Delegate List


Delegate List 

These are the delegates who have selected to share their profiles, and in some cases, their contact details with the conference. 


Amanda Stone 

Amanda Stone

Councillor, City of Yarra


Cr Amanda Stone was re-elected to Yarra Council in November 2020 as a representative of Nicholls Ward. She served as Yarra’s 2008-09 and 2016-17 Mayor. A long term Yarra resident, Cr Stone has a special passion for protecting the Yarra River from the impacts of built developments. She’s also a strong supporter of Yarra as a creative city where the arts and creative industries flourish. Cr Stone is proud of Yarra Council’s carbon neutral status and wants the community to also strive to zero carbon by 2030. She believes it is important that we contribute to a safe future for Yarra’s young people and ensure the most vulnerable are not unfairly impacted by the effects of climate change.

Cr Stone’s vision for Yarra is of a city of well designed, high quality, sustainable buildings, with great public spaces and easy access to active transport. She is a strong advocate for for continuing our partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community towards reconciliation and justice. Nurturing a healthy and strong community, where no-one is left behind especially in the pandemic recovery period is one of her main priorities. An education consultant who has previously worked as a teacher, student counsellor and assistant principal, Cr Stone holds a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diplomas in Education and Child Psychology as well as GAICD. Cr Stone sits on the Global Executive of ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, she chairs the Collingwood headspace Consortium and is a member of the Greens.

Anab Mohamud
Anab Mohamud

Councillor, City of Yarra


Anab Mohamud came to Australia as a Somalian refugee 20 years ago. She lives in the heart of Fitzroy at Atherton Gardens Estate where she is currently raising her young daughter. Anab is deeply embedded in the community and is involved with a number of local community organisations, including: Convenor of the Somali Women’s Group, Community Liaison Officer at Fitzroy Primary School. In her role as Councillor and community leader, Anab wants to send a strong message to young women that they have every right to become whatever they dream to be. She is passionate about moving the community forward together, and to give voice to those that need to be heard. Anab seeks to give hope to our multicultural communities to be engaged in the issues that affect them, and create a socially just, sustainable, and liveable Yarra.


Photo of Cr Anna De Villiers 

Anna De Villiers

Councillor, Central Goldfields Shire

P: 0428 916 671, E:


Cr De Villiers is a long-time resident of Majorca and commenced her first term as Councillor of Central Goldfields Shire Council in 2020. Immigrating with her husband and three children to the Shire from South Africa 20 years ago, Cr De Villiers has strongly advocated for protecting our environment and for greater community involvement in decision making.  An experienced social inclusion specialist, she has worked as a remedial educator with gifted children requiring diverse learning approaches for the last 14 years. Cr Anna De Villers holds a Bachelor of Education and Library Science with Honours, Certificate of Remedial Teaching and a Post Grad Certificate in ELearning (University of New England).





Anne-Marie Cade

Councillor, Glen Eira city Council


Cr Cade is a Mediator and Lawyer who has lived in Glen Eira for more than 14 years. She has three children between the ages of 16 and 25. For more than 12 years she ran her own law firm and now works as a family law mediator and mentor. She is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with a Master of Laws in Applied Law majoring in Family Dispute Resolution from the College of Law. Cr Cade has a strong sense of community, having lived and worked in the area and want to make a valuable contribution by addressing residents’ concerns at Council level. 


Portrait of Annemarie McCabe

Annemarie McCabe

Councillor, Baw Baw City Council

Recently elected to the Baw Baw Shire, I represent the West Ward. I am embracing this new role with a passion and enjoying the opportunities it provides to learn new things, meet new people and be involved. I am deputy chair of the West Gippsland Regional Libraries Board and now sit on the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee for the Baw Baw Shire. These roles have ignited my interest in how we can create community spaces that engage and inspire people. In my other life I have background in health, having worked in nursing and paramedicine which provides me a unique perspective around what makes a healthy and happy community. 


Portrait of Antonella Celi

Antonella Celi

Councillor, Mornington Peninsula Shire


Cr Antonella Celi was elected into local government in 2010, and in 2016 graduated to receive a Diploma in Local Government for Elected Councillors. In addition to being a local Councillor for ten years, Cr Celi is a former Mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire and has held council-delegated positions to numerous municipal committees and held positions of Chair of the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Committee; the Positive Ageing Steering Committee; The Triple A Housing Policy Committee, the Arts & Culture Advisory Committee and the Peninsula Reads Literacy Committee. Cr Antonella works closely with residents, community groups, business and organisations to develop key Shire Strategic Plans and Policies that deliver to the Mornington Peninsula Shire. Cr Antonella is committed to advocate on issues; address challenges: focus on opportunities and seek Local, State and Federal government resources and funding to support programs, services and projects across the region.



Barbara Abley AM

Committee Member, ALGWA Executive Committee

Barbara, holds Tertiary & Graduate Qualifications in Health, Management, Nursing, Internal Auditing (Aged Care), is an Australian College of Nursing Fellow. She was honoured to receive an Order of Australia, and appointed as a Member (A.M.) in 2007. She served three terms 2001-2012 on the Greater Geelong Council; Deputy Mayor (year); Mayor (2 years), the first female to hold this position in Geelong’s history. She led two delegations to Timor Leste in 2002 and 2005, the first as an Independent UN Observer overseeing the procedures and voting practices for the election of the first President of Timor Leste; the second delegation was as chair of Viqueque/Geelong Friendship Committee regarding the resourcing of health and community services within this Region. In semi retirement, she continues to serve on Boards/ committees including ALGWA (Victoria); has strong ties to numerous other organisations including the RSL, National Servicemen’s Association, is an independent Funeral Celebrant, serves on the RSL Chaplaincy team to conduct RSL Funerals; a current Rotarian of 29 years standing, Past President, Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International). She is a long serving member of the Order of Australia Association (Victoria); was awarded with a Lions International Medal of Merit– a rarity for a Rotarian. She is a Past President of the Geelong Rugby Union Football Club. She edits a number of regular publications for Rotary, the Barwon Region Group Order of Australia Bulletin ,and for the Order of Saint John which are distributed locally, regionally, nationally and to an international readership. She and her husband Barry had two children, one sadly deceased; they have three grand children and two very precious great grandsons 


Portrait of Bernadette Thomas 

Bernadette Thomas

Councillor, Maribyrnong City Council


Cr Bernadette Thomas is a long-term resident and active volunteer for several groups dedicated to improving the local environment and the lives of people living in Maribyrnong.  This is Cr Thomas’ first term on Council and would like to see action on the climate emergency, greater transparency in decision making and improved engagement practices with the community.


Portrait of Bronwyn Morphett

Bronwyn Morphett

Coordinator, Social Planning and Community Development, Manningham Council
P: 0428 241 144, E:


Portrait of Carli Lange

Carli Lange

Councillor, Manningham Council
P: 0433 256 840, E:


Carolyn Crossley

Councillor, Wellington Shire
P: 0409 495 833, E: 


Carolyn's vision for the Wellington Shire is for a prosperous and inclusive community, with accessible services and facilities. A community that empowers its people, optimises its resources, and protects the natural environment through sustainable development. A community that celebrates its recent history while also acknowledges its past and actively reconciles with its Tradition Owners.  First elected to Wellington Shire Council in 2012, serving as Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Re-elected in 2016 to serve as Mayor for two more year and receiving a Mayor Emeritus award from the MAV. In 2020 elected for a third term. Carolyn is serving on a number of committees; Living Well During Covid-19, Wellington Municipals Emergency Management, Advisory Groups for the Gippsland Art Gallery and the Wedge Entertainment Centre, Wellington Youth Council and Chair of the Gippsland Climate Change Network. Carolyn is also a Mentor in the Australian Local Government Women’s Association Vic. Branch Mentoring Program.


Portrait of Courtney Carrington


Carrington Courtney

Intern, ALGWA Vic
P: 0448 501 922, E:


Portrait of Chantelle Fowler

Chantelle Fowler

Intern, ALGWA Vic
P: 0430 881 502, E: 


Portrait of Clare Mccartin

Clare McCartin

Managing Partner, Davidson Executive and Boards

P: 0414 595 941, E: 


Clare is the National Senior Partner of the Davidson Executive & Boards team where she leads the Executive and Boards teams in VIC, NSW and QLD. Prior to joining Davidson in 2015, Clare was a Director of a Melbourne based search firm for thirteen years where she conducted hundreds of Senior searches in the government, health, sporting and community sectors.  In addition, Clare was awarded the Seek Recruitment Consultant of the Year for 2016. Clare is an active corporate member of IPAA where she sits on their people & culture committee. Clare established the inaugural Top 50 Women in the Public Sector initiative which has now recognised over 200 women across NSW and VIC. She is also a National Trustee of CEDA, a Member of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce and actively involved with LG Pro, MAV, IPWEA and Procurement Australia. Clare regularly publishes thought leadership articles in her industry publications.


Portrait of Claudia Haenel

Claudia Haenel

Councillor, Horsham Rural City Council


Cr Haenel is experienced in media, marketing, small-business ownership and event organising. She is a third-generation Horsham resident who is passionate about the Wimmera and keen to work hard for her home town


 Claudia Nguyen

Claudia Nguyen

Councillor,  City of Yarra

Claudia is a newly elected Councillor for the Melba Ward and is keen to hit the ground running to achieve the best outcomes for her ward. Claudia was born and raised in Yarra. Her parents were refugees from Vietnam and called the Richmond public housing estates home. After graduating from Melbourne University with a Master of Engineering, Claudia worked as a consultant in the private industry. She then shifted to the public sector where she currently holds a Senior Policy role. Claudia is passionate about giving back; she is: an Executive with the Vietnamese Community in Australia – Victorian Chapter, Secretary of the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club, and Advisor to the youth led Dual Identity Leadership Program. Claudia applies her community advocacy, leadership, and policy experience to deliver sustainable outcomes for the Yarra community. She wants to ensure that Council responds to the needs of young people and those who most need our support.



Portrait of Colleen Gates

Colleen Gates

Councillor, Campaspe Shire Council

P: 0457 916 615, E:



Potrait of Cuc Lam

Cuc Lam

Councillor,  Maribyrnong City Council


This is Cr Cuc Lam’s third term as a Councillor at the City of Maribyrnong, including a year as Mayor. Cr Lam was first elected in 2000, then again in 2016, serving as Mayor in 2017/2018, before being re-elected in 2020. Cr Lam has received the Refugee Recognition Record Award and Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was instrumental in the implementation of the pop up park in West Footscray. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the East Wimmera Community Health Service and Joan Kirner Children’s Hospital Foundation, and is part of the Community Advisory Committee for Western Health. Cr Lam is a strong advocate for multicultural communities, and she seeks to create safer and cleaner neighbourhoods whilst supporting sporting and community groups and local businesses.


Portrait of David Clark 

David Clark

President,  MAV
P: 0417 374 704, E:


Portrait of Deborah Wu

Deborah Wu

Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Inclusion & Diversity Lead
P: 0433 046 101, E: 


Deborah Wu is the VLGA’s Inclusion & Diversity Lead. Deborah has worked across local, state and federal government sectors as an advisor in policy and media and communications. Throughout her career, she has played an active role in advocating for and facilitating gender equality and diversity. Most recently, Deborah led the VLGA’s highly regarded Local Women Leading Change program, aimed at increasing the number of women elected to local government in Victoria. She was an inaugural fellow of the Pathways to Politics for Women program (University of Melbourne and Trawalla Foundation) in 2016, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.


Portrait of Debra Thurley 

Debra Thurley

National Board (Treasurer)/Tasmanian State Secretary, Australian Local Government Women's Association
P: 0400 662 382, E: 


Debra Stewart (Thurley) is a former Alderman of the Clarence City Council, a former Executive at the Legislative Council of the Tasmanian Parliament. Debra was a Local Government Administrator for 10 years and a Small Business Owner/Manager for 18 years. Debra is currently National Board Member (Treasurer) of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) and ALGWA Tasmanian Secretary. Debra holds a Masters of Employment Relations (formerly Industrial Relations), Diploma of Business, Diploma of Business Management, Diploma of Human Resources and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Currently Debra’s passion is in advocating for gender equality in Local Government and for education to empower Women and Girls to reach their full potential and to contribute to altruistic acts within the community.


Portrait of Debra Mar 

Debra Mar

Councillor, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
P: 0466 255 385, E: 


My passion for working with communities came from my involvement with a local community radio station where I volunteered eight years of writing, reporting and utilizing my business management skills. I worked closely with a diverse number of community groups which placed me at the forefront of issues we are facing. One of my main concerns is conservation and wildlife and protecting OUR PLACE and OUR WELLBEING. We need to think long term about how we are leaving the planet for future generations. It all starts at grass roots level. I am a member of BERG and the MP Koala Conservation group and Save Arthurs Seat and local beach patrols. I am an appointed representative on Council’s Innovation Advisory Committee, the MWRRG Forum, Australian Coastal Councils and MAV Planning alternate representative on the Health and Wellbeing Committee, Triple A Housing Committee and the MAV Emergency Management Committee.


Portrait of Deirdre Diamante 

Deirdre Diamante

Councillor, Manningham City Council 

P: 0413 584 047, E:


Portrait of Denise Anderson 

Denise Anderson

Councillor, Towong Shire Council 

P: 0438 139 917, E: 


Cr Denise Anderson was elected to Council on 24 October 2020 for her first term. She has been a resident of Towong Shire for 22 years and has lived in the region all her life. Together with her husband Bill, she has three adult children. Cr Anderson has owned a small business and has experience working in the banking and medical industries in the areas of customer service and management. Her involvement in these areas has provided her with a broad knowledge of business and she has gained an understanding of government regulations and compliance. She has been involved with a variety of school and community organisations such as the Community Recovery Committees and has been a strong voice advocating for her community on Local, State and Federal Government issues.


Portrait of Despi O'Connor 

Despi O'Connor

Mayor, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council 

P: 0435 569 710, E: 


Councillor Despi O’Connor was elected to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in 2020 and represents the Briars Ward. Cr O’Connor was elected as Mayor in 2020. She is the appointed representative on Council’s Literacy Advisory Committee, the Interface Councils, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), South East Melbourne (SEM), the Mornington Peninsula Cemetery Trust and the Local Government Mayoral Advisory Panel. Cr O’Connor’s career has focused on the disciplines of education and recreation. She is an AUSTSWIM Teacher, Coach and Trainer, was Director of Aquatic Education with the YMCA at Aquarena in the City of Manningham, a Community Recreation Officer at Baw Baw Shire and since 2010 a Teacher in the State Education system at Mt Martha Primary School. She has been an active member of her local community for many years including being the Founder and President of Mount Martha Basketball Club, Patrol Member and Captain of Mount Martha Life Saving Club, Chief Instructor Mount Martha Life Saving Club and Assessor for the Bayside Life Saving Clubs. She is also an avid runner. Cr O’Connor is passionate about a range of local issues including recognising our diverse population and ensuring equity for all of our residents on the Mornington Peninsula and educating others about the traditional owners Bunerong/Boon Wurrung, their culture and resilience in the spirit of reconciliation. Cr O’Connor has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Science, Masters in Education (Research) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) achieving Dux of 2009.


Portrait of Emma Lawrence  

Emma Lawrance

Town Planner, Manningham Council

P: 9840 9316, E:  


Portrait of Frances Eyre

Frances Eyre

Deputy Mayor, Nillumbik Shire Council 

P: 0466 049 798, E:


 Gabrielle de Vietri

Gabrielle de Vietri

Mayor, City of Yarra

Gabrielle de Vietri is the Mayor of the City of Yarra and a Langridge ward Councillor. Before being elected to local government, Gabrielle worked in the arts, creating collaborative community projects for social change. She also worked as a paralegal at Refugee Legal; providing legal services to refugees and people seeking asylum. Gabrielle has a long history of community activism and organising. She has been involved in the successful community mobilisation against the east-west toll road as well as organising events leading human rights and climate change activism. In her role as Mayor and Councillor, Gabrielle is committed to working with the community to help shape a growing city in a way that better meets the needs of the people and the environment. Gabrielle is passionate about supporting meaningful climate action, transitioning to a zero-carbon future and making sure that no-one is left behind. This term, she will work towards a number of initiatives, including a zero-carbon future, better active transport, housing for all, zero-waste to landfill, revitalising the local economy.

Portrait of Grace La Vella

Grace La Vella

Councillor, Central Goldfields Shire Council 

P: 0429 048 112, E:


Portrait of Heather Cunsolo

Heather Cunsolo

Councillor, Port Phillip Council 

P: 0466 227 014, E:


Portrait of Helen Healy

Helen Healy

Deputy Mayor, Mildura Rural City Council 

P: 0417 556 821, E: 


Cr Helen Healy grew up in Ouyen, has 73 first cousins and her family have been in the Mallee over 100 years. She is an Arts and Cultural Engagement consultant, having produced over 300 events across Australia including major events in the Mildura region and a major cultural program for the Centenary of Canberra. She has twice been a finalist for the Australian Event Manager of the Year and is a former Victorian Government Small Business Regional Hero. Cr Healy recently completed a Masters in Cultural Leadership and the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and belongs to many local groups including the Mildura Rowing Club. In her current term she is focussing on gender equality benefits for men, women and children; future proofing with sustainable practices and renewable energies; events and tourism driven economies and civic pride - most especially the beautification our region.


Portrait of Jacqui Weatherill

Jacqui Weatherill

Chief Executive Officer, City of Stonnington 


Jacqui Weatherill is CEO of the City of Stonnington, one of Melbourne’s largest and most diverse Councils. She is a highly experienced leader with extensive experience in government, the not for profit sector and sports administration. Jacqui is a natural strategist with extensive networks in both the corporate and community spheres and her personal approach and proven pedigree for driving change has transformed organisations and workforce culture through innovative solutions in complex business scenarios.


Portrait of Jane Ogden

Jane Ogden

Councillor, Gannawarra Shire Council

P: 0476 786 051, E: 0476 786 051


Portrait of Jane Gazzo

Jane Gazzo



Jane Gazzo is a broadcaster, TV presenter, music journalist and published author who began her career in radio, aged 16. She has presented nationally on Triple J and MMM radio as well as XFM London, Capital FM London and BBC Radio 6 in the UK and has hosted ABC-TV music television shows such as The Sound and Recovery. Jane also spent eight years as a presenter on Foxtel's Channel V, where she reported from some of the biggest world music festivals, red carpet events and hosted live TV shows, interviewing some of the biggest and best names in the music world. Jane is currently a lecturer of Entertainment Management at Collarts, chairs the Australian Music Vault Hall of Fame advisory committee at the Arts Centre Melbourne and serves on the board for government youth organisation The Push. Her first book, John Farnham - The Untold Story was published in 2015. Jane is also co-founder of the Sound as Ever Facebook group - a place which celebrates and documents Australian music from the 1990s and whom to date has over 17K members.


Portrait of Janet Pearce

Janet Pearce

Councillor, Macedon Ranges Shire Council

P; 0437 282 096, E:


Portrait of Jazmin Tauru

Jazmin Tauru

Councillor, Baw Baw Shire

P: 0408 260 976, E:


Portrait of Jenna Davey-Burns

Jenna Davey-Burns

Councillor, Kingston Council

P: 0437 859 749, E:


Portrait of Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson

Mayor, Macedon Ranges shire council and MAV North Central representative

P: 0408 273 670, E:


Portrait of Johanna Skelton

Johanna Skelton

Councillor, Yarra Ranges Council

P: 0437 938 075, E:



Julie Reid

Executive Director, Local Government Victoria | Local Government and Suburban Development, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions


Portrait of Karen Foster

Karen Foster

Councillor, Moyne Shire Council


Karen is a former Journalist who operates a professional communications consultancy from Port Fairy. She is an experienced Board Director with current Directorships on the Boards of Moyne Health Services, Leadership Great South Coast and the Western Victoria Primary Health Network. A professional mentor, Karen also has a personal interest in supporting other women in business and leadership. One of her priorities for the current Council term is to engage more women and young people with local government and with community leadership, more generally. She is also focused on supporting Moyne Shire’s business community to connect and grow. Karen is married with two young adult children. She loves walking her dogs on Port Fairy’s beautiful beaches, pottering in the garden and catching up with friends and family for good food and robust conversation!


Portrait of Karen Wheatland 

Karen Wheatland

President, ALGWA WA
P: 0401 335 642, E: 


Elected in 2017.  President, Australian Local Government Womens Association of WA Deputy Member, Local Government Advisory Board "The importance of increasing woman in the sector to achieve true equality has never been as vital as it is now. We are gaining more ground to bridge the gap between men and women in local government, and with the recent increase of 23% since 2017 of women in elected positions in WA, the proof is in the results. I am driven to help facilitate change for women in the sector and also to increase the number of women from CALD backgrounds."


 Portrait of Karine Haslam 

Karine Haslam

Councillor, Murrindindi Shire Council


Cr Karine Haslam has lived in Eildon since 2002. She has owned several businesses in manufacturing, food and hospitality, including Morning Mist B&B in Eildon. Before moving to Eildon, Karine held a variety of positions including sales coordinator, account manager and her last role as national sales manager for a multinational company. Karine has worked locally with Reddrops, OEG, Holmesglen TAFE and Alexandra District Health. She was a member of Eildon CFA during the 2009 bushfires and is currently a member of the Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild Inc./Alexandra Community Shed. Karine’s aim when moving to Eildon was to be self-sufficient. Championing renewable energy and sustainability, Karine is also an advocate for recycling and repurposing and hopes to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.


Portrait of Katherine Copsey 

Katherine Copsey

Councillor, Port Phillip Council
P: 0466 478 949, E:


Portrait of Kathryn Arndt 

Kathryn Arndt

Chief Executive Officer, VLGA
P: 0447 687 412, E:


Portrait of Katrine Gabb 

Katrine Gabb

Community Development Officer - Access and Inclusion, Manningham Council

P: 9840 9398, E:


Portrait of Kerri McCafferty

Kerri McCafferty

Councillor, Mornington Peninsula Shire

P: 0435 457 769, E: 


I'm committed seeing real and meaningful action on the climate crisis to ensure a safe future for my children. Through multiple community climate organisations, I spent considerable time in 2020 contributing to the Mornington Peninsula Shire's Climate Emergency Plan, and following this I decided to run so that I could ensure it's implementation in it's entirety. I feel strongly about the need for evidence based policy. In the absence of any real leadership at a Federal level on this issue, it appears that other levels of government are obliged to steer this solution from the ground up. That is my purpose, at Council, in the community and as an activist. When we embrace science and the rich and vast knowledge of Indigenous people, when we elevate and amplify women’s voices, we see will see the greatest environmental, social and economic success.


Portrait of Kim Le Cerf

Kim Le Cerf

Manager Climate and Sustainability, Glen Eira City Council


Former Councillor at City of Darebin 2016-2020, Mayor 2016-2018 

Local Government Officer since 2011 at City of Melbourne (2011-2020) and currently Manager Climate and Sustainability at Glen Eira City Council (2020-present) Proud to be a 2021 ALGWA Mentor 


Portrait of Kolina Johnson 

Kolina Johnson

Coordinator Revenue Services, Manningham Council

P: 9840 9252, E: 


After studying a Bachelor of Arts at Latrobe University (majoring in in Sociology and Women's Studies), I was fortunate to obtain a role in Local Government. I have now been working in local government for 17 years, working at Darebin, Hume, Yarra and Manningham Councils. During this time, I have worked in Customer Service and Finance. I am currently working at Manningham Council as the Coordinator of Revenue Services, commencing a year and a half ago. I am a convenor for the LGPro Young Professional Network, as well as Secretary for the Revenue Management Association. I'm passionate about working for local government, and am proud of the work that we do for our community.


Portrait of Lana Formoso 

Lana Formoso

Councillor, City of Greater Dandenong


I am a devoted teacher and passionate local advocate seeking to make positive change through education, community participation and volunteering. I have lived in Greater Dandenong all of my life and am now raising my family here. I am committed, available, energetic, and ready to listen and work hard for our area.


Portrait of Lara Christensen

Lara Christensen


Intern, Intern with ALGWA

P: 0435 726 256, E:


Portrait of Laura Binks


Laura Binks

Councillor, Strathbogie Shire Council

P: 0437 906 687, E: 


Laura was elected to the Mount Wombat Ward of Strathbogie Shire on a platform of sustainable solutions, expansion of arts and cultural programs, and a commitment to building an inclusive and prosperous community/council relationship. Meaningful climate policy to make council operations low carbon, a review of the planning scheme and zones and strategic planning around our farming and agriculture industry are all in progress.

Portrait of Lauren Dempsey

Lauren Dempsey

Councillor, Northern Grampians Shire Council
P: 0435 517 102, E:


Portrait of Lauren Zoric 

Lauren Zoric

Board Director, Community Bank Clifton Hill - North Fitzroy


As a volunteer director of the Community Bank Clifton Hill - North Fitzroy, I think community banking is a brilliant idea and love the bank's unique business model. I enjoy the strategic challenge of continuing to develop new business ,finding better ways to tell the community bank story. whilst creating a deeper involvement in my community, meeting people and finding ways to make new connections. I am able to bring my skills in integrated marketing and communications, campaign strategy, copywriting to the Board. I believe in social justice, the strength of local community and being a good neighbour.


Portrait of Leticia Laing 

Leticia Laing

Councillor, Bass Coast Shire

P: 0439 665 595, E:  


Cr Laing has lived in the Bass Coast Shire for the past five years with her three young children. Originally from Melbourne, Cr Laing completed a Law/Arts degree from La Trobe University before pursuing a career as a journalist. Her work led her to spend six years in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia before returning to Victoria to work in regional news in South Gippsland. As a journalist Cr Laing was instilled with a passion for learning from communities about issues that need redress, recognition or celebration. Cr Laing recognises the Bass Coast Shire as one of the most pristine parts of the world and is excited about working with the community to ensure the Bass Coast prospers while protecting it for future generations.


Portrait of Libby Stapleton

Libby Stapleton

Mayor, Surf Coast Shire

P: 0400 271 574, E:  


Cr Libby Stapleton is an active member of the Surf Coast Shire community, having lived in Aireys Inlet for the past 18 years, raising a young family and integrating herself in the fabric of local life. Her professional training is in public relations, and she operates her own PR/communications business. She is passionate about the arts and supports local artists in her role as operator of the Aireys Inlet Market, as well as an actor with Anglesea Performing Arts. Libby is also a qualified outdoor adventure instructor, bringing a unique mix of skills to local council. She loves to explore our coastal trails on foot and bike, considers herself a ‘fair-weather’ surfer, and is grateful to call the Surf Coast Shire home.


Portrait of Liesbeth Long 

Liesbeth Long

Councillor, Central Goldfields Shire Council

P: 0429 108 007, E: 


Liesbeth is Dutch by birth and is a Primary Producer together with her husband. They are fifth generation farmers, since 1876, producing fine Merino wool, prime lambs, export oaten hay, canola and cereal crops. Liesbeth is actively involved in all aspects of farming and manages the farm books. Off farm, she is a Casual/Relief Kindergarten Educator. In 2020 she was elected as Flynn Ward Councillor in the Central Goldfields Shire. Liesbeth has a Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, is a graduate of Leading Excellence Maryborough and the ADAPT Loddon Murray Climate Leadership Program. Liesbeth is a keen community volunteer and is passionate about nurturing small local communities through personal action. She has an immense love of the great outdoors and enjoys multi day hiking, cycling, photography, reading and spending time with her family. Together with her husband they have three adult children and one grandchild.


Portrait of Lina Messina 

Lina Messina

Mayor, Darebin City Council

P: 0419 750 504, E:


Portrait of Lisa Hollingsworth 

Lisa Hollingsworth

Councillor, City of Boroondara

P: 0417 908 485, E: 


As a 2nd term councillor first elected in 2016 and experienced senior executive in private enterprise, predominately working in the fields of Quality Systems Administration, Financial Management and Employee Relations I value the opportunity to join fellow councillors at professional development forums. I am an AICD graduate, alumni Cranlana Ethical Leadership and experienced Chair. I recognise the importance of network opportunities to create diversity of thinking that stimulates robust discussion, strengthens principles of good governance and delivers equitable decision-making outcomes for our communities.


Portrait of Liz Pattison 

Liz Pattison

Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor

P: 0402 328 546, E: 



Cr Liz Pattison is the Deputy Mayor at the Surf Coast Shire. She is an engineer with 15 years of experience and an active community volunteer. She lives in Jan Juc with her husband Sean and four boys in kinder and primary school. Cr Pattison is accomplished in strategic planning and will strive to work collaboratively with the community, local business, the Council officers and fellow Councillors. Cr Pattison values diversity and feels that our Council needs to reflect the people who live here on the Surf Coast. She is passionate about fostering a healthy and connected community.     


Portrait of Maria Kerr 

Maria Kerr

Councillor, Brimbank City Council

P: 0433 595 175, E: 


I was elected to Brimbank City Council in 2020 for Taylors Ward. I ran for Council as I am passionate about Brimbank. I have worked in the insurance industry for 20 years and have a young family. I have a passion for my local community and have been active in various community groups, I have lived in the west all my life and in Brimbank since 1986. I have watched the West continuously neglected and the gap between East and West widen. I watched the community online demanding change and louder voices. This motivated me to put my hand up, to be active in the community and make a difference. I vow to listen to the community, to respond to queries, to be available and to act in the best interests of the community and municipality.


Portrait of Marianne Di Giallonardo 

Marianne Di Giallonardo

Director Corporate Services, Maroondah City Council


Local and State Government Professional with over 39 years experience in Melbourne, Victoria, Marianne is a highly sought after leader with extensive breadth and depth in public sector service delivery, advocacy and planning ensuring big picture thinking, people engagement, systems enhancement, capacity building, continuous improvement and change management within sound governance practice frameworks. Significant senior executive experience covers corporate, community and infrastructure program areas including finance, governance, rates and valuations, property, customer service, information technology, human resources, risk management, waste management, public health, local laws, library services, leisure services, leisure facilities management - golf courses, aquatic centres, basketball centres, arts centres, arts programs, community services, community houses, maternal and child health services, youth services, social planning, social work, parks and reserves and capital programs.


Portrait of Marianne Saliba

Marianne Saliba

Mayor, Shellharbour City Council

P: 0409 689 610, E: 


I was raised in Shellharbour, attended school at Warilla North Public School, Stella Maris Shellharbour and St Annes College, Dapto and have raised my four children here in Shellharbour. As well as Mayor, I am currently a board member of Local Government NSW (2017 – current); National President of the Australian Local Government Women's Association (ALGWA) (2019 – current); Vice-Chair of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (2012-current), Director of Civic Risk Mutual (2016 – current); Council Delegate on Healthy Cities Illawarra Management Committee (2012 – current). My civic work has included: Member for Illawarra (1999-2007); Temporary Chairman of Committees (2003–2007); Member of the NSW Regulation Review Committee (1999- 2003); NSW Joint Select Committee on Victims’ Compensation (1999–2000); Vice Chairman NSW Legislative Review Committee (2003-2004); NSW Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety (Staysafe) (2003-2005); Chairman NSW Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (2004-2007); Deputy Mayor Shellharbour City 2011-2012; ALGWA NSW Country Vice President (2014-2016) and ALGWA NSW President (2017-2019). I am passionate about ensuring the fair treatment of all people and the delivery of services. My vision is to leave the community in a better position than I found it, to ensure those who follow have a great place to live, work and play and to safeguard our sustainability.


Marijke Graham 

Marijke Graham

Councillor, Maroondah City Council

P: 0418 109 015, E: 


First elected in 2016 to a multi-member ward, Marijke is now the single ward Councillor for Barngeong - covering the areas of Croydon and Croydon North in Melbourne's outer-east. Marijke is passionate about the environment and sustainability, mental health and wellbeing, young people, gender equity and education. Marijke has worked in the education sector for more than 15 years, has 2 young children and this year is an ALGWA Mentor is the chair of EAGA.


Portrait of Melissa Scadden 

Melissa Scadden

Partner, Justitia Lawyers


Melissa Scadden is a Partner at Justitia, an employment law firm. In addition to advising employers (including local government) on the full gamut of employment law matters, Melissa has acted as Arbiter on numerous Councillor Code of Conduct disputes and more recently worked with a number of Councils to refresh their Codes of Conduct. She has a keen interest in early intervention strategies for workplace conflict, along with building the capacity of individuals to effectively engage in difficult conversations. Melissa also regularly conducts complex workplace investigation and delivers training, and is frequently asked to speak on employment law matters at industry conferences.


Portrait of Michelle Kleinart

Michelle Kleinart

Executive,  ALGWA VIC
P: 0400 902 822, E:


 Portrait of Michelle West

Michelle West

Town Planner, Manningham Council
P: 0432 599 470, E: 


Melissa Scadden is a Partner at Justitia, an employment law firm. In addition to advising employers (including local government) on the full gamut of employment law matters, Melissa has acted as Arbiter on numerous Councillor Code of Conduct disputes and more recently worked with a number of Councils to refresh their Codes of Conduct. She has a keen interest in early intervention strategies for workplace conflict, along with building the capacity of individuals to effectively engage in difficult conversations. Melissa also regularly conducts complex workplace investigation and delivers training, and is frequently asked to speak on employment law matters at industry conferences.


Portrait of Natalie Duffy 

Natalie Duffy

Councillor, Nillumbik Shire Council


Hi, I’m Natalie Duffy & was elected to Nillumbik Shire Council in November 2020. I am committed to putting community at the heart of Council. In Nillumbik we are proud to live in the Green Wedge, the “Lungs of Melbourne” & want to see it protected. A background in business, community advocacy and volunteering helps me approach life in a practical way but my passion for Reconciliation is my drive. A diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer in January has added a level of unexpected complication and I encourage all my ALGWA sisters to go and have breast check. Thank you ALGWA for all your virtual support. I’m excited about meeting everyone in-person to learn, share and grow together.


Portrait of Natalie Egan 

Natalie Egan

Manager, Victorian Auditor-General's Office

P: 0416 270 999, E:


Portrait of Pam Robinson OAM 

Pam Robinson OAM

Life Member ALGWA Vic, Formerly Local Government 


Is confident and experienced in liaising effectively with Government Ministers their Departments, Business and Community Organisations. A person with a keen empathy and understanding of communities and their issues, thus enabling an effective and proactive approach. Has had extensive participation at all levels of local, regional, state and commonwealth decision making bodies, particularly with Local Government, Landcare, environment, climate change and natural resource management. Strong believer that effective solutions are achieved by adopting a cooperative and outcome-oriented approach with colleagues and stakeholders. Extensive experience in urban/rural extension programs and mediation. Has well developed analytical skills and has undertaken research for various projects either for own presentation or in order to provide advice to leaders within Australia and Internationally.


Portrait of Penny Flynn 

Penny Flynn

Councillor, Horsham Rural City Council


Cr Flynn has qualifications in leadership, governance and business governance and has worked at GWMWater for more than 16 years, where she has been senior corporate resources officer and legal administrator. She has also been involved in many community groups, and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Horsham East.


Portrait of Priscilla Pescott 

Priscilla Pescott

Life Member, ALGWA 

P: 0438 484 860, E:


Portrait of Prue Cutts 

Prue Cutts

Councillor, Whitehorse City Council 


I hold a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Psychology), Diploma of Education and a Graduate Certificate in Career Development. I have worked concurrently as a psychologist and teacher for nearly 20 years and currently I am registered as a teacher. I am an active community member and a Multicultural Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation of Australia, a board member of Berengarra School for secondary students with social and emotional issues, a member of the Whitehorse Historical Society and the Rotary Club of Mitcham. My areas of interest include lifelong learning, mental health, youth engagement, history and heritage, sustainability and women's advocacy. This is my second term as a Councillor and I currently represent Council on the following: Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA), Advisory Committee for the review of the Chief Executive Officer’s, Development, Heritage Steering Committee, Major Projects Councillor Reference Group, Whitehorse Sports & Recreation Network, Environment and Sustainability Reference Group.


Portrait of Rachelle Quattrocchi 

Rachelle Quattrocchi

Director City Services, Manningham Council


Rachelle is the Director City Services at Manningham City Council, where she provides strategic leadership to the Property, Infrastructure Projects and Amenity teams. Rachelle is a contemporary leader who brings a substantial number of years working at senior management and executive levels for large municipal organisations in Victoria and South Australia. Rachelle has qualifications in Construction Management and Economics, Civil Engineering and Project Management and has managed large portfolios where she has lead large Capital Programs, Major Infrastructure Projects, Commercial Contracts and Services that provide direct benefit to the community.


Portrait of Raylene Carr 

Raylene Carr

Deputy Mayor, City of Whitehorse


Currently serving my fourth term on Council, I remain committed and passionate to balanced decision making, being always approachable and representing residents with honesty and integrity, always working with them to solve problems and achieve results. For over 10 years I was the co-ordinator of the ALGWA Bursary Award and very proud to have been granted a Life Membership. I am currently Council's sub-representative for the MAV, Chair of the Visual Arts Committee, member of the Eastern Region Group of Councils and committee member of Council's DAMPAC, major projects reference group and advisory committee for the review of the CEO's development. In addition, I am very proud to be on the board of the Family Access Network based in Box Hill, an organisation that addresses homelessness, supports young mums and assists the LGBTIQ+ community.


Portrait of Rhonda Sanderson 

Rhonda Sanderson

Mayor, Mitchell Shire Council


Rhonda was first elected to Council in 2012 and served as Deputy Mayor in 2014/5. She was re-elected in 2016 and 2020 and has served as Mayor for two years in 2016/7 and 2017/18 and was re-elected Mayor for 2020/21. Community service has been important in her employment and voluntary roles. She has 30 years' administrative and management work experience in government and private enterprise, mainly in law enforcement and training. Prior to being elected to Council, she was active in a range of local community roles since 1995, for example, Seymour Business and Tourism and The Seymour We Want community Development group. The main issues she is committed to pursuing on Council are: economic development and job creation, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and recession; township beautification; effective land use planning and development; more youth activities; safe footpaths, bike paths, trails and roads; upgrading of community infrastructure, parks, playgrounds and pools; caring for our environment; financial sustainability and good governance at Mitchell Shire Council; and, continuous improvement in Council services and a customer focused approach. Rhonda was born and raised in Seymour and is a long term Seymour resident, married with two adult children. She has a BA (ANU, 2007), GAICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2015), Member ICDA (Institute of Company Directors Australia, 2018).


Portrait of Rhonda Garad

Rhonda Garad

Councillor, City of Greater Dandenong
P: 0435 017 584, E: 


I am a Councillor at the City of Greater Dandenong where I have the privilege of standing up for social and environmental equity and justice. I use my public voice to drive climate action and to apply a social justice lens to all policy areas. I am also an academic at Monash University where I work for gender equity within the health and research sector. I displace my profound eco-anxiety through collaborative action with like minded, extraordinary people, who give me hope for a liveable planet.


Rose Hodge 

Rose Hodge

Councillor, Surf Coast Shire
P: 0407 552 025, E: 


Now serving my 5th term at the Surf Coast Shire , extremely fortunate to be mayor 5 times. I still find local government as challenging, diverse and rewarding as day one. The Surf Coast is a shire of coastal beauty from Torquay to Lorne and an amazing hinterland. I’ve enjoyed working and advocating and strengthening the unique communities. Passionate about recreational facilities and the Arts, and working with Council and the organisation to ensure a solid recovery from co-vid. 


Portrait of Roslyn (Ro) Roberts 

Roslyn (Ro) Roberts

Board director, Community Bank Clifton Hill - North Fitzroy 


After leaving 21 years of service at the City of Yarra in early 2017, I wanted to do more to be part of the local community's capacity to share its financial resources and benefit community well‐being. Finding a community bank that represents these values was a great delight. The Clifroy catchment is an area of great cultural and socio‐economic diversity, and I am committed to applying my extensive knowledge of diversity planning for a more inclusive and accessible community to the role of Director.  My general philosophy on life ... Social justice, inclusion, a strong community which is supportive and shares resources, integrated planning where social, financial, cultural and environmental sectors work together. And last but not least ‐ the power of innovation.


 Portrait of Samantha Byrne

Samantha Byrne

Councillor, Moonee Valley
P: 0437 329 146, E:


Portrait of Samantha McIntosh 

Samantha McIntosh

Councillor, City of Ballarat
P: 0458 004 880, E: 


Samantha McIntosh is a Central Ward Councillor (since 2008) and is a confident and visionary leader, working to build Ballarat’s reputation as a progressive and forward-looking historical city, the regional capital of Western Victoria. She is well known for taking a strategic approach to the Councillor role; lobbying governments, forging partnerships and advocating strongly on behalf of Ballarat and its residents. 

Awarded as Emeritus Mayor by MAV in 2019 after three consecutive Mayoral terms. Her focus has included delivering a strategic vision for the city which facilitates job creation, attracts investment and delivers essential services and infrastructure. First elected to Ballarat City Council in December 2008 to represent the municipality’s North Ward. Re-elected in the Central Ward in 2012 and 2016; Cr McIntosh served as Deputy Mayor in 2012 and Mayor in 2016, 17 and 18. Under her leadership, the City of Ballarat continued to partner with governments and the private sector to deliver priority projects for the city including the redevelopment of Civic Hall and the Ballarat Station Precinct, and new builds including GovHub and the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre. Significant State and Federal funding was also secured through this period to begin projects like Link Road, BWEZ and airport developments.


Portrait of Samantha Ratnam 

Samantha Ratnam

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Parliament of Victoria


In 2017, Samantha entered the Victorian Parliament representing the Northern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council. In the 2018 state election, she was re-elected to this position. As well as being the Parliamentary Leader of the Victorian Greens, she holds a range of portfolios including Local Government, Housing and Planning, and Community Services. Samantha is a champion for social justice and the environment within the parliament. She actively campaigns to save public housing, reduce gambling harm and support communities to have more control over planning decisions in their neighbourhoods. Prior to entering the Victorian Parliament, Samantha was a social worker for over 15 years and also spent five years as a Councillor at the City of Moreland, where she was elected the first Greens Mayor of Moreland in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Social Work with Honours and a PhD in Youth Sociology. Samantha believes in putting people first and wants our state to be all it can be by investing in world-class public transport, powering Victoria with 100% clean renewable energy, providing homes for everyone, protecting our forests from logging companies and returning essential services like electricity to public hands.


Portrait of Sandice McAulay 

Sandice McAulay

Mayor, Murrindindi Shire Council
P: 0419 552 020, E: 


Cr Sandice McAulay moved to Taggerty with her family over 20 years ago. She has been involved in a number of community organisations including the Taggerty CFA, Taggerty Progress Association and the Cathedral Landcare Groups. 15 years ago Cr McAulay and her partner Ray (Gossy) bought the Taggerty General Store, which they have been running ever since. Prior to this she was a teacher, including a brief stint at Alexandra Secondary College. Cr McAulay was proud to serve as both Mayor and Deputy Mayor after being elected as Councillor in 2016, and as Chair of the Municipal Emergency Management Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Cr McAulay has a Bachelor of Science, a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (Science) and recently completed the Australian Institute Company Directors Course.


Sandra Wilson 

Sandra Wilson

Metro Vice President, ALGWA VIC


Former Hobsons Bay Councillor (2012-2020) serving twice as Mayor and twice as Deputy. Background in anti-discrimination, harassment and bullying training and consulting, volunteer management and policy. Since retiring, have retained a strong interest in local governance and continues to contribute to community groups such as Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre (committee of management), Communities that Care (chair) Hobsons Bay Community Fund (member), Western Region Footaball league (director) and of course ALGWA Vic (Metro VP). Strong interest in environment, gender equity and opportunities to support young people, oh yes and football.


Portrait of Sarah Race

Sarah Race

Deputy Mayor, Mornington Peninsula

P: 0439 273 556, E:


Portrait of Sarah Rey  

Sarah Rey

Managing Partner, Justitia Lawyers and Consultants


As the Managing Partner of Justitia and a workplace and governance lawyer, I am privileged to work in local government in two roles - as advisor on employment issues with HR/Organisational Development teams, as well as working with Councils and CEOs to decide on the best way to deal with complaints and alleged breaches of Councillor Codes of Conduct. My passion is to support councillors put in place strategies to manage and resolve conflict, as well as build capacity to deal with these issues. Successful leaders require skills as effective communicators and dispute resolvers, and a deep understanding of their obligations as councillors. As a lawyer I have observed first-hand how Councils can avoid dysfunction through fostering collaborative and respectful workplaces.


Portrait of Sasha Lord 

Sasha Lord

Manager Citizen Connect, Manningham Council 


Sasha is on a mission to put the customer at the centre of Government. Sasha is the Manager Citizen Connect at Manningham Council and is responsible for the development and implementation of a customer experience program and customer service operations. Sasha has considerable experience in leading teams, and has a strong customer, people and performance focus, with an extensive ‘customer’ background she has worked both domestically and internationally and across both private and public sectors.


Portrait of Sawali Rai 

Sawali Rai

Project Engineer, Manningham City Council

P: 0457 883 393, E:


Portrait of Shirin Noori 

Shirin Noori

Public Relations Officer, Public Relations Officer


Shirin was born and raised in Tehran/Iran, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Design from the University of Art & Culture in Tehran. During her working career in Tehran Shirin was the financial manager for the IRIB. She also produced and presented sports news for the IRIB. Since migrating to Australia in 2004, she has obtain a Master’s degree in Digital Media at Victoria University. Shirin spent approximately 12 years with SBS Radio, fulfilling various roles including program administration, staff training, radio production and presentation, translation and interpreting. Shirin’s interests include art, culture, as well as doing volunteer work helping migrants, and asylum seekers. Her passion for journalism and communication, has resulted in her creating a personal blog on social media, where migrants can share their real stories and challenges, and obtain the necessary support and encouragement to face these challenges.


Sophie Wade

Sophie Wade

Councillor, City of Yarra

Sophie Wade has lived in and around Yarra for most of her life - from her days crossing the Darebin Creek to primary school in Alphington, to socialising at cafes and bars in Fitzroy as a young adult, to playing netball in Clifton Hill. Sophie now lives in Collingwood, and loves being a part of the vibrant and bustling Smith St precinct. Prior to her election to Council, Sophie worked as a competition and consumer lawyer at a large international firm, working mainly for regulators. Sophie also does pro bono work at Refugee Legal in Collingwood. Sophie cares about the climate, inequality, participation in democracy and making the world both greener and fairer. She would love to hear about what you want to see in Yarra.

Portrait of Siu Chan

Siu Chan

2021 Conference Manager/Unit Manager Arts, Culture and Venues, City of Yarra
P: 0409 350 778, E:


Senior arts and culture sector manager with demonstrated success driving the creation of connected and vibrant communities. Has helped Yarra to cement its reputation as a city of creativity and innovation.



Portrait of Sue Baker 

Sue Baker

Councillor, Frankston City Council

P: 0438 145 842, E:


Portrait of Susan Biggar 

Susan Biggar

Councillor, City of Boroondara
P: 0422 519 972, E: 


Susan has a long history of working with the community, particularly in the area of health. She is currently the engagement advisor to Australia’s regulator of 800,000 health professionals and has over 20 years’ experience advocating for better health outcomes for the community. She was inaugural Chair of the Royal Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council and is currently still a member of the Community Advisory Committee at Monash Health. She has raised over $850,000 for medical research as co-founder and organiser of an annual community event. A writer by background, with degrees from Duke and Stanford universities, Susan has published extensively in Australia, including writing for The Age, Good Weekend and The Big Issue. Her book, The Upside of Down, was released in 2014. Originally from San Francisco, Susan has lived in six countries, before settling in Boroondara in 2002 to raise her three sons. She was elected Councillor of Riversdale Ward in 2020.


Portrait of Susan Laukens 

Susan Laukens

Councillor, Knox City Council

P: 0437 882 913, E:


Portrait of Susanne Newton 

Susanne Newton

Councillor, Darebin City Council

P: 0466 400 778, E:


Susanne Newton is a Councillor at the City of Darebin and former Deputy Mayor. When first elected in 2016, Susanne and the new council voted to declare a climate emergency, the first jurisdiction in the world to do so. She was the only Australian selected for the Vital Voices Engage Fellowship that took her to Florence and the Harvard Kennedy School for training from Marshall Ganz and mentoring from female prime ministers. Susanne is a fellow of the Melbourne School of Government Pathways to Politics for Women program, Vice President of the NTEU La Trobe Branch, treasurer of the Victorian Local Governance Association, and works in communications at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research.


Portrait of Tessa Sullivan 

Tessa Sullivan

Lawyer and Officer of the Supreme Court, University of New England

P: 0413 522 877, E:


Tessa Sullivan is a former politician. Her resignation from the Melbourne City Council let to ground-breaking legislative changes in the field of sexual harassment and workplace protection laws. Sullivan is currently a lawyer and officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria, a law academic at the University of New England, has a David Nason Journalism scholarship at Harvard University, is a qualified mediator and arbitrator awarded by the the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, former City of Melbourne councillor, wife and mother-of-three and on the boards of Blind Sports and Recreation at Vision Victoria, the Thai-Australia Network, the North American Australian Lawyers Alliance and ambassador for NOW (Tracey Spicer’s initiative against sexual harassment).


Portrait of  Tonia Dudzik 

Tonia Dudzik

Councillor, Moorabool Shire Council


Third term Moorabool Shire Councillor. Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Over 10 years experience working in local government in policy and procedures. Qualified as ISO 9001 Lead Auditor. Managing Director of Aquarium Leasing Specialists. Passionate about improving youth, mental health, family violence and drug support services in the community. 


Portrait of Vanessa Huxley 

Vanessa Huxley

Partner, Davidson Executive and Boards

0417 708 112, E:


Vanessa is an experienced talent strategy and executive search consultant, with over 12 years’ experience within sectors including financial services, technology, mining, government and healthcare. Commencing her career in IT recruitment, Vanessa later transitioned into Executive Search, partnering with ASX 50 organisations to lead global search and succession projects for both Executive and Board positions. In 2012, Vanessa ran for Local Government in the City of Port Phillip and was the elected Councillor for the Carlisle Ward from 2012 – 2016. It was a privilege for Vanessa to serve her community and she continued in her Board member position at Linden New Art until 2017. Vanessa has completed a Bachelor of Communications, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and is currently completed a Masters in Human Resources from Monash University. 


Portrait of  Venise Francise 

Venise Francise

Resource and Development Officer, Manningham Council

P: 0457 100 530, E:


Portrait of  Virginia Tachos

Virginia Tachos

ALGWA-VIC Executive Committee Member, Brimbank City Council

P: 0428 915 671, E:


I am honoured to be a returned Councillor for Brimbank City Council and also to be serving on the Executive Committee of ALGWA VIC. My connection to my community is through my involvement as a volunteer for the last 10 years. I started as a volunteer in local sports clubs then in tree planting and becoming a Brimbank Council Alumni and completing the leadership Victoria mentoring program through Brimbank Council. I have also served on two Business Association in Keilor and St Albans .


Portrait of  Wendy Bywaters

Wendy Bywaters

Councillor, Hindmarsh Shire Council


Cr Wendy Bywaters is proud to be a resident of Hindmarsh where she has lived, worked and raised her family. Owner of Wendy's Retreat Nhill, Cr Bywaters is an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry and the Agri Business sector. Skilled in Negotiation, Business Planning, Team Building, and Rural Development. Strong professional graduated from Wimmera Development Association's Business Leaders Program. Hindmarsh Shire Councillor 2012 -2016, including two years as Deputy Mayor. Cr Bywaters special areas of interest are early years education, young people, rural and remote communities, more women in leadership roles and refugee and migrant communities.