City of Greater Geelong CEO Kelvin Spiller
City of Greater Geelong CEO Kelvin Spiller

City CEO announces resignation

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

City CEO Kelvin Spiller has announced his resignation (effective at the end of March 2018), giving the City's new council just over four months to recruit a replacement.

My decision to resign should in no way reflect negatively on the new council; in fact, I had given confidential notice of my intentions to the Local Government Department well before last night’s swearing-in process.

When I was first appointed as acting CEO in June 2015, it was to initially fill a gap left by the departure of the City’s previous CEO. That temporary appointment evolved into me staying on for what has now been just under two and a half years, with one year remaining of my three year appointment.

I decided to stay longer because I could see the organisation was in a period of instability and turmoil – and given my family and career history in the Geelong region, I was in a position to use my local knowledge and experience to add value to the development of the organisation.

Earlier in my career I had worked at the Shires of South Barwon, Corio and Bannockburn, and the City of Newtown. And though I then moved away from Geelong 30 years ago, the region has always been a special place for me, as I have a large number of relatives, friends and business acquaintances who still live locally.

In announcing my resignation, I would like to thank the support staff in my immediate office, the City’s executive leadership team, the senior leadership team, the joint coordinators group, and staff right across the organisation. All of them have contributed a substantial amount of work during my time here – under what could be described as difficult circumstances in a time-critical environment.

Despite these challenges, I am proud of the progress the organisation has made – largely because of the commitment of the staff of the City of Greater Geelong.

Over the past two and a half years the organisation has been renewed and refocused, and now that there is a new council in place the time is right for another CEO to be recruited for the longer term.

I have made it clear from my commencement that my employment contract was for a maximum three year period. I have personally achieved everything I set out to do in the time I have been here.

I therefore think the time is right for a new beginning for the organisation from March 2018, when the new council will have settled-in, and is able to focus on:
- understanding the priorities and expectations of the councillors
- building the City’s next budget
- creating the next council plan
- working towards implementing the community’s Clever and Creative 30 year vision, and
- continuing the City’s organisational culture change program.

I know I am leaving the organisation in a much improved state compared to when I arrived, and this could not have been achieved without the substantial support of staff.
I value the many relationships I have developed with staff during my regular onsite visits right across the organisation.

I also want to recognise the work done by the wider Geelong community, and the professional relationships I have developed with the executives of:
- other councils in our region – particularly their mayors, councillors and senior officers
- the G21 Alliance
- the Committee for Geelong
- Deakin University
- The Gordon
- Barwon Health
- Barwon Regional Partnership
- Avalon Airport
- The Geelong Chamber of Commerce
- The Geelong Authority
- The Geelong Manufacturing Council
- Barwon Water
- The Geelong Football Club
- our regional MPs at state and federal levels
- and many others.

I congratulate the newly-elected mayor and councillors, and feel encouraged by their willingness to work collaboratively together with a supportive administration. I am confident they will enjoy a successful term in office capably representing the community they serve.

I look forward to watching the exciting Clever and Creative future that is unfolding across the Geelong region, its council, and the organisation that supports it.

At a personal level, I am looking forward to what comes next …

Kelvin Spiller
City of Greater Geelong