The Golden Plains Shire Council consists of Councillors who are democratically elected by the electors of Golden Plains Shire in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020.
Councillors of Golden Plains Shire are committed to working together, behaving with integrity and making competent decisions. Read about their commitment here in the Councillor Code of Conduct.
Cr Brett Cunningham
Golden Plains Shire Mayor
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A resident of Bannockburn, Cr Brett Cunningham previously called Teesdale home for nearly 32 years and during his long-term career at GMHBA has worked in marketing, corporate services and stakeholder relations roles.
Cr Cunningham was elected Mayor for 2022/23 by his fellow Councillors on 15 November 2022.
Cr Cunningham is a Board Member of non-profit community organisation, Bannockburn & District Grants, as well as Chairman of the Bannockburn and Surrounds Neighbourhood Watch, which he helped establish in 2018.
Cr Cunningham is dedicated to strengthening confidence in Council and building community support through transparency and engagement. Over the next four years, he is focused on developing youth services in the Shire’s small towns, greater mental health support, increased funding for local roads and improved maintenance of facilities.
In addition to Mayor, Cr Cunningham is a Corporate Service Portfolio Councillor and a member of Council’s Audit and Risk Committee. He is Council’s representative on the Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine Board, the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Financial Assistance Grants and Rate Capping Taskforce, and the G21 Economic Development, Health and Wellbeing, and Sport and Recreation Pillars.
Cr Gavin Gamble
Golden Plains Shire Deputy Mayor
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As a Teesdale local of 18 years, Cr Gavin Gamble has a long history of active community involvement in the Shire. Cr Gavin Gamble was elected Mayor for 2021/22 by his fellow Councillors on 16 November 2021.
Cr Gamble has professional experience as a school teacher, brewer and now operates his own gardening business across Golden Plains Shire.
Cr Gamble is a member of the Australian Greens and is passionate about pursuing action to address climate change, protecting the Shire’s unique biodiversity, responsible development and township enhancements, provision of greater transport and recreational options, and support for cultural and wellbeing initiatives.
In addition to Deputy Mayor, Cr Gamble is an Infrastructure and Development Portfolio Councillor and Council’s representative on the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, the G21 Environment Pillar and the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee and Environment Committee.
Cr Helena Kirby
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Cr Helena Kirby has lived in Rokewood for 30 years and with her family, she owns and operates the Rokewood Take Away store. Cr Kirby is serving her fourth consecutive term as a Councillor.
Cr Kirby is passionate about ensuring equity of services in the Shire’s small towns, community consultation and engagement, and community planning. During the Council term, she is focused on economic development, activating community spaces including local halls and playgrounds, and protecting the rural lifestyle of Golden Plains Shire.
Cr Kirby serves on the Audit & Risk Committee, G21 Board of Directors, Central Highlands Councils Victoria and the Berrybank Wind Farm Community Engagement Committee. Cr Kirby is also Council’s representative on the Peri Urban Group of Rural Councils, Golden Plains Disability Access & Inclusion Committee and Rural Financial Counselling Service – Colac Local Reference Group.
Cr Clayton Whitfield
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Cr. Clayton Whitfield has lived in Inverleigh for the past 14 years, having previously resided in Point Lonsdale and Darwin. He brings managerial skills and statutory knowledge to the Council from his experience in the domestic building sector, as a Trade
Cr Clayton Whitfield has lived in Inverleigh for the past 14 years and brings managerial skills and statutory knowledge from his experience in the domestic building sector, as a Trade Section Commander in the Army, a vocational educator a The Gordon, and a building consultant.
Cr. Whitfield is passionate about improving Council’s asset maintenance, supporting youth in rural areas and improving budget efficiency to ensure ratepayers are delivered the best possible outcomes. He sees balancing the Shire’s population growth and incorporating the required infrastructure while maintaining our rural appeal as one of Council’s greatest challenges in the next four years. Cr. Whitfield also identifies community consultation and engagement as a focus for improvement during Council’s four-year term.
Cr. Whitfield is an Infrastructure and Development Portfolio Councillor and Council’s representative on the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Emergency Management Committee and the G21 Planning and Services Pillar.
Cr Owen Sharkey
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Cr Owen Sharkey is a resident of Batesford who brings career experience from the construction and housing industry to his role in Council. Elected to serve his second term, Cr Sharkey was Mayor of Golden Plains Shire in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Cr Sharkey is dedicated to supporting local youth, cultural diversity and business development, with a focus on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. His priorities for Council include maintaining strong regional partnerships, highlighting the challenges for peri urban municipalities and advocating for an improved rating structure.
Cr Sharkey is a Community Services Portfolio Councillor and Council’s representative on to the Municipal Association of Victoria and its Human Service Committee, as well as the Geelong Regional Library Corporation Board.
Cr Les Rowe
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Cr Les Rowe is a life-long resident of Sutherlands Creek, where he and his family farm properties in the Moorabool Valley, near the land his ancestors settled more than 160 years ago.
Cr Rowe’s community service history includes serving as President and School Councillor of the Bannockburn Primary School, Chair of Maude Landcare Group, and Vice-Chair of Geelong Landcare Network.
Cr Rowe is a strong advocate for the local agricultural industry and rural communities. Serving his second term as a Councillor, he is dedicated to improving the local road and bridge network, community consultation with residents and ratepayers, and supporting local businesses and job creation. He looks forward to Council delivering on the Community Vision 2040 in this Council term.
Cr Rowe is a Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor and Council’s representative on the Geelong Heritage Centre Collection Advisory Committee, Golden Plain Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee and the G21 Education & Training and Arts, Heritage & Culture Pillars.
Cr Ian Getsom
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Cr Ian Getsom is a long-term Piggoreet resident, living on a rural property farmed by his sons. He has volunteered for almost 40 years with the CFA and is the President of the Happy Valley community hall.
With a career in transport, he worked as a train controller during his 15 years on Victorian railways and now drives school and charter bus runs in the north of the Shire.
Cr Getsom prides himself on being an approachable Councillor and looks forward to building strong working relationships with the Council staff. He is passionate about boosting services across the many townships of the Shire and improving the vitality of its villages.
Cr Getsom is a Community Services Portfolio Councillor and was Deputy Mayor in 2020/21. He is also Council’s representative on Timber Towns, Ballarat Regional Landfill Monitoring Committee and the G21 Transport Pillar.