Council thanks acting CEO

New Mitchell Shire Council chief executive Brett Luxford has begun his duties.

With Mitchell Shire Council’s new chief executive Brett Luxford taking the reins from August 24, councillors at last week’s council meeting thanked outgoing acting chief executive Mary Agostino for her contribution to council during the past 15 months.

Ms Agostino took on the role after former chief executive David Turnbull fell ill, and she guided council prior to and following his death and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She will return to her normal role of advocacy and community services director.

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said Ms Agostino readily stepped up to fulfil the role during ‘unforeseen and challenging circumstances’.

“On behalf of the whole Mitchell Shire community, council would like to thank Ms Agostino for her hard work and dedication to the role and for calmly leading the organisation through these difficult times in service of the community,” she said.

“Mary has such a lovely, positive and caring nature. She led the executive leadership team and our staff through some really challenging times as we’re aware over the last 15 months through our CEO’s illness and the pandemic.”

Cr Rob Eldridge paid tribute to Ms Agostino’s positive outlook though a challenging time.

“All of us went through a lot with David’s illness including staff and councillors, but Mary was probably affected as much as anybody – David was a mentor and personal friend,” he said.

“Yet, all through that time and the COVID time, she never dropped her chin, she was always upbeat, she was an enormous inspiration for us and the staff in terms of keeping on going, keep looking to the future and looking at things in a positive outcome.”

Ms Agostino thanked council staff, saying ‘you are only as good as the people that back you’.

“It’s been a rough, rough road from May last year to recently, we lost our beloved David and he was a great industry leader, I learned a lot from him and I applied as much as I learned and my true values to the role,” she said.

“I want to thank the executive leadership team and the staff – you all know who you are. They’re the most wonderful team at Mitchell and I want to welcome Brett [Luxford].”