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Byron Shire
October 17, 2021

New GM takes the helm at Lismore City Council

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Lismore City Council’s new GM Shelley Oldham. Photo Capgemini

In a break with tradition, the new general manager of Lismore City Council, Shelley Oldham, brings with her a suite of skills honed in the Victorian public service and a large international consultancy firm.

Ms Oldham, who starts today, worked for almost a decade as the senior vice president and head of public sector at Capgemini. In this role, she was responsible for ‘design and delivery of solutions that assist governments in Australia to be more effective and efficient’.

It was this that caught the selection panel’s eye, together with her time as director of strategy at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, which gave her ‘broad experience working in government transformation, stakeholder management and strategy’.

Lismore mayor Isaac Smith said she was selected from more than 120 applicants from the local government, state government and private sector across Australia and New Zealand.

‘We are privileged that such a high-calibre candidate has applied and accepted the role of general manager,’ he added.

‘Shelley brings with her a wealth of experience in finance and business in both the government and private sector.

‘We are facing some tough decisions ahead financially and this Council is also very keen to increase our focus on economic development, so she seemed like an excellent fit to guide us into the future.

‘Having someone with Shelley’s capabilities at the helm is exactly what we need to grow Lismore’s prosperity.’

The Mayor said it was a change for Council to appoint a general manager from outside the local government sector and believes Shelley’s objectivity will help Council improve processes and efficiency.

‘We felt her toolbox of skills is exactly what we needed in a leader to become financially sustainable and as efficient as possible,’ Isaac said.

‘We are very excited to welcome Shelley to our team and we are eager to see how she can shape and transform our organisation into the future,’ Cr Smith said.

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  1. ‘design and delivery of solutions that assist governments in Australia to be more effective and efficient’.??
    That could describe the position of mail boy !
    So even-though we are no wiser as to her capabilities , I’m sure she would have to be an improvement on the absolute and irredeemable incompetence demonstrated by this council in their handling ( or lack of handling ) of the aftermath of cyclone Debbie. From the complete absence of any disaster planning ,especially since the over-topping of the levee has been debated since long before it’s construction, to the inaction during the 48 hours warning time before the flood waters from Whian Whian and The Channon where the devastation from 1500 mm of overnight rainfall was concentrated. Far from concentrating on those most effected by the downpour, (Terania Creek Road where one lane on a hairpin bend slipped down a cliff ,is only now being repaired ) all efforts were concentrated in facilitating the wholesale insurance bonanza, of those too unconcerned to move their possessions out of flood reach and relying on disaster relief or insurance to replace everything.
    I was particularly appalled by the way the ‘Lismore Flood Appeal’ was completely diverted to predetermined suburbs in Lismore, as it was too difficult to assess damage outside the city limits …..so I am hopeful Shelley will display just a modicum of commonsense and propel this council to the unaccustomed heights of adequacy.

  2. Hi Shelley,
    I am writing to you as I am frustrated with the council regarding an infringement that I received on the 11/6/19 at the Lismore Central Shopping Centre I parked in Bay C15 at 8.46 am then Left at 11.32 am then returned ar 2.13 pm and parked in the same C15 Bay that I had occupied earlier that day, on leaving the centre at 3.51 pm I found the infringement notice and the tyre marked for parking for 1.5 hours in a 3 hour zone.
    How can he justify marking the tyre at the same time as the infringement notice, I have dash cam footage of my movements but todate nobody is prepared to even look at the evidence.
    As I see it there has to be some corruption there, nobody at the council will talk to me about it

  3. Local Government is a special niche. Bringing in people from outside local government based on qualifications and experience seldom works but Councils engage LG NSW to help recruit GMs and they don’t understand what really happens. I have never met Shelley and I have no doubt that she has great skills but you need more than that being a General Manager of a Council. Managing relationships at the elected level is very important. So too, is having a very good understanding of the roles of the staff. Could she provide guidance to the Rates Clerk? Same with Debtors Clerk and Creditors Clerk and so on. Coming from outside local government I would say no. Hopefully she can dust herself off and resume a professional career outside local government.


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