Regional Development Victoria Delivering for Rural and Regional Victoria logo

Our Members

Mallee Regional Partnerships Logo Our Partnership comprises business and community members from across the Mallee who care passionately about the future of our region.

They are joined on the Partnership by the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of our Local Government Areas, as well as a representative of Regional Development Australia (ensuring Commonwealth involvement with the Partnership) and a representative from the Victorian Government.

Members

Business and community members

Win ScottWinifred Scott – Chair

Currently working as a consultant and was previously the CEO of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, Win brings an extensive background in education, tourism and the creative arts. She is a founding member of the Mallee Regional Partnership, a member of the Boards of Adult Community Further Education, North Central Finance Limited (Charlton Community Bank) and North Central Local Learning & Employment Network. Win holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education Management, an honorary Doctor of Education from La Trobe University for services to education in North West Victoria and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Simone HealdSimone Heald – Deputy Chair

CEO at Sunraysia Community Health Services. Simone has extensive experience in the community and social health sector with a strong understanding of disadvantage and related issues. She has been instrumental in the implementation of our regional health programs to address the social determinants of health. Simone is invested in the community in which lives and continues to seek out innovative and economically viable avenues to deliver the best outcomes for both community health, and the workplace. She is a founding member of the Mallee Regional Partnership and holds Master of Business Administration and a Master of Health and Human Services Management.


Antonio AlessiDr Antonio Alessi

Self-employed practicing Chiropractor with over 30 years’ experience in the chiropractic field Tonyhas a background in health, education and small business. Tony is a founding member of the Mallee Regional Partnership, on the Board of Directors for the Mildura Base Public Hospital and was on the Mildura Base Hospital Community Consultative Committee and a past member of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Advisory Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Chiropractic.


Glenn StewartGlenn Stewart

Robinvale Community Development Advisor. Glenn has a strong background in education, youth and indigenous engagement and community activities. He has a demonstrated history of brokering relationships and forming linkages which has proven successful in gaining positive outcomes for not only the Robinvale community, but also the broader Mallee region. Glenn holds a Bachelor of Science Education and has over 25 years’ experience in the education sector. He is a founding member of the Mallee Regional Partnership and current Board Member of the Robinvale District Health Services.


Fiona BestFiona Best

CEO of Birchip Cropping Group, a not-for-profit organisation led by dryland farmers aiming to improve the prosperity of Australian broadacre farmers through applied science-based research and extension. Fiona brings together experience in the education and agriculture sectors with a passion for the success of rural communities. She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Bachelor of Commerce.


Michelle OatesMichelle Oates

Director and Senior Lawyer practicing in Family, Childrens’, Commercial and Property Law at Martin Middleton Oates Lawyers. Michelle is a community leader with a passion for the Mallee region and holds volunteer and paid roles across various community organisations including Chair of the Chaffey Aged Care Inc. and Non-Executive Director of Lower Murray Water. She has a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate of the Northern Mallee Leaders program.


Brett MillingtonBrett Millington

CEO and Board Director of Mildura Regional Development. Brett was a past President and Board Member of the Institute of Water Administration in Victoria and has over a decade of executive management experience in water infrastructure and natural resources. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Geography/Environmental Studies), a Graduate Diploma in Executive Business Operations and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Florence DavidsonFlorence Davidson

Executive Officer of Christie Centre Inc, an innovative organisation supplying disability services with the aim to achieve equity and inclusion for people of all abilities. Florence has a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit field specifically for championing the rights and equity needs of people with different abilities and disadvantage. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Habilitation) and over 30 years of professional experience.


Sharon JohnsonSharon Johnson

A proud Wangkumarra woman and Out-of-Home-Care Health Navigator at Sunraysia Community Health Services. Sharon is a Health Professional who holds a Master of Public Health andhas over 26 years’ experience working in Aboriginal primary health care, public health, prevention and education, chronic disease management, child protection and policy/strategy. She is an appointed member of the AHPRA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia’s Accreditation Committee Member and an AHPRA registered Aboriginal Health Practitioner.


Lorraine LearmonthLorraine Learmonth

Recently retired from her eight-year role as Councilor at Gannawarra Shire Council where she served three years as Mayor and two years as Deputy Mayor. During this time, Lorraine oversaw the Community, Environment, Waste Management and the Art portfolios. Lorraine has a strong connection with the Cohuna and district communities, is Director of the Loddon Mallee Waste Resource Group and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Deborah BogenhuberDeborah Bogenhuber

Co-founder and Executive Officer at Food Next Door Co-op, a not-for-profit co-operative based in Mildura working to connect landless farmers from migrant and refugee backgrounds with under-utilised land to grow diverse crops and to build a strong local food system. Deborah has a Bachelor of Science (Ecology) and is interested in participatory research that can help make the world a better place. She has worked extensively in freshwater ecology and co-developed a cultural science program that investigated ways to better manage our land and waters through western scientific methods and indigenous scientific methods working together.

Regional Development Australia representative

Leonie BurrowsLeonie Burrows

Leonie is a Mildura based management consultant who has 25 years' experience in local government, including a number of years as a Council CEO at Mildura Rural City Council. Her background in local government has mainly been in the community services and regional economic development areas, although she has managed the traditional technical services area of roads, waste and parks and gardens.

In her consulting roles she has also undertaken some Acting CEO roles. This has included roles as CEO of the Australian Tablegrape Growers Association, CEO of the Australian Citrus industry and CEO of Buloke Shire. She has also undertaken seven months as CEO of the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE.

Ms Burrows is Chair of Sunraysia Community Health Service and is a member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Board. Previous roles include Chair of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE , Chair of the Victorian TAFE Association, Chair of Lower Murray Water Corporation, Chair of the Mildura Transport and Logistics Cluster and involvement in numerous other community organisations. For four years she was also Executive Officer of the Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development.

Victorian Government representative

Katherine Whetton – Deputy Secretary, COVID-19 Policy and Strategy, Department of Health and Human Services.

Local government CEOs

Wayne OTooleWayne O’Toole – CEO, Buloke Shire Council

Wayne was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2022 and had previously held the role of Interim CEO during the recruitment process.

Wayne was Director Works and Technical Services since September 2018, and began his time at Buloke in 2017 as a Manager Statutory Services. In his three years leading the Works and Technical Services directorate, Wayne has been involved in flood recovery works, increased project delivery, the Working for Victoria Program, as well as focusing on Buloke’s road network and increasing customer satisfaction.

Previously to Buloke, Wayne spent 7 years at Mount Alexander Shire in a number of roles including Manager of Development Services and Manager of Healthy Environments. He has a strong background in the private sector in project management and senior leadership roles and completed his Masters of Business Administration in September 2020.


Tom O'ReillyTom 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 – six years of that time as Director Business and Finance. He has also worked in the private sector with four 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 seven years with Goulburn Valley Water.


Scott BarberScott Barber – CEO, Swan Hill Rural City

Scott will be joining Council and the Swan Hill community in early June 2022.

Scott has held Executive roles at Goulburn-Murray Water, Murray River Council and most recently Director of Projects & Strategy at Wagga Wagga City Council.

Scott has completed a Master of Applied Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Graduate Certificate in Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Martin HawsonMartin Hawson – CEO, Mildura Rural City

Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer in April 2022 and had previously held the role of Interim CEO during the recruitment process.

Martin has a broad and extensive background in community services leadership and management experience in local government.

Prior has been his appointment as CEO, Martin held the position of General Manager Community since June 2003 and Manager of Aged and Disability Services for five years previous to that. Martin has a Masters of Health Science and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


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