New directors help transform Council for the better

Friday, 16 August

Lismore City Council has appointed two new directors whose extensive experience will help Council transform into a modern and efficient organisation.

Dr Graeme Towers is the new Director of Corporate Services and Dr Sharon Harwood is the new Director of Partnerships, Planning and Engagement.

General Manager Shelley Oldham said the two new directors bring a wealth of experience and new ideas to Council at a time when it is going through a major transformation.

“A due diligence study undertaken in January highlighted the need for Lismore City Council to modernise its systems, improve its governance and accountability, and become more strategic to achieve greater funding outcomes for better infrastructure and services for Lismore,” she explained.

“Graeme and Sharon will help us implement this transformation and ensure that we are providing services in the most efficient way while also seeking to improve Lismore as a regional city and the major service centre of the Northern Rivers.

“They are both professional and passionate people with incredible skills and expertise, and I am very pleased to welcome them to Lismore City Council.”

As the new Director of Corporate Services, Graeme will manage People & Safety, Technology and Customer Services, Finance, Records, Procurement and Contracts, and Council’s new Project Management Office.

Graeme comes with extensive experience leading strategy development and organisational change in large and small public and private sector organisations. He has worked with organisations as diverse as Australian Hearing, National Acoustic Laboratories, Austcorp Group, the Commonwealth Bank, the Sydney Ports Corporation, the West Australian Government, Sydney Water, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Australian Non-proliferation and Safeguards Office, the Commonwealth Public Service Board, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Graeme also has experience as an Australian diplomat and research scientist.

Graeme said throughout his career he has always been attracted to organisations where he has the opportunity to develop strategies, solve problems and enhance business performance through the development and introduction of better operational and organisation models.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to support Shelley and our staff as we make fundamental changes to the way we work here at Lismore City Council,” Graeme said.

“We have a rare opportunity to create our own future and develop better ways of working together and supporting our community.”

As the new Director of Partnerships, Planning and Engagement, Dr Sharon Harwood will lead Development & Compliance, Integrated Planning, Economic Development, Richmond Tweed Regional Library and Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities.

Sharon comes with extensive experience in urban and regional planning. She has worked as a planner in the private sector and taught planning in universities.

Sharon is passionate about planning and rural communities having spent the past 25 years working in rural and remote places. She was recently awarded National Planner of the Year by the Planning Institute of Australia in recognition of her advocacy work that resulted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge, culture and tradition being embedded in Queensland planning legislation. Sharon comes from north Queensland and feels very at home in northern NSW.

“Lismore has more than you could ever want from a place to live – a university, choices of quality schools, two hospitals, great diversity in retail options, beautiful scenery, events every weekend and only a hop, skip and a jump to an international airport,” she said.

“I am astounded at the range of health, education, recreation and lifestyle opportunities that a local government area the size of Lismore has to offer its residents. It’s a great place to live and work and I am really excited to join Lismore City Council and live within such a dynamic region.”

Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Gary Murphy recently resigned from his role and Council is now recruiting a new director for this position.

 

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