Our people

Merri-bek City Council is led by the chief executive officer and managed by a highly skilled and experienced executive team.

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Our executive team

Our staff translate the Council’s strategic direction and goals into organisational plans. Our executive team monitors and coordinates our progress against these plans.

Underpinning this work are our values of:

  • customer and community first
  • respect
  • personal accountability
  • integrity
  • one team.

We strive to live our values – both in the workplace and in our community.

Here we have short biographies of our executive team. You can download more about our executive and see our organisational structure

Chief Executive Officer: Cathy Henderson
Cathy Henderson started as our Chief Executive Officer in December 2019. Cathy brings a distinguished leadership record in local government. She has held senior executive positions in New South Wales and Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master in Public Policy and Management, both from Monash University.

Director City Infrastructure: Grant Thorne
Grant Thorne started as Director City Infrastructure in February 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Graduate Diploma of Management. Grant is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Director Community Development: Arden Joseph
Arden Joseph started as Director Community Development in July 2015. This role was then called Director Social Development. Arden holds a Bachelor of Business (Public Administration) and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

Executive Manager Finance: Liz Rowland
Liz Rowland started in 2016 as Chief Financial Officer. Liz held the role of Executive Manager Finance in 2019-20. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Professional Accounting) and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Director Business Transformation: Sue Vujcevic
Sue Vujcevic started as Director Business Transformation in December 2018. Sue has more than 20 years of local government leadership experience. Sue holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Planning and a Graduate Diploma in Geospatial Information.

Director City Futures: Kirsten Coster
Kirsten Coster joined Merri-bek in August 2009 as Director Economic Development. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Planning) and a Master of Business (Marketing). Kirsten has spent more than 20 years in local government across 3 councils.

Director Engagement and Partnerships: Joseph Tabacco
Joseph Tabacco started as Director Engagement and Partnerships in December 2018. Joseph has more than 20 years of diverse local government leadership experience. He holds a Diploma of Local Government (Governance and Administration) and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).

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 159 courses during 2019-20. There were on topics including:

  • leadership and management
  • business and workplace effectiveness
  • compliance
  • self-care.

Occupational health and safety

We take the safety, health and wellbeing of our employees seriously. We ran 41 occupational health and safety training courses during the past year.

Our safety management system and programs promote and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees. 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 to their injury starts as soon as practicable.

There were 403 incidents reported during this year. These incidents represented:

  • 100 near misses
  • 74 motor vehicle incidents
  • 27 plant and equipment incidents
  • 43 hazards.

There were 159 injuries represented across the 403 incidents.

We also support our employees to manage their own health and wellbeing. We do this through education programs and initiatives. Mental health was the focus of our health and wellbeing program during 2019-20.

You can download more information about our occupational health and safety, and how we work to prevent injuries and illness


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