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Council to welcome new CEO Andrew Meddle

Council to welcome new CEO Andrew Meddle
17 May 2019

City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin and incoming City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle.
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City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin and incoming City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle.

Learn more about our incoming CEO below.

Biography

I’m a 47 year old born and raised in the UK in Leigh-on-Sea, a cockling village 40 miles east of London at the mouth of the River Thames. My wife is Karen, my daughter is Charlotte (13) and we have a whippet called Jasper (three by the time I arrive).

After school I went to work in a library and after a month got made the branch manager! I did that for a year and then left to go to university in Aberystwyth where I studied countryside management (including a year working in the open space team) and then to Cheltenham to study countryside planning. I did a year of voluntary work for a planning charity and worked in a bookshop and helped develop reading software. I then completed my joint masters in Urban Planning and Transport Planning at Oxford Brookes University.

My first professional role was for the Environment Agency (a cross between the EPA and DEW), before moving back into local government. I have worked at all levels (except Parish Council – the Vicar of Dibley style council) of Council in the UK and finished as Head of Planning and Transport in my home town before migrating to South Australia in October 2012.

Recent work

I’ve worked at the Rural City of Murray Bridge as General Manager – Sustainable Communities since January 2013. I lead the team that provides:

  • Development and Regulation services (planning policy, development assessment, economic development, building rules, compliance, animal, parking and fire danger management, together with environmental health);
  • Community Services (community development, multi-cultural services, the Library, the Regional Art Gallery, the Town Hall Theatre, non-residential aged care via the Commonwealth Home Support Program and HACC, together with youth, sport and recreation services); and
  • Residential Aged Care services via Lerwin Aged Care Home, providing 75 beds for some of the most vulnerable in the Rural City of Murray Bridge.

At different times at the Rural City of Murray Bridge, I’ve also been responsible for the swimming pool, IT and finance.

I am a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and Local Government Professionals SA. Before leaving the United Kingdom, I was a Chartered Town Planner, a Chartered Transport Planner, the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Member and Director of the Planning Officer’s Society.

Away from work

Outside of work I like nothing better than a round of good golf or a walk with all the family. I currently enjoy playing golf in Murray Bridge and am looking forward to exploring the two Mount Gambier courses. I am currently the President of the Murray Bridge Golf Club and play Pennants for the Club and for the Murraylands Region.

Apart from golf, I am a keen hillwalker and enjoy the freedom on the hills particularly on cool and damp days when the tops are deserted. I also enjoy a bit of paddling in a canoe and keeping my eye on Charlotte as she learns to paddleboard. I enjoy watching sport too and support Port Adelaide, although I’d also cheer for the Adelaide Crows when they’re playing anyone else. I also enjoy watching rugby union and soccer, supporting Wales and Nottingham Forest respectively.

My wife, Karen, is a primary school teacher who is currently teaching at the Murray Bridge Special School. She will be joining me at the end of the school year. Karen enjoys gardening, playing with Jasper and keeping me on the straight and narrow.

Our daughter, Charlotte, has wanted to be a vet from an early age and is still pursuing her dream. We have done our school tours recently to ensure she can be ready to start the remainder of her schooling in Mount Gambier. She loves playing the flute and clarinet when she is not glued to her phone or ipad! Charlotte plays netball for the Ramblers Netball Club in Murray Bridge and is open to offers for 2020…

Jasper likes sunbathing, chasing squeaky toys and relaxing in front of the TV. He’s not got much fur and will need to toughen up for our new home, but tells me he’s looking forward to walking around the Blue Lake every day.

As a family we enjoy travel, good food and drink and are looking forward to exploring the experiences on offer in our new region.

My approach

I am approachable and immersed in the Council and the community. I will be wearing my name badge with pride and am happy to speak with you about work or pleasure even when I’m pushing the shopping trolley around Woolies on a Saturday afternoon. I’ll be coming to see you all and will often perch on a desk or stop where you’re working to say hello.

I’m serious about the business of Council, but will be looking to make work fun and for the team at the City of Mount Gambier to know and understand each other better, to trust one another and for us all to see how we can get the best from each other.

I’m absolutely not an expert in anything – no one knows as much as everyone – that’s why I need you to help me and to answer my questions that might seem daft. I don’t have a monopoly on good ideas – that why I need you to help me. I don’t know or understand anywhere near enough about Mount Gambier and the region. Again, that’s why I need you to help me.

I’m not planning to come in and change everything – I’ve been to Mount Gambier a number of times and have been consistently impressed with the quality of the environment and the evident care that the people working on the roads, open spaces, Library and Gallery have for this place. My aim is to help each of us be the best we can and for the team to be the best it can. I’ll be looking to learn, to understand and to make Mount Gambier even better.

I have a strong personal commitment to local government and the delivery of best value services for the community. I will live in the community I serve and will continue to seek to provide contemporary best practice for the community for the City of Mount Gambier.

Fun facts

Favourite ice cream flavour: chocolate

Favourite meal: well done steak, with proper chips, onions and mushrooms

Favourite beer: Adnam’s Broadside (at room temperature)

Favourite books: crime novels from the golden age of crime

Favourite TV: Hinterland (Welsh noir crime series)

Favourite Films: war films

Favourite quotes: “Eagles may soar high, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines” The Office (UK version) and “Every golf shot pleases someone”.

Favourite Place: Guernsey (offshore of the UK), Suffolk and Norfolk (in the UK) and Cape Otway (Vic)

Favourite politicians: Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher

Other heroes: Nelson

Don’t mention: How Nottingham Forest are doing at soccer or Brexit!

I’m looking forward to coming to work with you all at the end of May.

Best wishes

Andrew Meddle