Our people

Merri-bek City Council is led by the chief executive officer.

We are managed by a highly skilled and experienced executive team.

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Our executive team

Chief Executive Officer: Cathy Henderson
The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for managing the day-to-day operations of Merri-bek Council, under the strategic direction of the elected Council.

Director Business Transformation: Sue Vujcevic
Responsible for the corporate functions of Merri-bek Council to support the organisation in its work with the community, including:

  • finance and procurement
  • human resources and organisational performance
  • IT
  • governance and legal
  • facilities management.

Also responsible for support to the mayor and councillors.

Director City Infrastructure: Anita Curnow
Responsible for Merri-bek Council’s infrastructure and fleet assets, including designing, building, expanding, renewing and maintaining and cleansing. Also responsible for local laws and waste collection.

Director City Futures: Kirsten Coster
Responsible for influencing development in the city, including:

  • planning and external-facing strategies
  • our response to population growth
  • environmental change in the city.

Director Community Development: Arden Joseph
Responsible for services relating to infants, children, young people, families and older people. Also leading the achievement of our wellbeing outcomes, including:

  • recreation
  • health
  • education
  • cultural vibrancy
  • safety
  • social cohesion.

Director Engagement and Partnerships: Joseph Tabacco
Responsible for:

  • our external interface with the community, business, government and other partners
  • enhancing our organisational capacity for engagement
  • major partnership projects
  • economic development
  • working across the organisation to deliver holistic place outcomes.

You can download our Executive and staff organisational structure (PDF 733Kb) to find out more. This also includes more about the topics discussed below.

Inclusive employment

We proudly supported our employees by:

  • offering flexible working arrangements to help our staff fulfil their professional, personal and caring responsibilities
  • supporting parents returning to work following parental leave
  • supporting part-time and job-share arrangements
  • implementing a traineeship program for people with disabilities
  • holding equal opportunity awareness sessions for all new employees and managers. There were no breaches of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 during 2020-21
  • reviewing and updating our inappropriate workplace behaviour policy
  • adopting a revised Statement of Commitment to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of the municipality
  • conducting a gender equality audit and People Matter survey. This will inform the development of our first gender equality action plan in 2021-22.

During the year, we also had a particular focus on active bystander training. By 30 June 2021, we trained 75% of people leaders. This gave them the skills to address discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and misconduct. It also set a standard of behaviour for the organisation.

Training and development 

We are committed to investing in our employees through development and training. This is one way we improve our performance.

We ran 51 courses during 2020-21. There were on topics including:

  • business and workplace effectiveness
  • compliance
  • self-care
  • diversity and inclusion.

Occupational health and safety 

We take the safety, health and wellbeing of our employees seriously. We ran 112 occupational health and safety training courses during the past year.

We work to promote and improve our staff’s health, safety and wellbeing. And, as far as is practicable, prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Where an employee is injured at work, we offer them access to an early intervention program. This is to ensure treatment for their injury starts as soon as possible.

There were 372 incidents reported during this year. These incidents included 166 injuries.

During the year we put a new online incident reporting system in place. We also did an occupational health and safety culture survey in January 2021.

You can read about the impact of the pandemic and the new staff we took on in the COVID-19 section of this report.



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