Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Mallee Regional Partnership

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Our region
Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date
Our Regional Partnership: latest news
Our Regional Partnership members
Have your say

Our region 

Bordering the Murray River, our region extends to the edge of the outback in far north-western Victoria. Agriculture – broadacre cropping and irrigated – drives the Mallee’s economy, with the area surrounding Mildura, Robinvale and Swan Hill among Victoria’s most productive horticultural region.

Our region is a culturally diverse area, with strong indigenous heritage and a large Aboriginal population, and a growing number of skilled migrants and people holding humanitarian visas.

The Murray River runs along the northern border of the region and provides us with access to irrigation water. It also lures tourists and people seeking a lifestyle change.

Our region includes:

Map of the Mallee partnership region

Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date

The Mallee Regional Partnership is one of nine Partnerships across the state, established by the Victorian Government, recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

We started work in 2016 and held our first Regional Assembly in Mildura in December 2016. Following this, we presented the priorities which came from our first Assembly to Government.

The 2017/ 18 Victorian Budget brought outcomes for the Mallee region including:

  • Funding to develop a business case around establishing a new Victorian Cross Border Commissioner;
  • Funding to deliver the Next Stage Riverfront Development in Swan Hill, to boost tourism and the local economy;
  • Investment for the creation of a shared community library at the Robinvale Community Hub to improve community and educational resources in the region.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

We held our second Regional Assembly in Swan Hill in June 2017.



The Partnership has since taken the learnings from our 2017 Assembly and distilled these into priorities to present to Government.

Our 2017 Regional Priorities can be found here.

Who are the Mallee Regional Partnership members?

Win Scott

Winifred Scott – Chair

Win Scott has had extensive experience in the vocational education and training sector – most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE until her retirement in June 2016.  La Trobe University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Education in May and she holds a Masters of Education Management. Win is a member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Advisory Committee for the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Deputy Chair of Arts Mildura. She has been involved in tourism and environmental projects and she is passionate about the arts.

Simone Heald

Simone Heald – Deputy Chair

Simone Heald is Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Community Health Service.  She completed her MBA in 2015. Simone has extensive experience in the community and social health sector with a strong understanding of disadvantage and related issues. She is passionate about new and innovative ways to better meet the social and physical needs of people in the region.

Tony Alessi

Dr Antonio Alessi

Dr Tony Alessi is a practicing chiropractor with background in community advocacy and small business. Tony has played an active role in local education, and currently serves on the Regional Advisory Council  of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Tony is passionate about attracting investment into the region to bring quality employment opportunities.

Rob Jardine

Robert Jardine

Robert Jardine has recently retired from his role of Economic Development Coordinator with Regional Development Victoria.  Rob has strong ties to the community and a background in State Government, business, regional development and education. Robert is passionate about maximising opportunities for growth and the delivery of quality services to the community.

Kay Martin

Kay Martin

Kay Martin is a consultant lawyer with MIR Lawyers. She holds both a Bachelor of Laws Hons and Economics.  Kay is actively involved in a broad scope of community and economic activities that span the education, aviation, water management and aged care sectors.

Glenn Stewart

Glenn Stewart

Glenn Stewart is the Strategic Manager for the Advancing Country Towns project in Robinvale.  Glenn has a strong background in education, youth and indigenous engagement and community activities. Glenn has lived and worked in the Mallee region for 33 years and is passionate about change management and ensuring positive outcomes for community through partnership development.

Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells is Chair of the Merbein and District Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank.  She passionately believes in the impact of community leadership programs and has been an active supporter of the Northern Mallee Leaders program.  She brings experience in community enterprise and education.  Rebecca holds a Master of Business Administration.

Stuart McLeanRegional Development Australia representative

Stuart John Mclean
Stuart John McLean is Deputy Chair of the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee and until recently, a councillor of Buloke Shire Council, serving for the past 19 years.  Stuart was a self-employed agricultural business principal from 1967 to 2016. Stuart is inspired by the economic and lifestyle opportunities offered by the Mallee region and eager to ensure its prosperous and sustainable future.

Victorian Government representative

Katy Haire - Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood and School Education - Department of Education and Training

Local government CEOs

Lucy Roffey Lucy Roffey – CEO, Buloke Shire Council

Lucy Roffey is an executive leader, with a mix of financial and corporate skills combined with public, private and community expertise, and demonstrated success in bringing strategy, leadership and transformation to organisations. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand recently receiving recognition for 25 years in the profession and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Prior to working in Local Government, Lucy was senior executive at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, attracting a $20 million investment from the State Government in the redevelopment of the Centre and its programming to deliver high calibre exhibitions and experiences that were and continue to be valued by both the Victorian community and international tourists.


Tom O'Reilly – CEO, Gannawarra Shire Council

Tom took up the position of CEO in December 2017. Tom joined Gannawarra Shire Council in the role of Director Corporate Services in March 2016. Prior he was an Associate with the CT Management Group undertaking local government assignments with the Shire of Buloke, Latrobe City Council and King Island Council. He was employed with the Greater Shepparton City Council for eleven years – 6 years of that time as Director Business and Finance. He has also worked in the private sector with 4 years as CEO of Metzke+Allen Chartered Accountants based in Shepparton. His career in Northern Victoria is extensive given he also worked with Goulburn Murray Water for 11 years along with 7 years with Goulburn Valley Water.

John McLinden

John McLinden – CEO, Swan Hill Rural City

John joined Council as its Chief Executive Officer in March 2016. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Loddon Shire Council, a position he held since 2005.

John, who has a wealth of experience in Local Government, was previously the Director Operations (and formerly Director Technical Services) at Loddon Shire Council since local government amalgamations in 1995.

A qualified engineer, he has also held engineering positions at the Shire of Rosedale, City of Broadmeadows and the Shire of Colac.

Gerard Jose

Gerard José – CEO, Mildura Rural City

Gerard joined Mildura Rural City Council as CEO in October 2014. Prior to joining Mildura Rural City Council, he was CEO of Greater Taree City Council on the mid-north coast of New South Wales for seven years. Gerard’s career in local government also includes time as Director of Health and Community Services at Ringwood and Heidelberg Councils, Director of Community Services and Acting CEO at the Shire of Campaspe and Director of Community Services at the City of Knox. Gerard has also worked for the Municipal Association of Victoria, Spastic Society of Victoria (now known as Scope) and the YMCA.

Have your say

Our Mallee Regional Partnership engage page is the place to go to let us hear your views or to contact the Partnership.

2017/18 Victorian Budget outcomes for Mallee

State-wide Budget Investments benefiting regions:

Regional Victoria will share in a range of significant state-wide investments that address a range of Regional Partnership priorities including:

  • $29 million for priority initiatives by the Partnerships, as well as funding to enable more comprehensive engagement in each region and to undertake further development of regional priorities.
  • $45 million to the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.
  • $1.45 billion for upgrades to regional rail infrastructure across the state.
  • 25% reduction in the payroll tax rate for regional businesses – expected to benefit 4,000 businesses.    
  • $50 million to double the First Home Owner Grant to $20 000 for new homes in regional areas.
  • $1.7 million to re-establish the Victorian Rural Women’s Network (RWN) to promote women’s economic participation and professional development.

Mallee Regional Partnership highlights include:

  • Funding to deliver the Next Stage Riverfront Development in Swan Hill, to boost tourism and the local economy
  • Investment for the creation of a shared community library at the Robinvale Community Hub to improve community and educational resources in the region.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

Mallee Regional Partnership 2017 Priorities 

Theme Regional Partnership Priority
Access to Services Ensure that the needs of rural communities are addressed in emerging policies
Promote collaboration between government, community and business to address cross-border issues
Provide access to funding for priority projects which will enhance community vitality and viability
Improve support for place-based community development models across Government cycles
Prioritise rail infrastructure investments which will improve service frequency and network capacity
Understand demand for sustained and improved public and community transport services, particularly in those areas that are poorly serviced
Foster the right conditions for new, high value job creation in the Mallee by supporting research, development and training geared to the needs of key sectors
Encourage business growth and diversification to strengthen the resilience of the regional economy
Liveability Develop tourism products and a cohesive regional ‘brand identity’ to grow our visitor economy
Improve access to arts and cultural activities and facilities
Enable the region to explore its potential to act as a leader in the development and roll out of renewable energy
Invest in the community infrastructure of the region to support healthy and active lifestyles
Social Fabric
Improve regional and rural childcare services to support balanced life/work choices
Ensure that regional health services and facilities meet community needs
Provide services tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal communities


Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 19 March 2018