2020 Board Election Candidates

Fellow, Professional and Young Professional members who are current financial members as at 16 October 2020 are eligible to vote in the 2020 LGPro Board Election. There are 10 positions available within the LGPro Board. Voting is now open, and will close Wednesday 4 November 2020 at 23.59pm. The new board will be announced on the day of the LGPro AGM, Thursday 10 December 2020.

The 2020 LGPro Board General Election is being conducted by CorpVote. All eligible voters should have received a link to the Live Ballot Portal from CorpVote.

Need help with your vote or access to the CorpVote Live Ballot Portal?  Email support@corpvote.com.au or call 1300 147 797.

Meet the Candidates

Candidate  order has been determined by a random ballot draw conducted by CorpVote. View Candidate Drawsheet here .

Liana Thompson
CEO, Northern Grampians Shire Council

I am passionate about local government.  I have made a 25 year commitment to inclusion and diversity, leadership and service to communities through elected and executive roles.  Having held Director roles at the City of Whittlesea, Baw Baw Shire, City of Ballarat and now in my role as CEO at Northern Grampians Shire Council I continue to contribute to local communities.I am currently the President of LGPro and have served on the LGPro Board since 2016. Highlights for me on the LGPro Board are:- digital delivery of the Annual Women’s Conference, ongoing professional development to support our members, webinars and programs through the Covid-19 period,  continuing our engagement with our corporate partners and our important advocacy role through the development and implementation of the Local Government Act 2020 and all things Covid-19. In looking forward, the role for our peak professional body will be more important than ever. The societal impact over the past 8 months has been profound.  Although we have proved that we can adapt, we must ensure that the services that we provide to our members continue to adapt and position us and our sector to be future ready.  I believe that our leadership challenge is the ability to learn from the past and create a new future. We are in exciting times. I seek your support and your vote for election to the LGPro Board.

Sue Wilkinson
CEO, Darebin City Council

Hi.  My name is Sue Wilkinson and I would love your support to join the LG Pro Board. I have spent most of my career in local government from my early days working at the front counter of Altona Council (now Hobsons Bay) through to my current role as the first female CEO at the City of Darebin. A planner by background, my experience includes a number of senior leadership roles including as the CEO of Colac Otway Shire and, prior to that in executive positions at the City of Monash, Port Phillip and in the State Government. I am proud to work in local government. I am inspired by the thousands of people who work so hard in Councils across the State to deliver the often unseen and unsung services and programs that our communities need and rely on. The idea that local government should be confined to roads, rates and rubbish is outdated both in reality and in terms of community expectations.  I am committed to strengthening the reputation of our sector so that the impact and benefit of our work is more highly valued.  More than ever before, it is critical that State and Federal Governments look to us as trusted partners in all of the decisions that affect our communities. I will also work hard to ensure that LGPro continues to support you, the members, in your professional lives.

Steve Perera
Statutory Planning Business Improvement Officer, Moorabool Shire Council

Steve is a senior leader of diverse commercial experience; rapidly establishing sound commercial objectives, with clear and measurable business outcomes. He is a skilled strategist with stakeholders and clients, providing insightful leadership to enable rapid growth of businesses, thus enhancing social enterprise and contributing to social action/justice. His keen understanding of the five voice of enterprise has been foundational in tangible benefits to shareholders and stakeholders alike, as drivers for success. Steve’s key focus is improving bottom line results in the areas of cost reduction and profitability, effectiveness in growth of people, and sustainability of the enterprise. He achieves this through policy governance and process mapping of tasks and actions around people and systems. Steve specialises in business management utilising, macro and micro economics to determine the behavior of the aggregate economy, to focusing on the individual and business. Notwithstanding Steve is conversant in cultural, social, political, and intellectual activities as by-products of the economic organisation of society. His other pursuits are in integrity and choices; through cultural excellence, behavioural adaptability and human centred design.

Leadership: Behavioural Adaptability covering Agile Resolve, Relational Thinking, and Experiential Design.
Culture and Change: Aligning performance to incentives through sentiment and emotion analysis, thus ensuring job satisfaction and effectiveness of business
Voice of the Enterprise: Customer centricity, Process design and mapping, Data governance, Shareholder equity and Stakeholder (Staff) incentives.
Economic Development: Insight around fiduciary obligations to analyse risks around market, credit and operations. These being keys to mitigate reputational risk.

Kerryn Ellis
CEO, South Gippsland Shire Council

I am really excited to be considered as your representative on the LGPro board! Having recently returned to local government after a short break in state government, I have refreshed my passion and commitment to our fabulous sector and I am keen to make a contribution through our peak body to the sector's future. I am very passionate about growing our sector, particularly through professional development and support to emerging leaders and young professionals. I am also committed to professional officers having a strong voice in advocacy for the future of our sector.  Through my previous experience as a Board member I am aware of the opportunities and responsibilities the Board holds to represent and develop our sector, and I am excited to have the opportunity to again play this important leadership role for our collective future. I would be honoured to receive your vote.

Jaime Chubb
Director Community Wellbeing, Rural City of Wangaratta

Some days I still feel young and new, but it has been 15 years since I started in what has turned out to be the most incredible sector to work in. What began as a role as a youth officer at Mitchell has grown to the last six years as a Director at the Rural City of Wangaratta. In regional Victoria, the value of LGPro as a source of information, connection and support is enormous. We have more space, less people, more bushfires, and much further distances to travel than our metro counterparts but we share many of the same challenges. We all strive for the same outcomes. I believe that LGPro provides us all a place to grow as leaders, celebrate our impacts, challenge the barriers and build some of the greatest friendships. I am excited by the opportunities that face us as a sector as we emerge from one of the most challenging of years - with new Councils, a new Act, and new ways of working (hello home offices!). I would love to work with the Board as we collectively navigate this future. I remember my first LGPro conference, when I was still yet to actually speak to an engineer, and was only just getting my head around how wide the local government world really was. Whilst I now understand the value of a good infrastructure plan, I still get goosebumps at what we are able to achieve for our communities. What we do is pretty special.

Steve Hamilton
Director Infrastructure Services, Maribyrnong City Council

My career has spanned 26 years across the public and private sectors; as a founder of several private businesses, to establishing an international firm in Australia, to working within state government, and now local government for the last 7 years.  My career has focused on organisational and staff development and growth, and identifying challenges that lie ahead and turning them into opportunities.  I have worked with and as a member of Boards in Australia and Internationally. When I look forward and also reflect on the last 7 months of impacts from covid-19, I see the LG sector playing an exponentially increasing leadership role amongst society.  This is an amazing position to be in – to be able to provide deeper and stronger support and services for our communities is a privilege:  this is our value proposition.  With this comes the opportunity and need to continuously better ourselves. The ability for us to build resilient capacity and even stronger support networks (personal and professional), focus on our contemporary development, embrace technology and care for the environment will be more important than ever.  I have nominated for the LGPro Board for this very reason - to share my broad experiences and insight, to help the sector prepare, develop and excel in these challenging times.  Being future ready is all about being now-ready.

Previous roles:  Managing Director (Australia), CEO, Acting CEO, and Executive Director
Qualifications:   BAppSci, Masters Eng, DipCompanyDirectors, MAICD, LGPro XLP (current)

Michael Tudball
CEO, Southern Grampians Shire Council

Following almost 10 years in Local Government and almost 5 as CEO of Southern Grampians Shire Council I nominated last elections and was ultimately elected on a countback following a Board resignation in late 2019. I have enjoyed my short time on the Board of LG Pro (VIC) and am offering to continue for the next term to support the professional development of our sector, contribute from a Regional/Rural perspective and to help grow the membership of LG Pro by continuing the various recently developed offerings including virtual webinars, conferences, meetings and professional development. I believe this opens up many more opportunities within the sector that would not otherwise be available in particular with time and travel pressures on us all. There is much to be proud and to espouse to our communities from the LG Professionals and we have a chance to influence and change some perceptions of Local Government in community and Government circles.

Gail Gatt
General Manager Regional City Growth and Investment, Latrobe City Council

LGPro has a commitment to being the leading voice for Local Government employees dedicated to exceptional public service. Everyday, I get the opportunity to work with committed, responsive teams and individuals with exceptional ideas. I am passionate about supporting you as the backbone of our sector. There has never been a more important time to have strong representation at the Board level as we navigate together, through post COVID Recovery in an era of a new Local Government Act. I bring nearly three decades of experience from a career in state and local governments across a variety of roles encompassing a regional perspective, from Gippsland. My current role at Latrobe City Council, as General Manager Regional City Growth and Investment is underpinned by a necessity to lead our community through transitional economic change. As a result of transformational change in the energy sector and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, I bring a demonstrated experience working with business, tourism, arts, events and land-use planning sectors, to advocate for and provide programs, initiatives and support to those that need assistance now and into the future. I am motivated to join the LGPro Board to be part of the team that leads the organisation during a time of significant change and future challenges. In delivering a service to our members you can expect from me a set of values of accountability, a willingness to listen and collaborate and a preparedness to adapt and innovate.
Contact me at gail.gatt@latrobe.vic.gov.au

Bruce Dobson
Director Customer & Transformation, Boroondara City Council

I am passionate about local government, our role in building and supporting communities, and the need for developing capability in the sector. As an LGPro Board member since mid-2019, I have helped drive LG Pro’s success in influencing the new Act’s implementation, building partnerships to benefit our members, and pivoting through Covid to provide new ways for our members to develop and connect.  I bring to the role extensive and diverse experience, along with a strong governance focus.  I have cross-discipline experience over nearly 20 years in local government, coupled with a commercial background in the private sector. And there is more to do.  The need for a strong LGPro has never been greater, with increased scrutiny and challenges facing the sector.  More than even we need effective advocacy to influence government decision making.  We need strong partnerships with other organisations to provide a united voice where our interests align.  We need to develop and retain professionals within the sector, building on the programs and groups already in place.  With my background, experience and networks, I am well placed to continue to help LGPro with this vital work. My other contributions to the sector include serving on the FinPro Board for six years and chairing the Chartered Accountants Local Government Taskforce, preparing the best practice Model Budget for use by all councils.  I am a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. I’m excited about the chance to continue to help LGPro be the leading voice we all need.

Chris Leivers
Director City Works and Assets, Yarra City Council

As a current LG Pro Board Member and Treasurer, and a long term Local Government employee, I have good knowledge of LG Pro and the Local Government sector. LG Pro does great work, and there will be high level turn over of Board members this election (due to natural attrition). New Board members will bring welcome fresh thinking, however some level of continuity of Board members will be important to support the organisation to recruit and support a new CEO, support the staff and to deliver on the great initiatives planned and underway. I will continue to listen to and advocate for members and to ensure the focus of LG Pro is informed by members input. I have championed the LG Pro member survey to understand member needs, and supported the organisation to transition to modern ways of working - including the virtual programming and webinars that have been so successful to date. LG Pro needs Board members that are engaged and well connected; people that understand Local Government, that can support and influence good outcomes and can ensure the organisation continues to meet the needs of members. I have been in Local Government for almost 20 years and have worked as a officer, Coordinator, Manager and Director - across a variety of port-folio's within the Community and Infrastructure/Operations areas. I understand the needs of LG staff at all levels, and have developed excellent connections along the way. I'd be proud to serve another term on the LG Pro Board.

Sally Jones
General Manager Community Strengthening, Moorabool Shire Council

I have 20 years of local government experience and a career spanning diverse roles, culminating in my current position as General Manager Community Strengthening at Moorabool Shire.  My career includes roles at Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Darebin and Port Phillip.  My current appointment at a rural Shire has allowed me to gain an understanding of the many differences and similarities across the sector. I am committed to raising the profile of Local Government with an interest in a broader reach of programs and services across the State.  The digital progress we have made in 2020 due to COVID-19 has illustrated what is possible in connecting and building significant networks as never seen before.   I am keen to build on our new engagement capacity and achieve greater inclusion across our industry. The ability for LG Pro to continue to offer genuine career development programs and opportunities is imperative to ensure our industry develops and nurtures the talent we have in local government, while also attracting external high performing professionals. The strengths I will bring to the Board include an innovation focus, significant networks, strong relationship building skills, proven business acumen and a commitment to professionally represent and advocate for our industry and the Board on behalf of the membership. I am currently studying an MBA at VU and an Associate of the AICD. Thank you in anticipation of your support for my nomination for this exciting opportunity.

Jen Bednar
Director Customer and Business Transformation, Casey City Council

Hi! I’m Jen Bednar, Director Customer & Business Transformation at the City of Casey. I am excited to be presenting myself for candidacy on the LGPro Board! With over 10 years’ local government experience I know the genuine opportunities that exist to serve our communities better, but understand change is not easy – we work in a complex, ever shifting environment. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of you and I am committed to leveraging our collective talent to bring fresh thinking to these new and evolving challenges. I am a strategic leader, with a big picture mindset. I bring passion and energy to all that I do. Most importantly, I am a committed people leader, who understands that it is you – our local government people - who are the true catalysts for sector change. Through becoming an LGPro Board Member, I will advocate for more joint-problem solving and less ‘solution-done’ showcasing. I will draw upon my local government, financial and consulting sector experience to help draw us together and unlock our potential. We need to stop trying to solve similar challenges in a multitude of ways. I commit to tackling the problems we face now and providing the professional connection, development, skills and tools our members need to lead and deliver with confidence. I am inspired and excited by local government and the people within it. I hope to be a part of shaping our future through being an LGPro Board member.

Carl Cowie
CEO, Nillumbik Shire Council

I have had the privilege of being a Local Government CEO for almost six years now, initially at Mornington Peninsula Shire and currently at Nillumbik Shire.  When I arrived at Council, I had a particular view of what I was likely to find in a Council workforce, a typical view shared across the Commonwealth.  In some respects my suspicions were confirmed but in other ways my eyes were opened to the depth of talent that existed in both these organisations.  Not only the talent of hard working individuals but the breadth of professional activity. Having cut my teeth in companies that were all profit driven, generally with much better systems and faster processes, I brought to Local Government my own brand of customer first focus, hard work, smaller staff levels however better performers.  One analogy that resonated was based around my near obsession with fast cars, today's 2 litre turbo’s produce far more power than the old heavy V8’s of yesteryear, they’re cheaper to produce, lighter and run on less fuel but they pack a punch! The essential ingredient to success is the quality of people who work with you, they make the culture, they infuse enthusiasm into teams and they care for people, volunteers and the community.  I love to share with my private sector pals the amazing work LG does, I think we could do much more cross sector / industry placements and I think we could promote the excellence of Council staff much better. I can help!