In June 2016, Georges River Council's Senior Staff Structure was approved. On this page you will find everything you need to know about the people who lead planning and service delivery in the local government area.
Learn more and view our Organisational Chart.
For all general enquiries and service requests, please contact our Customer Service Team on 9330 6400.
John Rayner is the appointed Administrator of Georges River Council until the next local government elections are held on 9 September 2017. As one of the most respected and highly regarded leaders in local government, he brings a wealth of experience to this role. John has worked in local government for over 50 years, most recently for Sutherland Shire Council where he was General Manager for 33 years. His extensive career and dedicated public service led him to being recognised in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours list with a Public Service Medal.
His expertise spans across building and delivering organisational resilience along with community consultation. He has-in depth knowledge and understanding of the complexities and legislative requirements for local government and works to ensure that change management processes and work cultures are innovative and focused on continuous improvement for the long-term.
Finally, John has also held a variety of board positions including State President of Local Government Managers Australia, now known as Local Government Professionals.
Gail Connolly brings more than 20 years of local and state government experience to her role as the General Manager of Georges River Council.
Prior to joining Georges River Council, Gail was the General Manager of the City of Ryde. Her expertise spans many areas including managing urban growth, infrastructure and transport planning for local government areas and metropolitan growth centres.
Gail has taken a leading role in transformational leadership and organisational reform, business improvement and cultural change. Her communication and service delivery skills give her a strong foundation on which to build the future vision of Georges River Council.
Gail has held executive roles at several Councils including City of Gold Coast, City of Sydney, and Campbelltown and Blacktown Councils. She has been a Director on numerous public and private sector boards including the Whitlam Institute, the Central Sydney Planning Committee, Place Leaders Asia Pacific and the Western Sydney Parklands Board.
Gail has also held senior executive roles in NSW State agencies, including NSW Transport and Infrastructure, and the Department of Planning, where she led the preparation of whole-of-government strategies such as the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy and the Metropolitan Transport Plan.
Carole Todd is Georges River Council's Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Council, Carol had worked for three years at Liverpool City Council as Director, Business Improvement and in a variety of other senior executive roles. Before moving to Australia in 2012, Carole worked at Auckland Council in New Zealand. She has also worked at a combination of small, medium and large local authorities in the UK and also spent four years consulting at PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
Meryl has over 25 years experience working in local government, with extensive experience in statutory and land use planning, policy and program development covering economic planning, place management, affordable housing and social and recreation/open-space planning. Prior to joining Georges River Council, Meryl worked at Marrickville and Waverley Councils and has also held leadership roles at the City of Botany Bay and City of Ryde for close to 15 years.
Recently, Meryl led the Strategic City Department and the City Strategy and Planning Directorate, which in addition to the aforementioned areas of expertise, saw her oversee Health and Building regulation, Environmental Sustainability activities, and Development Assessment. Meryl brings an exciting mix of skills and experience ranging from project management, community consultation and policy development and implementation to management and executive leadership.
Georges River Council Director Assets and Infrastructure Laurie O’Connor has nearly 30 years’ experience in Local Government. Laurie holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney, and has completed a Post-graduate Diploma in Local Government Engineering.
Laurie commenced his engineering career in 1986 with Botany Bay City Council where he was employed as a Junior Engineer. After nine years of service, and attaining the role of Executive Engineer, Laurie took the position of Managing Engineer Administration at Hurstville City Council in 1995. Laurie has remained at Hurstville since that time and held several senior management roles before progressing to his current position of Director Assets and Infrastructure in the newly formed Georges River Council.
David Tuxford has worked in local government across two states for more than 30 years. David’s experience spans many areas of local government, including community services, libraries, child care, events management, policy formation and service delivery.
Most recently, David was General Manager at Kyogle Council, where he was instrumental in leading the organisation through the local government reform process. He has also introduced a new organisational structure as part of his agenda for organisational reform and changing the culture of the Council.
David is passionate about local government and about seeing the industry prosper. He has previously served on the board of Local Government Professionals NSW (previously known as Local Government Managers Australia (NSW)) for more than nine years.
Marissa has worked in local government for 18 years, beginning at Leichhardt Municipal Council and then moving to Sutherland Shire Council before joining Georges River Council. At Sutherland, she held roles in the Program Office as well as in Organisational Development, overseeing large scale projects including a restructure and service delivery reviews, and also held the role of Manager of Strategy and Performance.
The Transformation and Change Team plays a critical role in helping to plan for, and shape, the strategic goals and future direction of Georges River Council, in line with Department of Premier and Cabinet reporting requirements and the needs of the Executive Team. Marissa will focus on organisational and change development and projects in line with organisational, community, and state government priorities.
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