Sunshine Coast Council appoints new CEO
  • Saturday 20 June 2015
Michael Whittaker

Mayor Mark Jamieson today announced that after an extensive recruitment process involving a field of 116 candidates, Michael Whittaker had been appointed to the position of Council CEO.

Mr Whittaker is currently General Manager (CEO) of Wyong Shire Council on the New South Wales Central Coast.

“On behalf of all Councillors, I am delighted to welcome Mr Whittaker to the team at the Sunshine Coast Council,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Mr Whittaker brings to the position more than 20 years’ experience in senior and chief executive level roles in state and local government, along with a track record for driving performance and delivering results.

“He has been a CEO of four councils in New South Wales and Western Australia, including his current role with Wyong Shire Council, as well as Deputy General Manager of the City of Sydney Council.

“Mr Whittaker has overseen large capital works programs and has played a key role in the development of major commercial precincts and infrastructure projects, such as the Macquarie Park CBD and Green Square Urban Renewal Projects.”

Mayor Jamieson also highlighted Mr Whittaker’s extensive experience in community health, environmental management and economic development programs and initiatives, including improvements to the Tuggerah Lakes System.

“The diversity of his experience makes Mr Whittaker highly suited to the balanced approach that Council insists on, in order to serve the needs of this community.”

Mr Whittaker’s early career was with the Brisbane City Council where he established and led the Community Health Branch, before leaving that council in 1997 to take up a Deputy Director-General role with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.

“Mr Whittaker is highly regarded for his ability to deliver strong financial results, well-focussed teams and productive relationships with the community and stakeholders,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“All are crucial, given the significant agenda this Council is driving, to shape a prosperous future for the residents and communities of our Sunshine Coast.”

Mayor Jamieson said Council had started the new CEO recruitment process in early April, commissioning an executive search company to assist in this important task.

“Mr Whittaker will be only our second CEO since Sunshine Coast Council was formed following amalgamation in 2008.

“We wanted to make sure we attracted a strong field of candidates from which to choose – and that is exactly what we achieved.”

Nine selection exercises were undertaken to arrive at a preferred candidate, including formal application, five interviews, psychometric testing and referee reports.

A selection panel, including independent members, interviewed the original shortlist of applicants.

Mr Whittaker will take up his Sunshine Coast Council CEO position on September 21.  In the interim, Mr Ray Turner will continue as Acting CEO.

“Mr Whittaker will play a pivotal role in ensuring our game-changer projects in the region are delivered,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“As CEO, he will also be tasked with a clear direction from Council to build on our extensive support for community initiatives as well as excellent environmental credentials.

“On behalf of Councillors and Council staff, we congratulate Michael Whittaker on securing the position of CEO at our Council and we look forward to working closely with him to achieve great results for our community.”