Mark Grant

Director, Sector Performance & Development

Local Government Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

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Mark Grant is the Director, Sector Performance & Development at Local Government Victoria in the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning. In his current management role, he leads the teams responsible for Local Government Performance Reporting, Community Satisfaction Surveying, Financial Performance Monitoring & Support and the “Collaborating Councils” initiatives. Mark has worked extensively in and with the local government sector throughout a thirty five year career in the Victorian Public Service, Local government and Not for Profit Sectors. He has held numerous leadership roles in the areas of service contracting and outsourcing, partnering and health and human services design, delivery and reform. 

Domenic Isola

Chief Executive Officer

Hume City Council

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Domenic Isola is the Chief Executive Officer of Hume City Council. Domenic Isola commenced his career in Local Government in 1996 following a career in institutional banking audit in a leading financial institution. Domenic is a former executive member of Finance Professionals in Local Government and the Certified Practicing Accountants Public Sector Committee. Domenic commenced with Hume City Council in June 1999 and during his time at Hume City Council, he has held the positions of Finance Manager and Director City Governance and Information.  Domenic was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Hume City Council on 6 August 2007. As Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for overall management of operations and advising Council on policy and strategy matters. 

Dennis Hovenden

Chief Executive Officer

Frankston City Council

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Dennis Hovenden commenced in his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Frankston City Council in October 2012. Mr Hovenden was the CEO at Swan Hill Rural City Council prior to starting at Frankston City for over five-and-a-half years and has a total of more than 30 years’ experience in local government including time in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. 
With tertiary qualifications in Political Science and Legal Studies together with Public Sector Management, he has extensive experience in both rural and metropolitan Councils of varying sizes, populations, budgets and staff numbers. 
Mr Hovenden represents the Local Government Professional Sector as a member of the Victorian LGPRO Board, a member of the National Local Government Professionals Australia Board and is the International Vice President on the ICMA Board. 
Dennis remarked “I want to lead an organisation that is committed to the Council and the community to take full advantage of all opportunities to ensure we achieve positive and sustainable results”.

Andrew Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

Port Pirie Regional Council

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Dr Andrew Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of Port Pirie Regional Council. He serves as a director
on a number of non-profit Boards; holds an MBA; and has a PhD in local government economics from
the University of New England. Dr Johnson is also the State President of CPA Australia, Australia’s largest
professional body. Andrew also serves on numerous national committees, has won several industry
awards and has published an increasing number of books and academic articles. Andrew is passionate
about improving the lifestyle and opportunities available to the community and creating a dynamic,
progressive, performance driven organisation that meets the needs of residents.

David Farmer

General Manager

Wollongong City Council

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An accountant by profession, David has over 30 years of experience in Local Government in New South Wales and Queensland. He has been the Chief Executive of three Council’s over the last 15 years – Mudgee in Western NSW, Cairns City in Far North Queensland and since 2007, his home town of Wollongong.

Andrew Davis

Chief Financial Officer

Casey City Council

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Andrew has been Chief Financial Officer / Manager Finance at the City of Casey for over 8 years. He works with his Team to deliver the full range of financial functions at Casey – i.e. annual and long term budgets, AP/AR, management reporting, financial statements, and payroll. Prior to this, Andrew worked for 4 years as a Senior Budget Analyst and then General Manager Finance and Contract Administration at Department of Justice / Corrections Victoria, with a focus on budgets (including State Government Budget submissions). Andrew had also been at Department of Defence for 5 years, with Budget and Reporting roles within the DMO Group (that provides Major acquisition and logistical support services to the Defence Organisation). His career in Local Government started in early 1996, as a Management Accountant at the City of Yarra for 4 years, which followed 2 years as an Auditor at Hall Chadwick – as AAS 27 came in, and then the amalgamations took place.

Wayne Rogers

Director, Corporate Services

Blacktown City Council

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Wayne Rogers has worked in Local Government for over 22 years, and has worked at 5 councils. In 2005, Wayne commenced at Blacktown City Council as Manager, Corporate Finance. With a population of over 348,000 residents and 48 suburbs, Blacktown is the largest, by population, council in NSW. Since 2011, he has worked as the Director Corporate Services at Blacktown. In this role, he is responsible for a variety of functions including Finance, People & Culture, Corporate Strategy & Economic Development, Safety & Insurance, Business Technology, Governance & Corporate Services, Property, Events & Sister Cities and Section 94 Contributions. Wayne has several qualifications including a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Accounting, CPA and MBA.

Samantha Krull

Director, Infrastructure Environment and Leisure

Glen Eira City Council


Alan Clark

Director, Infrastructure Services

Wangaratta Rural City Council

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Alan has worked as Director, Infrastructure in Local Government for around 11 years, 6 years in the Southern Riverina and 5 years in north east Victoria. Alan’s previous careers have included being a winemaker for 10 years and an Army Officer for 20 years. His Army career included a period managing Defence assets where Alan led the change in how Defence assets were managed including the introduction of risk sharing contracts. Alan’s second day in local government was spent with 14 other infrastructure directors and Jeff Rorda, brainstorming the future of asset management in Australia – what an introduction. Since that day, asset management has been a passion. Recently, Alan and his team at Wangaratta have fast-tracked the implementation of their mobile solution to gain real efficiencies but also as a tool for cultural change in the work place.

Craig Milburn

Director, Corporate & Community Services

Shoalhaven City Council

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Craig is currently the Director of Corporate and Community Services with the Shoalhaven City Council in NSW. Craig has over 30 years of experience in private industry, local government and the not for profit sector.  In addition to extensive "hands on" service delivery experience, he has held positions, which have had a management and strategic planning focus at a local and regional level. He has also led and worked with multidisciplinary teams and interagency task groups.

Andrew Day

Director Corporate and Financial Services

Yarra City Council

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Andrew has been the Director of Corporate, Business & Finance, City of Yarra since May 2015 with responsibilities for finance services, leisure services, information technology, risk procurement and audit, corporate planning and performance and also parking and compliance services. As a part of this role, he led the development of a 10-year financial strategy for Yarra Council. He has previously held Executive Positions at two other Victorian Councils as well as management roles in the not for profit and health sectors. He has a Masters in Business specialising in Organisational Change, having originally graduate as a Speech Pathologist.

Helen Sui

Director, Corporate Services

Whittlesea City Council

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Helen has over 10 years of experience in the local government sector. Her current role is Director Corporate Services at the City of Whittlesea, which is a large growth area Council with an annual turnover of close to $300 million. Helen’s professional portfolio includes finance & assets, people & culture, governance, corporate accountability & performance, property & valuation, and IT. Helen holds various post graduate degrees in International Politics, Professional Accountancy and Local Government Law, and has recently completed a Global Executive MBA program with the University of Sydney that she won a scholarship for. Helen received the 2013 SACS Leadership Award in the Executive Local Government category and was a finalist for the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Peter Bascomb

Deputy General Manager

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council

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Peter has been through four Council amalgamations, joining Victorian local government from private enterprise shortly after the major reforms of 1994. Peter was the first appointed General Manager of Palerang Council, proclaimed in February 2004. Peter is currently Deputy General Manager at Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, created in May 2016 as part of the NSW local government reform program.

Sarah Cumming

General Manager, Corporate Services

Latrobe City Council

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Sarah Cumming is the General Manager Corporate Services at Latrobe City Council, and has been a Director of Gippsland Water since 2011. Sarah is a lawyer and has an Executive MBA. Sarah’s expertise is in corporate governance, strategic advice, complex problem solving, business solution design, business transformation and implementing regulatory reform. She has the ability to apply learnings from across Government sectors, and provides a unique insight into how to transform large organisations from a customer perspective. She has previously held a range of senior management positions at the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) covering the areas of registry compliance, public information, data integrity, major projects, including being ASIC's Business Lead for Data Migration on the National Business Names project. 

Binda Gokhale

Manager, Finance & Property

Wyndham City Council

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Binda Gokhale is currently the Manager Finance and Property Services at Wyndham and has been in this role for a period of 2 years. Prior to this, Binda held the position of General Manager of Planning, Forecasting and Performance Management at Telstra Corporation as well as a number of senior executive roles within its Corporate Finance and Treasury operations including Alternate Director of Telstra Super and a member of the Telstra Super Audit and Risk Committee. Binda also works with a number of Statutory and NFP entities including Trust for Nature, Satellite Foundation and Women with Disabilities Victoria. Binda is thoroughly enjoying her time in the local government sector which enables her to bring together her interests in finance and community.

Vivek Kangesu

Manager, Corporate Asset Management

Townsville City Council

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Vivek has over 30 years of experience in buildings, roads, water, wastewater and storm-water construction, project management, financial management and asset management with a wealth of his experience having been gained in the Local Government sector. Vivek held the positions of Infrastructure Manager, Asset Services Engineer, Acting Executive Manager Financial Services, Acting Director Infrastructure Services with Thuringowa City Council and Townsville City Council. In Vivek’ s current position as Manager, Corporate Asset Management and Systems at Townsville City Council, he is responsible for developing Asset Management System and the management of over $6 billion assets and liaises regularly with Councillors, Directors, Executive Managers, Managers and Asset Management staff to ensure that council continues to achieve its high level of asset management. 

Grant Schuster

General Manager, Corporate Services

Hepburn Shire Council

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Grant has been with Hepburn Shire Council since 2010. During this time, he has been responsible for managing teams covering assets, risk, property, local laws and corporate services. Key achievements have included the business case and planning for the Hepburn Community and Council Services Hub ($9m project) and significant cost savings through procurement efficiency and innovative IT system implementation. Prior to Hepburn, Grant worked in the private sector providing risk management, internal audit, sustainability and climate change consulting services. With a passion for efficient business processes, Grant strives to integrate the most effective IT systems with a high performing and efficient team in order to deliver financial sustainability.  

Ben Howell

Asset Management Coordinator

Ballarat City Council

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Ben Howell is the Coordinator, Asset Management at Ballarat City Council, and is passionate about improving organisational efficiency, productivity, gaining value for money and effective capital works expenditure planning through innovative Asset Management practices. The Asset Management team at the City of Ballarat have been recognised for their work by receiving the IPWEA award for excellence in Asset Management 2015. Ben has experience from a past life of IT management, damage minimisation and is the Local Government Representative Director on Dial Before You Dig Vic/Tas.

Phil Warner

General Manager, Infrastructure

Whitehorse City Council

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Phil Warner is the General Manager, Infrastructure at the City of Whitehorse and is responsible for Major Projects, Built Infrastructure, Parks and City Works Departments and the Whitehorse Recycling & Waste Centre. In his role, Phil has had a focus on improving the management of Council’s assets with a value of $2.1 billion. While his career has been predominantly in the engineering area, he has been the manager of planning, building, local laws, environmental health and strategic project departments. 

John Comrie


JAC Comrie Pty Ltd

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John Comrie is the Director of JAC Comrie Pty Ltd. John is a former head of the SA Government’s Office of Local Government. John has consulted on local government financial sustainability matters since 2006 and authored the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government’s ‘Debt is not a Dirty Word’ publication. 
John is also one of the co-authors of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s ‘Australian Infrastructure Financial Management Manual’. 
John has provided guidance (through Deloitte Access Economics) to the Essential Services Commission on Victorian local government rate capping frameworks. He believes most councils can achieve and maintain financial sustainability through modest changes in their financial and service level strategies.

Steve Verity

Senior Asset Management Consultant


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Steve Verity is an associate with Jeff Roorda & Associates (JRA) who provide whole of organisation solutions for asset and financial management in the public and private sector. Prior to joining the team at JRA in 2012, Steve, for 20 years was a local government engineer responsible for building, operating, maintaining and replacing civil infrastructure assets the council of the day was responsible for. 
Steve has a strong appreciation of the importance of applying robust planning and risk management frameworks to ensure the necessary funds are available to deliver the projects and programs at an agreed service level. 

Alison Leighton

Chief Operating Officer

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

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Alison Leighton is the Chief Operating Officer at Mornington Peninsula Shire. In this role, her responsibilities include delivery of the Shire’s $35M Capital Works Program, management of the Shire’s $40M per annum long term infrastructure maintenance service contracts, oversite of the Council’s planning and building services areas and leadership of the Shire’s response to Climate Change.  Alison is a qualified engineer, an MBA graduate and a member of the IPWEA (Vic) Board. 

Craig Shelton

Manager, Asset Management, Southern

SMEC Australia

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Craig is with SMEC Australia, a global engineering consultancy firm. He is currently responsible for the delivery of their Asset Management service to clients in their Southern region (Vic, SA, Tas, WA). With over 30 years of experience, Craig has worked both in Australia and overseas. In this time, Craig has been involved in business improvement and transformation activities from both the client and service provider perspective.

Tim Frederico

Director, Corporate Development

Frankston City Council


Sasha Lord

Corporate Performance and Strategy Coordinator

Glen Eira City Council

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Sasha is an accomplished change agent and has developed her successful career over both the private and public sectors. As Coordinator of Strategy and Corporate Performance in Glen Eira Council since October 2016, she is responsible for the delivery of Service Planning, Project Management, Continuous Improvement and Corporate Performance. Sasha’s prior roles include Coordinator Strategic Projects at Yarra Ranges Council and 7 years in the Event sales industry leading events in some of Melbourne’s top Chefs and venues. Sasha is dedicated to increasing public value through delivering process improvement; and, as the sector enters an era of limits, driving digital by default solutions. She is committed to continuous improvement within the sector and believes we need to create more opportunities for young professionals to build careers and develop within it. 

John Wheatley

Account Manager, Asset Management Central

SMEC Australia


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