Hail to the chief: Surf Coast Shire council appoints new CEO

April 21, 2021 BY

Robyn Seymour’s first day as CEO will be July 12.

FORMER VicRoads CEO Robyn Seymour has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Surf Coast Shire.

Ms Seymour signed a five-year contract yesterday (Tuesday, April 20) and will start in the role on July 12.

Surf Coast Shire mayor Libby Stapleton said Ms Seymour would bring exceptional leadership, skills and experience to the role, with a great commitment to community.

“I am so excited to welcome Robyn on board.

“Robyn has extensive leadership and management experience across several roles, including her current position as deputy secretary of network planning and head of Road Safety Victoria, where she leads a team of more than 400 people. Prior to that, she served as chief executive and deputy chief executive of VicRoads.

“It’s a pivotal time for Council, with the development of a long-term Community Vision, our commitment to becoming a carbon neutral organisation as well as our many other projects, particularly the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre project, which is so close to being realised.

“Robyn has a proven track record of managing and delivering complex initiatives and projects, and I know she will be committed in leading the organisation to help our community and environment to thrive.

“My fellow councillors and I look forward to working closely with her.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the significant contribution of our acting CEO Anne Howard, who has been in the role for the past nine months, and thank her for all her work.”

Ms Seymour said she was excited to work with the mayor and councillors to deliver on their vision and priorities for the shire.

“I am passionate about delivering outcomes and value to the community and I look forward to working with the team at the council to ensure we are meeting community needs.

“I am really looking forward to moving to the Surf Coast Shire, a region I love and have been keen to make my home.”

The Surf Coast Shire council selected Geelong and Surf Coast-based business consultants Davidsons in late January to work on the recruitment and selection of the next chief executive officer with the shire’s CEO Employment Matters Committee, and Ms Seymour was appointed after a “competitive recruitment process”.

Ms Seymour replaces former chief executive officer Keith Baillie, who announced in June 2020 he would resign after more than five years in the role. He became the new CEO of Geelong not-for-profit Gforce Employment Solutions in September 2020.

Speaking just before his last day as CEO on July 31, Mr Baillie said his successor would have to take on the job of how to manage the shire’s provision of more than 100 services for the community and support more than $800 million of roads and facilities.

“Having the financial capacity to deliver this is challenging and while I value the benefits of rate capping to help household budgets, the revenue impact has been very difficult for Council.

“Reforming Council so the books will balance into the future is a difficult and unresolved challenge.”