Ambassadors for women in local government announced

By Staff Writer

The national steering committee for the Year of Women in Local Government have selected 21 ambassadors for next year’s celebrations.

Over the next 18 months, ambassadors from each state and territory will be responsible for building greater recognition of the role of women in the sector.

Steering Committee chairman Ray Pincombe said it had been a difficult selection process, with more than 60 “outstanding nominations” received. 

“These ambassadors provide a great representation of the varied roles and responsibilities that exist within local government,” Pincombe said.

“Each ambassador is committed to promoting the advancement of women within the sector, both in management and at the council level and they have great stories to tell about their own personal journeys in local government.”

Women currently represent 20 per cent of senior management roles within local government – a figure which has remained unchanged since 1996.

Only 5 per cent of chief executive or general managers are women.

There is slightly higher representation among elected members, with 30 per cent of council members being women.

Year of Women in Local Government ambassadors


  • Sharon Solyma – Community Grants & Research officer – Gold Coast City Council
  • Councillor Joyce Crombie – Diamantina Shire Council
  • Michelle McFadyen – CEO – Longreach City Council

New South Wales        

  • Neryl East – Manager Media and Communications – Shellharbour City Council
  • Councillor Bruce Miller – President NSW Shire’s Association
  • Dr Maree Smith – Laboratory Manager – Port Macquarie/Hastings Council
  • Councillor Karen McKeown – Penrith City Council

Northern Territory

  • Sandra Cannon – CEO – Victoria Daly Shire
  • Pam Robinson OAM – Manager Climate Change and Environment – Darwin City Council

South Australia

  • Jane Fetherstonhaugh – Director of Finance and Community Services/ Dep. CEO – District Council of Grant
  • Tanya Hook – Project officer – City of Tea tree Gully
  • Councillor Angela Keneally – City of Charles Sturt
  • Rebecca Thomas – General Manager City Services – City of Holdfast Bay


  • Abyilene McGuire – Senior Environmental Health Officer – Kingborough Council


  • Councillor Yvonne Jennings – Swan Hill Rural City Council
  • Fiona Hodges – GM Community Wellbeing – Cardinia Shire
  • Noelene Duff – CEO – City of Whitehorse

Western Australia:

  • Vicky Small – Manager Customer Service and Information Services – Shire of Augusta – Margaret River
  • Kat Pinder– Community Development Officer – access and inclusion – City of Swan
  • Councillor Elizabeth Re – City of Stirling
  • Jonathan Throssell – CEO – Shire of Mundaring

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