McClaren named mayor
Ambition to make shire great with help of staff, community
AMANDA McClaren, Lake Nagambie Ward councillor, was elected unopposed by her fellow councillors at the statutory meeting last week to the position of mayor.
Cr McClaren said she was honoured to accept the role, and looked forward to using the wide range of skills and experience both on council and in the broader community for the betterment of the Shire of Strathbogie.
“It’s such a privilege to be elected as mayor of this council,” Cr McClaren said in her address to fellow councillors and the members of the public who attended.
“This is a diverse council, and one that I think can deliver great things for our community.”
Cr McClaren is a resident of the small township of Graytown, where she and her young family run a sustainable chicken farm.
As well as her role as chief executive officer of the Fairley Leadership Program, a Goulburn Murray Community Leadership iterative aimed at ‘developing leaders to be catalysts for positive change in the Goulburn Murray Region’, she is also heavily involved in other aspects of her community.
This involvement includes being secretary of the local Graytown-Costerfield Landcare Group, chair of St Joseph’s Primary School in Nagambie, and former chair of the Graytown Community Action Group.
As someone with a communications and marketing background, the new mayor said she was eager to encourage community engagement with council and in its deliberations and decision making processes.
“I’m passionate about community engagement, and I want people to hear more and feel more involved with the going on of their council,” she said.
“I believe you will see real change in this area given the council we have, and as mayor I want to drive that change.”
The council chose not to elect a deputy mayor for the first time in many years, instead choosing to nominate an ‘acting chair’ at a meeting if Cr McClaren should be unable to attend.
Councillors Kate Stothers, Debra Swan and Malcolm Little spoke in favour of this decision, arguing that instead of a single, formal deputy, Cr McClaren would have the ‘backing and support of all six councillors as deputies.’
While it may be ‘a little clunky’ having to elect the acting chair, councillors agreed this was the best way of ensuring all representatives gain some experience in chairing a council meeting, better preparing them for perhaps taking on a mayoral role in future.
Mayor McClaren will hold the position for the next 12 months.
She and the rest of her council can now get on with the task of devising the new council plan and budget.
MEET SHIRE’S NEW MAYOR: Amanda McClaren of Graytown was elected by her fellow councillors as mayor for the coming 12 months.