1 April 2022

Eurobodalla's general manager says goodbye after nearly a decade in the role

| James Coleman
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Dr Catherine Dale. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s general manager has announced she will not seek re-appointment when her contract concludes later this year, instead choosing to pursue work in the education sector.

Dr Catherine Dale had worked in chief executive roles within the local government sector for 17 years before joining the Eurobodalla Shire Council in April 2013. She will bring an end to the nine-year tenure as general manager on 30 September 2022, and embark on lecturing opportunities in universities and other consultancy roles.

In announcing her decision to council staff on Tuesday (29 March), Dr Dale acknowledged their support and the “outstanding” work they do daily for the community.

“Collectively, the councillors and the organisation have achieved many fantastic outcomes for the Eurobodalla community,” she said.

“The delivery of major infrastructure, recreation and arts projects and the success of numerous state and federal government grants for developments like the southern dam and Bay Pavilions are standouts,” she said.

In her role, Dr Dale is responsible for a broad range of Council’s corporate functions, including finance, governance, organisational development and communications.

READ ALSO Eurobodalla Shire smashed with repair work after multiple natural disasters

She said that over the last couple of years, the community has needed strong leadership and support as first the Black Summer bushfires followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the floods ravaged the shire.

“This support continues during the recovery phase, assisting many residents [to] overcome numerous challenges, all the while advocating to government to strengthen the resilience of our people and our infrastructure.”

Dr Dale also acknowledged and thanked all the Councillors who provided support during her term as general manager, in particular the two previous mayors, Liz Innes and Lindsay Brown.

“Putting your hand up to be an elected representative is a challenging and often thankless role and I have nothing but respect for people who are willing to do this for their community,” she said.

Councillors will meet shortly to discuss recruitment options, with Mayor Mathew Hatcher expressing gratitude for Dr Dale’s “exemplary service”.

“While recruitment for a new general manager gets underway, our work together for the benefit of the shire’s residents and ratepayers will continue,” he said.

READ ALSO Communities ‘bear brunt’ of climate disasters, councillors across Australia call for federal action

Elsewhere in the regions, local government general manager Ms Rebecca Ryan has been announced as the new CEO of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC).

Ms Ryan is the current general manager of Blayney Shire Council, recent recipient of the the A.R. Bluett Memorial Award for being the most progressive rural council in NSW; an award also won by QPRC in 2020.

In accepting the role, Ms Ryan said she was extremely excited to receive the opportunity and looks forward to turning the recent Community Strategic Plan into reality.

“I look forward to the move to Queanbeyan with my husband and leading the organisation into the future, building on the great work that I can see has been achieved over many years, in particular the leadership of [former CEO] Peter Tegart,” she said.

“One of my first tasks will be to get out and about and meet as many staff, business and community members as I can. I want to hear where Council may improve.”

The appointment of Ms Ryan comes after a nationwide recruitment process. Three applicants were interviewed initially, with a final interview held with two candidates on 19 March.

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