ARARAT Rural City Council has appointed Tim Harrison as its new chief executive.
Dr Harrison will replace interim chief executive Allan Bawden, who was appointed last year for a 12-month fixed term.
Dr Harrison will take on council’s top job after a diverse career which includes experience in Victorian and Queensland local government. He has also had roles at social enterprise organisations in the community sector, as well as leadership, research and engagement roles in higher education.
He said he was honoured to have been appointed in the role.
“I am very excited about working with the council and its staff to deliver important outcomes for our community,” he said.
“I have spent almost all of my working life in rural and regional Australia, so I am looking forward to getting to know the people and places of Ararat.
“My diverse background suits me quite well which probably suits me quite well for where the Ararat Rural City Council is at in this point of time.
“I really enjoy working close to the community; it is grassroots democracy at work. I saw the opportunity come up and thought that I’d have a go, so I’m really pleased that I was successful.
“There is a whole range of things I’d like to achieve, but I am mainly looking forward to building that strong relationship between council and the community – I think that’s really important to work on.”
He said he enjoyed life in rural Victoria and was very much a regional person, having grown up in the Wimmera, Ballarat and rural Queensland.
Dr Harrison’s appointment follows council’s national search for a new chief executive, which attracted a diverse field of candidates.
Ararat Mayor Gwenda Allgood said Dr Harrison’s local government experience included senior roles in engineering, service delivery and corporate strategy.
“Tim holds a qualification in engineering, a master of business administration and a doctorate where he explored relationships between social policy and community engagement,” she said.
“He is the author of government-funded reports on regional social service delivery and regional population dispersal and he has undertaken significant economic development projects in regional communities.
“With extensive experience in senior management and a good knowledge of our region, he will be able to lead the council in meeting the challenges of the future.”
Dr Harrison will start his new role on October 1.
Mr Bawden will continue in the role until Dr Harrison’s start date.