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Executive Team

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. 


Get in touch

Phone: 9330 6400 (24 hours,7 days a week)
Email: mail@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au
Post: PO Box 205, Hurstville BC NSW 1481

 


Gail Connolly

Position: General Manager
Phone: 9330 6256
Email: gconnolly@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

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.

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Meryl Bishop 

Position: Director Environment and Planning
Phone: 9330 6166
Email: mbishop@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

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.
 

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Laurie O’Connor

Position: Director Assets and Infrastructure
Phone: 9330 6273
Email: LOConnor@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

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.

 

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David Tuxford

Position: Director Business and Corporate Serivces
Phone: 9330 6186
Email: DTuxford@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

David is a Local Government professional with a career spanning over 30 years and across two states within the industry. David is highly experienced in many areas of Local Government, including: finance, governance, information technology, human resources, risk management, community services, libraries, childcare, events management, policy formation and service delivery.

Prior to joining the Executive Team at Georges River Council in October 2016, David was the General Manager of Kyogle Council, where he was instrumental in leading the organisation through the Local Government Reform process. He also introduced a new organisational structure as part of his agenda for organisational reform and changing the culture of the Council at Kyogle. Furthermore, he worked closely with other northern river Councils to promote and encourage new and existing industry to relocate or expand within the area.

David is passionate about Local Government and about seeing the industry prosper. He is focused on promoting Local Government interests, and champions the work of Councils through his active participation as a member of the Local Government (LG) Professionals NSW Board, and has previously served as Vice President of this board prior to moving interstate.  His understanding of Council operations and the connections he has established within Local Government organisations across NSW place him in good stead to lead the Business and Corporate Services Directorate at Georges River Council.

 

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Rebekah Schulz

Position: Director Community and Culture
Phone: 9330 6131
Email: RSchulz@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Rebekah is the Director Community and Culture who works with the Georges River community to support community development, foster creative talent and artistic endeavours, and deliver a positive customer experience. Rebekah believes that the best outcomes are achieved by working with the community and understanding their expectations. Working in local government for almost 20 years across a diverse portfolio of services including the Office of the General Manager, library services, entertainment facilities, and museum and gallery services, has given Rebekah the knowledge, expertise and community networks to best serve the Georges River community.

Prior to joining the newly proclaimed Georges River Council Rebekah held management positions at Hurstville City Council and successfully headed-up the NSW Premier's Department's feasibility study for the Discovery After Dark project which saw 25 museums and galleries in the Sydney CBD open at night, free of charge. Rebekah was selected to participate in a Rotary International Exchange program in 2010 which afforded her the opportunity to explore museums, galleries, libraries and local government in Connecticut, USA.

 


Marissa Racomelara

Position Director Transformation and Change
Phone: 9330 9302
Email: MRacomelara@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

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.

 


Jenny Ware

Position: General Counsel
Phone: 9330 6018
Email: JWare@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Jenny Ware has over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sector as a lawyer specialising in planning, environment, development and local government law.  Before her appointment as Corporate Lawyer to Hurstville City Council (as it then was) in 2013, she worked in private practice including major top tier law firms.  During that period, she worked for proponents on many of the major development sites around Sydney such as the Walsh Bay Precinct, South Sydney Corporate Park, Sydney Fish Markets, Penrith Lakes, Sharp Building (North Sydney) and Cabarita.  She was appointed Acting General Counsel of Georges River Council following its amalgamation in May 2016 and was subsequently appointed General Counsel in February 2017.  Her role as General Counsel involves the overall management of and strategic direction for Council’s legal services.

Jenny’s experience in local government includes litigation and advisory work as well as the full range of corporate governance and probity matters.  She also has broad litigation experience acting predominantly in the Land and Environment Court but also the Supreme, District and Local Courts, as well as NCAT and the IRC.  Jenny has a particular interest in utilising alternative dispute mechanisms to resolve legal issues between parties.

Jenny has also sat on the Board of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (2003-2007) and has been actively involved in her local community on the Board of Sylvanvale (2005-2007) as well as president of her local Community Pre-School (2009-2011) and P&C Association (2013-2016). 
 



 
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