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Our organisation

Cardinia Shire Council is led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carol Jeffs.

Our direction is determined at the strategic community level by the elected councillors, and operationally by our CEO.

The organisation comprises one office of the CEO (with an executive manager) and 3 divisions (each with a general manager).

Our organisation has grown to more than 500 staff, reflecting the rapid growth in the shire and the continuing need to increase resources to maintain service standards. 

View the organisational structure as a PDF

Divisions and General Managers 

(Also includes Senior Strategic Advisor Michael Ellis) 

Executive Manager Office of the CEO (Acting) - Debbie Tyson
Economic development 
Finance
Mayor and councillor support 
Governance 
Priority Precincts
General Manager Customer, People and Performance - Jenny Scicluna 
Communications 
Customer and service improvement
Information services
People and culture
Pandemic response and emergency management 
General Manager Infrastructure and Environment - Peter Benazic  
Buildings and facilities 
Development and compliance services 
Environment and heritage 
Infrastructure services 
Operations 
General Manager Liveable Communities - Nigel Higgins  
Active communities 
Community and family services 
Community strengthening 
Policy, design and growth area planning 

Organisational structure image - see web content and PDF

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Ms Carol Jeffs has extensive experience in local government management and leadership, and a demonstrated commitment to community engagement and participation. 

Headshot of Cardinia  Shire Council CEO Carol JeffsCarol brings more than 15 years’ experience as a senior local government executive, having led planning, corporate services, economic development and community services at both regional and inner metropolitan councils.

She has held positions of Interim Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Community and Economic Development at the City of Port Phillip, and was previously General Manager Governance and Manager City Planning at Latrobe City Council. 

As a proud Cardinia Shire resident, she is committed to making a difference in a place that she knows and loves by working closely with the community, councillors and staff to continue to deliver high quality services and infrastructure across the whole shire. 

She believes in advocating strongly for what Cardinia Shire needs and engaging with residents, community groups, farmers, businesses and landowners, as we take up the challenge of creating a future we can all be proud of.

 Councillors unanimously resolved to appoint Ms Jeffs for a five-year term at a Special Council meeting on Monday 23 July 2018, and she started as CEO on Monday 8 October 2018.

 Ms Jeffs holds qualifications in business (Bachelor of Business) and economics (Master of Economics), is a Harvard University Executive Program graduate and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

 

 

Jenny Scicluna – General Manager Customer, People and Performance

Jenny is a dedicated leader committed to building a positive culture and supporting staff to reach their full potential. Jenny has extensive local government experience, having worked in the sector for 20 years.

Prior to her appointment as General Manager Customer, People and Performance, Jenny served four years as Cardinia Shire Council’s General Manager Community Wellbeing and six months as Acting General Manager Corporate Services. She has also led a broad range of community services at Maroondah and Banyule City councils and held pivotal roles in emergency events.

Jenny is well known for her high level of influencing, organisational and interpersonal leadership skills in the local government sector and consistently builds positive, high performing teams and cultures. Recently Jenny was recognised as one of the top 50 Public Sector Women for 2020.

In addition to her vast range of experience in different sectors, Jenny holds a Master of Human Resources Management, Diploma and Bachelor of Education, and Diploma of Frontline Management. Jenny is committed to people leadership and building a positive, customer-focused culture of service to others. Interacting with and relating to people is what she enjoys most about her role, along with building positive and strong teams and supporting staff to do their best.

Business unit areas

  • Communications
  • Customer and Service Improvement
  • Information Services
  • People and Culture
  • Pandemic Response and Recovery

Peter Benazic – General Manager Infrastructure and Environment

Peter is well known for his relentless pursuit of excellence, people leadership and customer focus while leading high performing teams.

Peter has more than 20 years’ experience in local government leadership roles at Port Phillip, Banyule and Maribyrnong city councils, in areas including operations, maintenance, parks, waste, and project management. He also has experience in the private, community and not-for-profit sectors.

He holds 3 tertiary qualifications, including a Double Master of Management, Master of Administrative Management and Master of Business Administration (MBA), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Project Management.

As the General Manager Infrastructure and Environment, Peter is committed to building a customer-focussed culture that will serve the Cardinia Shire community well, both now and into the future.

Business unit areas

  • Buildings and Facilities
  • Development and Compliance Services
  • Environment and Heritage
  • Infrastructure Services
  • Operations

Debbie Tyson - Executive Manager Office of the CEO (Acting)

Debbie has been with Cardinia Shire Council for almost five years in a number of management roles, including Manager Development and Compliance Services, General Manager Assets and Services (Acting), and most recently as Manager Community and Family Services. She came to Cardinia with experience in other local government areas primarily in planning, and having worked as a planning consultant. Debbie has shown strong leadership skills, working across several areas of Council, and believes building robust relationships to be a key part of good leadership. 

She joins our Senior Leadership Team for a three-month acting role and is looking forward to supporting senior management and leading the teams within the Office of the CEO. 

Business unit areas

  • Economic Development
  • Finance
  • Governance
  • Mayoral and Councillor Support
  • Priority Precincts

Nigel Higgins – General Manager Liveable Communities

Nigel is a values-driven and results-oriented executive leader with a successful track record in leading multidisciplinary teams to create liveable, socially cohesive and prosperous communities.  He is known as an effective change agent and a big picture thinker who shapes and translates organisational vision and strategy into outcomes that make a difference.  

Nigel is an accomplished executive, highly adept at building strong and productive relationships with key stakeholders and in navigating complex and political stakeholder environments.  Nigel is motivated by strong and respectful relationships across all cohorts of staff and community.

Nigel has worked in the local government sector in Melbourne and overseas. He comes to Council directly from Maribyrnong Council, where he was the Director Planning Services. He has also previously been employed at Moonee Valley, Melbourne City and Macedon Ranges councils and previously at Moonee Valley.  He has led a broad and diverse range of portfolios including statutory and strategic planning, community services, arts and culture and emergency management.

Business unit areas

  • Active Communities
  • Community and Family Services
  • Community Strengthening
  • Policy, Design and Growth Area Planning