This month we speak with Matthew Pears, CEO of the City of Mitcham.
Matthew discusses the challenges and opportunities for Mitcham - and why Port Power should be in division "two" of the AFL...
He has also recently been appointed as the Chair of the CEO Network and he shares his goals for the group.
Hi Matthew, thanks for speaking with us.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
Chief Executive Officer, City of Mitcham. It involves working with the community, elected members and staff to constantly improve the services provided by City of Mitcham.
Where were you before? (i.e. what is your work background/career path so far)
I worked for the City of Playford for just over ten years. Initially as Manager of Planning and Economic Development and then as one of two General Managers. Before joining Local Government I worked at Centrelink for ten years.
What attracted you to Local Government, and your current role?
I have always wanted to work in the public sector, Local Government is the most dynamic level of government because we are the closest to the community.
You’ve recently been appointed to both the LG Professionals SA Board and also the Chair of the CEO network. Tell us a bit more about the CEO network – what do you see as the benefits of the group – and what are your goals for your time as Chair?
I think the CEO network:
• Could provide CEOs the opportunity to speak (independently of elected members) on issues affecting the sector,
• Provides development and training opportunities,
• Provides networking opportunities.
As Chair I am keen to explore and further define the role of the network, particularly around our interaction with other LG Professionals Networks and giving a CEO perspective on issues facing the sector.
What motivates you? - what do you find interesting or exciting about working in Local Government?
Working with so many passionate people (staff, Elected Members and the community) who care about their communities.
Mitcham is one of South Australia's more “established” council areas –what challenges and opportunities does this present?
The rate of change in society is such I don’t think Mitcham is ‘established’. The City itself and Council’s role will be very different in 10 years.
In the short term there are significant opportunities for Mitcham around the future of Flinders University (including Tonsley), Flinders Hospital, Blackwood and South Road. Council needs to work with the community to shape these opportunities not just for Mitcham but for the future of the State.
Personally, what’s the longer term plan ? where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Finally taking some long term leave, on a beach having just celebrated another Central District Premiership, wondering if Port Power will ever get out of Division two of the AFL (division two having been created to stop the Power having to play superior teams such as the Crows).
Do you have an embarrassing "Local Government moment"?
I would need more space to do justice to this question.
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
Taxi driver to two teenage sons, watching almost any sport and fighting a losing battle to stay fit.