Council elects new Mayor

Published on 19 November 2020


Councillor Robyn Gulline has been installed as Horsham Rural City Council Mayor for a one-year term, following an election by Councillors at Thursday night’s Statutory Meeting.

It marks a new era for HRCC, with six first-term and one returning Councillor taking the Oath of Office.

Cr Gulline has called Longerenong home for 25 years. Originally from Queensland, she moved to the Wimmera after meeting her late husband Don.

As well as a prominent farmer in the region, she is an experienced teacher from pre-school and primary to TAFE and university levels.  

The mother of three’s qualifications include a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Accounting, Diploma of Teaching – Primary-Preschool, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Governance of Registered Organisations.

She has served the Wimmera through involvement in organisations such as Wimmera Development Association, Regional Development Australia (Grampians) and Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.

Cr Gulline is also an active member of the Victorian Farmers Federation and a strong contributor to the Wimmera Machinery Field Days, local Landcare groups and Horsham Hockey Club.  

The Statutory Meeting was livestreamed online, with COVID restrictions preventing members of the public from attending at the Civic Centre.

Other newly elected members Cr Di Bell, Cr David Bowe, Cr Penny Flynn, Cr Claudia Haenel, Cr Les Power and Cr Ian Ross congratulated the Mayor on her appointment. 

The next scheduled Meeting of Council will be on Monday 30 November. It will be live streamed on Council’s website.

Cr Gulline’s acceptance speech

We have been elected as Community Leaders and the first task has been to choose our Mayor and team leader.

Thank you for bestowing this honour on me as the first Mayor of this new Council term. I promise to support you and the Community in any way that I can.

Horsham Rural City is a wonderful place to live, work, play, visit and invest. We are a community with diverse interests and needs that must be considered in our decision-making deliberations.

While our economic base is strongly focused on agriculture, social services and tourism also make important contributions to job creation and our prosperity.

2020 is a year that we will never forget. COVID has changed our lives in unimaginable ways.

Unfortunately, the impact has not been uniformly felt by everyone in our community.

Some businesses and individuals have thrived, while others have and continue to face unprecedented challenges.

Council is committed to continuing the COVID response and developing and implementing programs that support the community through the long recovery process.

Horsham Rural City Council is a regional leader. As Mayor, I commit to enriching the partnerships with our neighbouring Councils, Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership, Regional Development Australia Grampians, Grampians Tourism, Wimmera Development Association, GNet and others, for the benefit of our regional population.

 Advocating on behalf of our community is one of your Council’s key roles.

 This is achieved through respectful relationships and working constructively with our local MPs, Emma Kealy and Dr Anne Webster.

 Ensuring that the policy settings, and delivery and provision of services by Government and other agencies are appropriate and adequate to fulfil the needs of our community members is our priority.

As a small regional Council, we have limited financial capacity to deliver various infrastructure and services our community needs. I look forward to working in partnership with the state and federal government to achieve delivery of much needed infrastructure for our region. 

The new Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to develop and adopt a long-term Community Vision and Council Plan. Community engagement is integral to this process.

Our intention is to engage with as many community members as possible, so please watch the newspapers, radio, and social media platforms for more details as this process gets underway in the new year.

After participating in several Councillor induction programs, I can honestly say that the reality of sitting around this table is very different to the community’s perception.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the previous Council and commit to continuing the current community engagement and implementation of various projects and plans which are underway.

As a new Council, we commit to working with the community to develop our shared future vision and strategy.

As individual Councillors, we are passionate about and have been very involved, in different ways, within our community, for a long time.

For the benefit of our municipal community, I am committed to lead and build a cohesive team of effective Councillors, working closely with and behaving respectfully towards the CEO and the organisation, within the parameters of the Councillor Code of Conduct.

The role of Mayor, while being an honour, is a huge commitment. I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement that I have received and will continue to receive from my family, friends, and staff, and publicly express my appreciation.

I look forward to us, Council and community, working collectively and constructively, for the benefit and betterment of our entire municipal community, now and into the future.

Thank you

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