Ararat Rural City Council starts recruitment for next chief executive

ARARAT Rural City Council is in the process of recruiting its next chief executive. 

The council’s current chief Allan Bawden started the top job on October 2 for a 12-month fixed term. He was employed in response to the state government commission of inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council

Mr Bawden said his role was to help the council work through the recommendations made in the commission of inquiry report. 

“That’s what council were doing for the last eight months and recruiting the new chief executive was the last recommendation we had to do in my time,” he said. 

Mr Bawden said the recruitment process started several weeks ago and applications had closed at the beginning of the month. He said Ararat council engaged a recruitment consult firm to help them through the process. 

“We engaged a firm called McArthur Management Services – they’re a well established firm that do a lot of recruitment in local government,” he said.

“They had met with council who talked about the role including the challenges council has ahead and what attributes they thought the next chief executive would require.” 

Council placed an emphasis on communication style and community engagement as required by its next chief executive.

“There was a big kind of emphasis place on building relationships with staff, councillors and the community,” he said.

“The advertisement placed talked about the organisation facing a number of challenges in the future and that it was a fantastic opportunity for an approachable, energetic and engaging leader.” 

Mr Bawden said the consultant was assessing the candidates with applications now closed. He said there had been a strong interest in the position from many experienced people. 

Mr Bawden said council will receive a shortlist of candidates and interviews will take place in the next three weeks. He said council hoped the next chief executive will be appointed by mid-August.

“However, council will have to call a council meeting to pass a resolution to offer the job,” he said. 

Mr Bawden said he was confident that council will find its next chief executive in the current round of recruitment with the necessary skills and experience that was needed.