Our organisation

The organisation is headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Garry McQuillan. Our direction is determined at the global level by the elected councillors but at the operational level by the CEO, through general managers, managers and officers.

The organisation is divided into 5 divisions headed by general managers:

  • Assets and services
  • Community wellbeing
  • Corporate services
  • Planning and development
  • People and culture

Our staff has grown to almost 400 across a range of full- and part-time positions, reflecting the rapid growth in the shire and the continuing need to increase resources to maintain service standards.

View our organisation chart 

Garry McQuillan has a long history in local government, including executive positions with the City of Boroondara and the City of Fairfield in New South Wales.

Garry has been our CEO since December 2006 and his time at the helm has coincided with a period of unprecedented growth and change for the municipality and the organisation. Cardinia Shire is among Australia’s fastest developing areas with around 4 families moving into the municipality each day.

Garry has tertiary and post-tertiary qualifications in business management and finance. His leadership skills, coupled with his practical approach to problem solving and ability to create rapport with colleagues at all levels, has helped us become a leader in local government, particularly in relation to its pioneering of activity-based-working.

He is also a passionate advocate on broader community and social issues, including raising awareness about family violence with the ‘Together We Can’ and White Ribbon campaigns, and promoting healthy living for Cardinia Shire residents by partnering with the Sustain Australian Food Network.

Other committees Garry is part of include: 

  • Chairperson of the Southern Metropolitan Regional Development Australia Committee
  • The Interface and South East Metropolitan group of councils.
  • Foodprint Melbourne Stakeholder Advisory Group, actively promoting agriculture in the region and access to recycled water for the region’s farmers.

Headshot of Council's CEO Garry McQuillan



With the move to the Officer civic centre in 2014, we took the opportunity to move to an activity-based working (ABW) environment.

This way of working is helping us to achieve better collaboration and communication between departments and staff, which leads to greater productivity and efficiency. 

What it means in practice is that staff are able to select their work space based on their day’s activities, and are encouraged to ‘follow your work’ – that is, be mindful of the space they are ‘occupying’ at a given time and to move to a different, more appropriate space as their tasks change throughout the day. This approach applies to all staff in the organisation including the CEO and managers.

We were the first Australian government organisation to adopt this way of working. Many other organisations are looking to us as an example of how ABW can be successfully achieved; tours of our civic centre are regularly conducted. 

To make ABW possible, staff extensively use mobile and digital technology. This has reduced the dependence on paper and improved customer response times. We have recorded a 75% reduction in paper usage since moving to the new offices.