriving, liveable, ‘clever and creative’ region. Alongside her role as Mayor, she chairs the council’s Economic Development portfolio and Leadership and Governance portfolio, and serves as deputy chair of the Environment portfolio. Mayor Asher also represents the council on the Regional Capitals Australia and Regional Cities Victoria committees, the G21 Region Alliance board and several advisory committees. She has enjoyed a successful professional career as a strategic planning and corporate communications specialist, and is also a best-selling author.
Martin Cutter was recently appointed CEO of the City of Greater Geelong, following several years at the City of Melbourne in a range of roles including Director of Corporate Services and Director City Business. He held senior roles at Australian River Co, ANL Limited and KPMG before entering the public sector.
CR MARK RADFORDMAYOR
Cr Radford was first elected to Council in 2008. He served as Mayor in 2014-2015.
Cr Radford is a local Electrical Contractor. He belongs to the Salvation Army, Horsham Arts Council and is the Secretary for the Vectis Rural Fire Brigade.
As a Councillor, he is a member of the Wimmera River Improvement Committee, Police Community Consultative Committee, Haven Recreation Reserve and the Sport and Recreation Advisory Committees; and he chairs the Wimmera Sports Stadium PCG.
Sunil has worked in Local Government for 24 years, including 12 years in senior management. He was previously Director Infrastructure Services at the City of Maribyrnong, where he had finance and operational responsibility for over 120 permanent staff and the delivery of services and programs totalling $60 million.
Prior to this, Sunil worked at the Surf Coast Shire Council for more than 14 years in a range of management positions including General Manager Governance and Infrastructure, Director Corporate Services, Director Infrastructure and Infrastructure manager. He was also with the Hume City Council for six years and the Shire of Bulla for over two years.
CR DAN CLANCEYMAYOR
Dan is the Mayor of Latrobe City Council and this is his first term as a Councillor. Dan represents the East Ward of the municipality.
Dan sits on a number of committees including Cultural Diversity, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Traralgon Sport Stadium, Early Years Reference Group, and Friends of Traralgon Railway Reserve.
He is also the Chair of the project reference group for the development and construction of the new Creative Arts Precinct.
Dan is an experienced arts practitioner and journalist with years of teaching and facilitation in creative production and television media. He has worked on large outdoor events, stage performances, tutoring, actor training and creative consulting within community.
Dan is a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and an affiliated member of Regional Arts Victoria.
Dan lives in Traralgon with his wife and two daughters.
Steven joined Latrobe City Council in 2014 as General Manager Community Infrastructure and Recreation. He was appointed CEO in December 2018. He has over 20 years’ experience in local government, including eight years at Bass Coast Shire Council, where he worked as Community and Economic Development Director and prior to that, Infrastructure Director. Steven has a degree in Civil Engineering and graduate certificate in Business Administration.
CR SIMON CLEMENCEMAYOR
Cr Simon Clemence joined Council for the first time in 2016. Now retired, Cr Clemence was a Police Inspector and Local Area Commander for Mildura and lives at Cardross. Cr Clemence is passionate about the region and through his previous role has developed strong community links that enable him to work for the betterment of the community.
He has a strong background in crime reduction initiatives, ice education, family violence and improving Aboriginal youth training and employment. With particular interests in the economic development and the growth of the Mildura region, access to services and social justice, Cr Clemence is keen to support improved community safety, connectivity and employment opportunities.
Sarah commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer in early August 2019. Sarah has over 20 years of leadership experience within local government, in South Australia, Queensland, and now Victoria. She has experience across many areas of local government services, including urban planning and design, asset management, economic development, community development, health, wellbeing and safety, libraries, theatres, cultural centres and the arts, environmental planning and projects, and major project delivery and implementation.
In addition, Sarah has been responsible for leading large teams and for changing organisational performance and culture. With a focus on good governance and sound financial management, Sarah combines this local government background with private sector and state government experience in the justice sector, most recently in courts administration. Sarah has built on undergraduate qualifications in library and information management, change management and a Masters. Sarah is passionate about working with community, making a difference to the people who live, work and visit our region, and ensuring that Council is focussed on adding value, operating efficiently, and providing responsive customer service.
CR SEEMA ABDULLAHMAYOR
Seema Abdullah is currently the Mayor of Greater Shepparton City Council. This is her first term as Councillor during which she has also served as Deputy Mayor in 2017-2018.
By profession, Seema is a PMI (Project Management Institute) certified Project Management Professional. Her qualifications include Masters in Information Systems from London School of Economics and Masters in Business Administration from Pakistan. Seema is also a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her 20-year career has covered Pakistan, Malaysia and Australia. She has lived and worked in Melbourne for five years before she moved to Shepparton in 2009 with her husband who works as a Surgeon in Greater Shepparton. Seema has two children.
As a Councillor, Seema is determined to bring her passion for community combined with the skill-set and competence to provide team leadership and deliver positive outcomes. Seema is the Chair of Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Goulburn Valley Regional Library Corporation and Councillor representative on various advisory committees such as Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee, Heritage Advisory Committee and Best Start Early Years Partnership.
Seema wholeheartedly believes in the important role that regional cities can play in overall growth and sustainability of Victoria and Australia. She sees herself as a proud ambassador of regional lifestyle and benefits that it offers and is passionate to advocate for everything needed to enhance the liveability of regional cities.
Peter Harriott is the CEO of Greater Shepparton City Council. Before that he was the CEO of Wattle Range Council (South Australia) 2013-2016 and a Director at Greater Shepparton City Council 2000-2012.
Over the past 30 years he has worked in local government throughout Victoria as well as 3 years on the Limestone Coas6 of South Australia.
Peter has a Bachelor of Civil engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration.
CR DEAN REESMAYOR
Cr Dean Rees was born to parents who both worked in retail businesses. He was raised in Wangaratta, before heading to Melbourne for six years to study and to work in the real estate field. While away, Cr Rees always appreciated the closeness of a small community and what a country lifestyle has to offer. He returned home to Wangaratta in 1995 to be closer to family and friends and opened his first real estate office. After 20 successful years in Wangaratta Cr Rees and his wife opened the Rees & Rees lifestyle store in Ovens Street, expanding on their property development business and lifestyle loves.
Brendan McGrath’s philosophy is for Council to provide the best customer service to residents and visitors, work in partnership with the community when possible, and maintain a financially robust bottom line.
These three pillars will ensure Council remains a viable, relevant and responsive organisation well into the future.
Mr McGrath commenced as Chief Executive Officer of the Rural City of Wangaratta on 11 February 2014. Prior to this he had been Chief Executive Officer of Indigo Shire Council, a role he had held since February 2008.
Before starting with Indigo Shire, he was the General Manager of Community and Recreation with Mitchell Shire and had at different times acted as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Corporate Services.
Brendan has also worked in the private sector in the conference, accommodation and hospitality areas and has managed recreation facilities.
Mr McGrath is a board member and current vice-president of LGPro, the peak body for Local Government professionals in Victoria. He is also a board member with Tourism North East Victoria. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree and is studying Business through the Australian Institute of Management.
CR TONY HERBERTMAYOR
Cr Tony Herbert, was elected Mayor of Warrnambool in October 2018, having served as a Warrnambool City Councillor since 2016. He holds a Diploma of Education from ACU and a Bachelor of Science from Deakin University, and is a current board member of Warrnambool Basketball Inc. Tony has devoted himself to nurturing and fostering the city’s direction, first through his work with the youth as a teacher; and later through his involvement in many city developments and policy initiatives aimed at strengthening the economic direction of, and investment within, the city, particularly during his time as President of Commerce Warrnambool.
Peter Schneider joins Warrnambool City Council after nine years at the helm of Perth’s Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council. The EMRC provides services including waste management, resource recovery, environmental management and regional development to six member councils.
Previously Mr Schneider worked as the director of corporate services at the City of Joondalup, chairman of the Regional Development Australia Perth Committee and chairman of the Forum of Regional Councils.
CR ANNA SPEEDIEMAYOR | RCV DEPUTY CHAIR
Cr Speedie has been a councillor since 2005 and has a daughter. She works at the Albury Wodonga Community College. The development of Junction Place, the central business district and Logic are high priorities for Cr Speedie, along with attracting services and businesses that create new jobs and opportunities for the city.
Mark Dixon commenced his role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wodonga City Council in April 2019.
Prior to his appointment Mark was the CEO and Managing Director of Wodonga Institute of TAFE for a period of four years. During his tenure at the TAFE, it grew to be the most successful regional TAFE in Victoria winning the Australian Large Training Provider of the Year in 2018.
Before entering civilian life, Mark was a military officer for more than 30 years in both the British and Australian Armies. He has seen active service in Iraq and Afghanistan and worked throughout Europe and the United States.
Mark is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and also holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the UK’s Cranfield University. He has completed the Cranlana Institute’s executive leadership program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) course.
Mark continues his association with the Defence as an Honorary Colonel for the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps and is also a member of the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership, supporting Regional Development Victoria.