Moira Shire Council has a new Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Tudball who will provide the organisation with stability while allowing ample time to conduct a comprehensive search for a permanent CEO who will guide the council into the future.
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Mr Tudball officially assumed his responsibilities on October 23 for a six-month period and arrives in Moira Shire with a career that includes serving as an interim CEO, positions as a councillor and mayor and directorships in various local government organisations.
Q. How did you get into local governance? Have you been in it for a while?
A. “Yes, a long time it seems. I probably first got into local government in 2004.
“I started in my local community of Moorabool Shire and the community asked me to stand for council, so I did.
“I was a counsellor and then a mayor from 2004 to 2012. I loved it. Representing and working with your local community is an amazing experience.
“Life just evolved, and I did a lot of work in state government in various authorities, then just landed in local government in Melton in about 2011.
“I then joined the Southern Grampians Shire as CEO. Now I’m just looking at interim and help out roles.
“I’ve also done a couple of interim CEO gigs at Corangamite and then a director role at Hindmarsh.
“Now I’m having the pleasure of being here for six months.”
Q. How did you come about taking on the Acting CEO role with Moira Shire?
A. “Generally, you get contacted by a recruiter or a council.
“For here I got a phone call initially from the administrators, then went through a process.
“It’s usually looking for someone who’s not going to be an applicant for the role, but someone to bring some local government experience, hopefully CEO experience and some stability.
“Local government is a very, very familiar place.”
Q. How do you see the shire after its recent indiscretions?
A. “My number one is that it’s an organization that’s hurting. Number two, it’s an organization that’s willing to come under some leadership and some direction, to get on with it.
“They’ve probably copped a fair bit over the time, but the community lost faith and trust for a whole range of reasons.
“We need to rebuild that, and they are an organization that’s keen to do that.”
Q. How do you see the shire changing in the future?
A. “What I want to do is have really good leadership in the organization and developing the leadership for good processes and systems so that they can just follow it with direction.
“We want to have stability and clear direction for the staff of what the priorities are.
“We clearly have big projects that may have been sometime in the making but there’s a clear direction from the administrators and from the leadership in the organization that are priority.
“It’s not all about the big projects either. It is also about our rural roads and making sure of the maintenance that we do there, the grass cutting, you know, the sides of the roads, our parks and gardens.
“I’d hope to see in a nutshell after my six months is we are very clear in communicating what it is we are doing and why, and we actually deliver on it.
“You actually see action, not just it is coming, but we can demonstrate that we’re actually getting on with it.”
Q. What are your personal goals for the shire?
A. “There’s already been work undertaken on a slightly revamped structure to make sure we’re aligned with the expectations of the community, council plan and the view of the council, so that’ll be starting to roll out in my time.
“Also recruiting. We’re probably running with only about two thirds of the organization because of various moves and changes.
“Number two will be the people within the organization so we can deliver on the priorities in the community.
“Number three is really about governance. And it’s not just governance with the council, it’s governance within the organization and within the community.
“I really want to be out and about hearing from the community, hearing from the staff.
“The governance I hope to achieve in the six months is a confidence, trust and faith in council that may have been eroded over the last little while.
“It’s a big job, so I expect to have it hopefully in good order to hand to a permanent CEO early next year.”
Q. Your current term is for six months, will you ‘apply’ to take on the role indefinitely?
A. “No, and I’ve indicated that to the organisation and to the administrators.
“Probably to be frank, the administrators didn’t want someone who was going to be an applicant for the job. It just makes it a lot cleaner. They want to make sure it’s all above board.
“So I’m very happy with the interim as well and six months is a good period to give the organisation and the community some stability.
“It’s a good amount of time to get some stuff underway in anticipation of the new CEO early next year.”
Q. Do you know much about Yarrawonga? What are your thoughts on the town?
A. “I used to holiday in Yarrawonga. Although I hadn’t been there for a while, I loved the town and all that is involved with it. It is a great area and the whole Moira Shire is a great part of the world to live.”
Q. What are some of your hobbies or interests?
A. “For my sins, I don’t know where this came from but I’m a Collingwood supporter so I’m happy after this year and I’m involved in the local footy club down home.
“I’m on the committee of the Bacchus Marsh Football Club but my main hobby is really cycling.
“I cycle pretty much every day before work and then on weekends.
“Family’s really important to me and we’re a pretty fortunate family that none of us have travelled too far from Bacchus Marsh so we have a lot of family gatherings.
“And the CFA I’ve been an active volunteer firefighter in for 43 years since 1980.
“I just love that community connection. I’ve been talking to CFA members already here in Cobram, it’s a great organization and a great thing both for volunteers and the community.
“I’m pleased that I can be here and support this local community.”