Executive Leadership Team and Organisation Structure

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City of Newcastle adopted a new Organisation Structure on 9 August 2022 which became effective on 1 October 2022.

The structure was designed to provide more clarity to employees on day to day tasks and how their roles contribute to the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer is Jeremy Bath. Areas of responsibility include overseeing the operations of the administration, internal audit and organisation performance and improvement.

Before joining City of Newcastle, Jeremy worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Water Corporation and before that in executive roles for ClubsNSW and Clubs Australia.

He joined City of Newcastle in 2017, as CEO and has steered the organisation through some of the most significant and ground-breaking changes in its history.

With a vision to bring private sector learning to local government, Jeremy spearheaded the move to the City’s Administration Centre at 12 Stewart Avenue, which is home to NSW’s first Digital Library, as well as its award-winning mobile Chamber and an acknowledged best in State Emergency Operations Centre. The resulting sale of the former Administration Centre “The Roundhouse” saw it developed into Newcastle’s first 5-star hotel. The ‘City Change’ project brought with it new flexible ways of working, which ensured a seamless continuation of service during the State-wide lockdown in 2020.

Jeremy’s drive to deliver year on year record capital works programs is seeing the delivery of some of the largest infrastructure renewal projects in the city’s history, including the restoration of the Newcastle Ocean Baths and construction of a commercial food and garden waste organics facility at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

Jeremy is a Director of Newcastle Airport Pty Ltd and its subsidiary Greater Newcastle Aerotropolis Pty Ltd. The former was the recipient of $66 million in Federal Government funding in 2021 to enable its runway to be upgraded to allow for international travel to occur to all corners of the globe. The runway will accommodate Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s, enabling direct flights between Newcastle and North Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. A further $55 million was pledged in early 2022 to fund the expansion of the Airport terminal. The expansion will allow more than 250,000 international passengers to fly into Newcastle annually.

City of Newcastle, as 50 per cent owner of Newcastle Airport, is proud to welcome the new international flights which will generate extraordinary economic benefit for Newcastle and the Hunter.

Jeremy also sits on the Board of Arrow Collaborative Services and the Hunter Regional Advisory Committee.

Committed to fostering and managing City of Newcastle’s stakeholder relationships, Jeremy’s goal is to realise Newcastle as a liveable, sustainable, inclusive global city.

Executive Director City Infrastructure

The Executive Director City Infrastructure is Clint Thomson. Areas of responsibility include Assets & Facilities, Program Management Office (PMO), and Civil Construction & Maintenance.

While safety is his highest priority, Clint is a values-based leader who focuses on people and performance in the interests of customers, communities, and the environment.

Prior to joining City of Newcastle, Clint was the engineering executive responsible for infrastructure at Hunter Water Corporation; planning, building, operating, and maintaining the assets and related technology for over 600,000 customers across the Lower Hunter region. During his 13 years at Hunter Water, Clint led the organisational response to numerous incidents and issues, from bushfires and superstorms to COVID-19 and ‘new ways of working’.

Before that, Clint served in the Royal Australian Navy for 13 years as well, initially as an apprentice and ultimately as a Marine Engineering Officer. He deployed internationally on active service three times, and was awarded the 2005 Chief of Navy Sword Prize, and a Fleet Commander’s Commendation in 2010 for Engineering and Leadership.

Built on trade qualifications, Clint has earned a Bachelor of Engineering (with first class honours) from RMIT University, a Master of Engineering (with distinction) from University of Newcastle, and Diplomas in Business and Project Management. He completed the Company Directors course and was a Director on the NSW/ACT Dial Before You Dig Board.

Executive Director Corporate Services & Chief Financial Officer

The Executive Director Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer is David Clarke. Areas of responsibility include Finance, Property & Performance, Legal & Governance, Information Technology, Customer Experience and People & Culture.

As Executive Director, David is leading the transformation of CN’s enabling services to support the organisation and City to succeed, focusing on strengthening organisational capability and financial sustainability.

David joined City of Newcastle in August 2018 and has 25 years experience working with communities, stakeholders and governments, including 17 years as Chief Executive Officer and Director in local and state government. He has a track record in delivering complex policy, program, service and reform initiatives, and is a specialist in governance, policy, finance, engagement and strategy. David is passionate about Aboriginal recognition and has previously worked in diverse sectors, including natural resource, coastal and public land management, renewable energy and agricultural research.

From 2013 – 2018, he was Group Director Governance and Strategy with NSW Department of Industry – Lands and Water where he led Crown land legislative reforms, Aboriginal and Council land negotiations and governance functions.

David was born and raised in Newcastle and holds environmental qualifications from the University of Newcastle and is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Executive Director Creative & Community Services

Alissa JonesThe Executive Director Creative & Community Services is Alissa Jones. Areas of responsibility within the Executive portfolio include Newcastle Art Gallery, City Hall, Civic Theatre, Community and Social Planning, Inland Pools, Beaches and Ocean Baths, Open Space and Recreation services, Media, Engagement, Economy, Tourism, Corporate Affairs, Newcastle Museum, Newcastle Libraries and Fort Scratchley.

Alissa was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2018 and was a finalist in the 2019 Minsters’ Awards for Women in NSW Local Government receiving a Highly Commended Award for Women in a Non Traditional Role due to her appointment as first female CFO for the City. Alissa’s Finance career with the City has involved leading a dedicated team of financial professionals and driving a culture of excellence to support the organisation’s $300 million annual budget and long term financial plan.

Alissa has also held numerous leadership positions including her role as the Director City Wide Services, from September 2019 to May 2022, Managing Director Waste Services from May 2022 to August 2023 and was appointed by the CEO directly as the Program Manager for the Newcastle 500 during which she oversaw the inaugural 2017 Supercar event. Alissa also worked in the Financial Services Industry prior to joining CN.

Alissa holds tertiary qualifications in Commerce with a double major in Finance and Financial Accounting from the University of Newcastle. She has also completed a Certificate IV in Frontline Management, the Emerging Leadership Program through Work Smart Australia, a Local Government Leadership short course through UTS and Project Management qualifications through the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).
Alissa is also a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), a member of CPA Australia and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Executive Director Planning & Environment

The Executive Director Planning & Environment is Michelle Bisson. Areas of responsilbility include Planning, Transport & Regluation and Environment & Sustainability.

Michelle joined City of Newcastle (CN) in 2018 bringing with her a wealth of local and state government experience in the field of town planning. As CN’s Executive Director Planning & Environment, Michelle is leading the transformation of CN’s environmental and planning portfolio, guiding the future development of the city and enhancing our sustainable environment.

Michelle leads a dedicated team focussed on delivering a wide range of services to the community, including the development and implementation of strategic policy including CN’s housing and heritage strategy and climate action plan as well as achieving developments with design excellence contributing to the city’s major revitalisation. Michelle’s team also ensures our city is connected by effective traffic and transport planning, as well as healthy and protected through provision of environmental health and regulatory functions.

Michelle’s focus on the customer experience and her philosophy for continuous improvement has resulted in the delivery of CN’s Accelerated Development Application System, which has resulted in significantly reduced waiting times for development applications and associated economic benefits. CN’s ADA System is a state first innovation which has radically transformed the development assessment landscape in NSW.

Michelle is a member of Planning Institute of Australia and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Michelle has been recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia, beating 11 finalists to win its inaugural Helen Proudfoot Women In Planning award, named after the pioneering planner.

As part of Council’s Open and Transparent Governance Strategy, the diaries of the Executive Leadership Team are published on a quarterly basis. See Open Diaries for further information.

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