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Steering Committee

Town Hall and School of Mines, Castlemaine. Barry Gamble

Chief Executive Officer - Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Bernie is a senior executive with extensive and diverse local, state and national leadership experience in the government and not-for-profit sectors, leading large staff teams, strategy, organisational change and working productively with Councillors and Boards.
Bernie commenced as Chief Executive Officer of Macedon Ranges Shire Council in May 2021. Immediately prior to this, he was Director Strategy and Growth at the City of Greater Bendigo between 2016-2021. His work at Greater Bendigo included negotiating and delivering the inaugural launch of Qantas passenger flights between Bendigo and Sydney.
Prior to this, Bernie held the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA VIC). He also had extensive experience working for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, and Department of Primary Industries, leading the respective Department’s state-wide regional operations.
Prior to working for the Department, he held senior executive roles with the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, a livestock peak industry body in Canberra and the New South Wales Farmers’ Association.
Bernie has a wealth of experience in leadership, working with communities and a strong understanding of the opportunities and issues impacting regional Victoria, especially in the Loddon Mallee region.

Chief Executive Officer - Hepburn Shire Council

Bradley joined Council in January 2019, having previously held the position of Executive Manager Business Performance with the Mount Alexander Shire Council. Bradley has
extensive knowledge of local government finance, information technology and corporate reporting. Bradley is a qualified Chartered Accountant, holds an MBA and is passionate
about ensuring a high functioning organisation that delivers quality services to the community.

chris meddows-taylor headshot 2

Chair - Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive

Chris is Chair of the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive (VGTE) one of eleven regional tourism boards. The VGTE has functional responsibility for contributing to the leadership of the Central Victorian Goldfields World Heritage Listing project.

Chris began his involvement with the World Heritage Bid in 2007 and led the commissioning of the 2012 study led by Ray Tonkin on the significance of the Central Victorian Goldfields including World Heritage Listing and the cultural tourism implications. Chris led the partnership of the 13 local government authorities which is extremely significant in the development of the World Heritage Listing bid. In 2016 and 2017 Chris played a leading role in symposiums to progress the World Heritage Listing bid which identified a serial listing approach as the appropriate model.

Chris is Mayor of Central Goldfields Shire and has previously served four consecutive terms as Mayor. He also has held various regional leadership roles. His previous career has been in the areas of change leadership, people strategy and culture within the Victorian public sector and large corporate sectors

Chris holds a Mayor Emeritus award from the Municipal Association of Victoria. His post graduate studies are in public policy. Chris is an Honorary Research Fellow at Federation University.

Chief Executive Officer - City of Greater Bendigo

Craig Niemann is Chief Executive Officer of City of Greater Bendigo. Craig joined the Council when he was appointed as Director Organisation Support in 2005 and was then appointed as CEO in 2007. Prior to Greater Bendigo, he was CEO of Loddon Shire for eight years. Craig has over 37 years’ experience in the sector.

Craig is a member of the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnerships – one of nine partnerships which were established by the Victorian Government to consult and engage with communities; a member of the Executive Management Group of Regional Cities Victoria which comprises the 10 largest regional cities in Victoria; a member of Regional Development Australia Loddon Mallee Region, a member of the La Trobe University Regional Advisory Group and a Board Member of Bendigo Heritage Attractions.

Chief Executive Officer - Mount Alexander Shire Council

Darren was appointed CEO at Mount Alexander Shire Council in June 2016, and is accountable for the overall management and performance of the organisation.

He lives in Castlemaine and is passionate about the local community, and the breadth of knowledge, capability and views within.

During his time at Mount Alexander Shire Council Darren has worked closely with Councillors and staff to deliver on the Council Plan’s aim of supporting and encouraging an ‘innovative, creative and connected’ community and organisation.

With a strong focus on building close working relationships with the community and other levels of government, Darren and his leadership team are driving an organisational culture that constantly makes them better, respects and celebrates the contributions of all and delivers on what they promise.

Darren previously worked at the City of Greater Bendigo as Director of Presentation and Assets. Prior to that he was Director of Operations at Loddon Shire Council and held several roles across Victoria in VicRoads.

Chief Executive Officer - Campaspe Shire Council

As CEO of a council with strong heritage and goldfield ties, Declan brings to the Steering Committee an extensive background in local government, community services, aged care and disability services.

Having held a number of positions in senior management in a range of sectors, in both Australia and Ireland, Declan has also sat on a number of committees and boards.

Declan says the possibility of achieving a world heritage listing is just the incentive to unlock the region’s full tourism and jobs potential, with the tourism sector one of the mainstays of the region’s local economy.

Chief Executive Officer - Moorabool Shire Council

Moorabool Shire has a rich and varied history including historic buildings and assets, heritage streetscapes, Avenues of Honour and individual trees, and heritage landscapes much of which has strong associations with gold discovery and the highway route to Ballarat. There are also numerous sites of Aboriginal heritage within the Shire.

The population of Moorabool Shire increased significant with the discovery of goldfields at Blackwood, Barrys Reef, Simmons Reef, Gordon, Mt Egerton, Mt Doran, Dolly’s Creek, Morrisons and Elaine from the early 1850s. Physical evidence of this gold mining activity still exists in these towns today, in a myriad of water races, open shafts and tunnels, tailings dumps and mullock heaps, dams, exposed open cuts, and domestic artefacts including stone fireplaces and building foundations.

Council supports of the protection of heritage, and is fully supportive of the bid for UNESCO World Heritage Listing of the Central Victorian Goldfields Region.

Chief Executive Officer - Golden Plains Shire Council

Prior to taking on the role of CEO at Golden Plains Shire in December 2017, Eric had been the CEO at Gannawarra Shire Council for 2 1⁄2 years. Eric has previously held a number of senior executive roles including General Manager City Infrastructure and Director of Growth and Development at Ballarat City Council, General Manager of Planning and Development at Stonnington City Council and Director Planning and Environment and Director of Community Services at Hobsons Bay City Council.

His qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Arts, Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada, a Masters of Business Administration from Deakin University, has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course, has completed the Executive Leadership program at Harvard University (Boston) and is a graduate of LGPro’s XLP program.

Eric is presently on the Board of PINARC Disability Services, IPWEA (Vic) (Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia), the Victorian Building Authority (Building Appeals Board) and G21.

Chief Executive Officer - City of Ballarat

Evan King commenced as the Chief Executive Officer at the City of Ballarat in February 2021.
Evan has spent the past two and a half years as CEO of Hepburn Shire, and has a Local Government career which includes executive roles at Pyrenees Shire Council as the Director of Corporate and Community Services and Hepburn Shire Council as the General Manager Corporate Services.
Prior to working in Local Government, Evan had an extensive career working in manufacturing and held senior management positions with Mars Wrigley and FMP (Bendix Mintex) as well as working within the social sector and notably working as the Business Manager for Salvation Army Western Victoria.
Evan has a Bachelor of Business from Federation University, is a qualified CPA and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Having lived and worked in rural and regional Victoria all his life, Evan is passionate about rural living and ensuring that those who live in regional Victoria have access to high quality services and facilities.

Chief Executive Officer - Pyrenees Shire Council

Jim was appointed Chief Executive Officer with Pyrenees Shire Council in December 2014. He has 25 years’ experience in local government at Glenelg, Southern Grampians and Northern Grampians. Jim has experience across infrastructure, project delivery, community and economic development.

As CEO, Jim is responsible for the day to day operations of Council, the delivery of the Council Plan and the implementation of Council decisions. Jim also has direct responsibility for economic development and communications.

Chief Executive Officer - Northern Grampians Shire Council

Liana commenced working with Northern Grampians Shire Council in November 2019. Liana has dedicated the past 25 years to Victorian local government at every level, mayor, councillor and officer.

She is also President of LGPro, the leading voice for local government professionals, and is a former president of peak body, VLGA.

Prior to joining Northern Grampians Shire Council, Liana held executive roles at the City of Whittlesea, Baw Baw Shire and Ballarat City councils.

She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Diploma of Management and Diploma of Social Science (Community Development), and is a lifetime member of the VLGA, honouring her outstanding commitment to the local government sector.

Chief Executive Officer - Central Goldfields Shire Council

Lucy Roffey is an executive leader, with financial and corporate skills combined with public, private and community expertise. She has demonstrated success in bringing strategy, leadership and transformation to organisations.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand recently receiving recognition for 25 years in the profession and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Her current roles and appointments include CEO of Central Goldfields Shire Council, Chair of Coliban Water and Public Sector Panel Member for the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Prior to working in Local Government, Lucy was a senior executive at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, and she has worked in senior finance roles in the film industry in Australia and the UK.

Her move to the Local Government sector in 2009 in a small rural setting was inspired by her experience of living in a close-knit community in Canada, her love of the outdoors and the opportunities for her family to grow up in the country.

Chief Executive Officer - Loddon Shire Council

Phil Pinyon has had a wide-ranging Local Government career, holding varied positions in Councils across Australia in five states/territories. Phil has served on a number of different boards and he has been CEO of Loddon Shire Council since July 2016.

This broad experience, much of which has been in regional Australia, provides Phil with a unique perspective on matters relevant to his current role.

Phil holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management and a MBA.

Chief Executive Officer - Ararat Rural City Council

Tim comes to the CEO role at Ararat Rural City Council after a diverse career. Previous jobs have included senior roles in local government in Victoria and Queensland, developing social enterprise organisations in the community sector, as well as leadership, research and engagement roles in higher education. Tim’s local government experience includes senior roles in engineering, service delivery and corporate strategy.

Tim holds a qualification in engineering, a Master of Business Administration and a doctorate where he explored relationships between social policy and community engagement. He is the author of government-funded reports on regional social service delivery and regional population dispersal and he has undertaken significant economic development projects in regional communities. Tim established the Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER) and remains passionate about working with communities throughout rural and regional Victoria.

Tim enjoys life in rural Victoria and is very much a regional person having grown up in rural Queensland, the Wimmera and Ballarat, and spend almost all of his working life in rural and regional Australia. In his spare time, Tim is a Rugby Union tragic, having played and coached the game over the years, although he has a very soft spot for the Western Bulldogs and gets to their games whenever he can. He enjoys fishing and spending time in the bush.

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